Views about money come from our upbringing, our personal experience, and the people who influence our opinions. When these financial feelings become extreme, they can lead to dysfunctional decisions, so making yourself aware of any severe money attitudes can help you achieve your financial goals. The Klontz Money Scripts were developed to identify some common negative financial scripts to help financial professionals assist clients in meeting goals.
Money Avoidance is the belief that money is bad or undeserved. Money avoiders feel fear, stress, or anxiety. Their concerns may lead them to be their own worst enemy in regard to finances. Their beliefs include that money corrupts people, that there is virtue in having little or no money, and that it’s not likely that rich people are good people often mean that they don’t make decisions that will have good financial outcomes.
At the other extreme is the money script of Money Status. This attitude relates a person’s self-worth to financial worth. Rather than concentrating on goals of the greater good or personal satisfaction, these people concentrate on acquiring financial things, to the detriment of their happiness, well-being, and sometimes even their health. They are aware of socio-economic class and are competitive with those around them in regard to acquiring financial status. Ironically, many people with this outlook are not very wealthy.
Money Vigilance is a state of mind in which people feel shame and secrecy about money. It doesn’t matter whether or not these folks have a lot of money or not, they cannot comfortably discuss or share information about money. While an individual’s money situation isn’t generally a topic for public discussion, the money vigilant aren’t able to even share information about finances within their immediately family. They are unable to spend without guilt or enjoy financial benefits available to them.
Money Worship is a belief that money is the solution to everything, which is a common belief among Americans. People who believe this also often believe that money is the source of happiness, that they can never have enough money, and are distrustful with people in regard to money. Many people with this attitude have low income and tend to carry credit card debt that they can’t pay off each month.
Like so many areas of life, balance is a good way to make goals realistic and manage day-to-day finances. Extreme actions and beliefs, especially ones that are harsh and judgmental about a life necessity like money, make achieving accomplishments difficult. In regard to money, it can be something that is part of your life without becoming the driving force, a source of stress, or a cause for shame. You can earn money in a career you love, and spend and save with your financial resources. Keep your finances in perspective, giving money neither too much nor too little control over how you see yourself and those around you.