Relationship with money differs considerably between individuals

It can be the root of all evil, good or neither

Each year in Canada the May long weekend announces the opening of the camping season and “fun in the sun” time for the next couple of months until September’s Labour Day long weekend which brings closure to our Canadian camping season.

So, generally, at this time of year we tend to spend more money on doing fun activities like attending Heritage Days, buying ice cream cones, dining out, taking the ferry to other B.C. Islands, barbecuing, water activities, RVing, attending outdoor concerts and shopping.

Psychologically and emotionally we are programmed to spend more money on having fun because we tell ourselves that we deserve to spend more money now that the warmer weather is here. Many of us have a cause and effect relationship with money. In this case, the spending of more money (effect) is associated with the warmer weather (cause). Spending money is not always a rational decision but rather a satisfactory outcome of a cause and effect relationship.

In the past two weeks, the phrase “money is the root of all evil” came up in three conversations I was listening to in three completely different situations.

When I heard this phrase being quoted for the third time my antenna went up and I thought to myself ‘perhaps I should write about money in my June column.’ Initially, I thought that I would be focused on the phrase “money is the root of all evil.” But how could I write on this when I did not believe it to be true?

I personally do not give money that much power. This pondering led me to speculate: Couldn’t the reverse be true, “money is the source of all good”?

Immediately following this question came another two questions: (1) Does money really possess the inherent qualities of “evil” and “good”?; (2) Or is it a person’s relationship to money that determines whether money brings about evil or good or neither?

Let’s look at some different kinds of relationships with money. There is the stingy relationship with money, not that the individual is unkind but rather he/she is over prudent with spending money. Stinginess most often results from being raised not to spend money foolishly.

Conversely, there is the generous relationship with money, often associated but not always with a jolly open personality. He/she has a loose hanging relationship with money. This person views money as an object and not a subject, hence gives more importance to how money is spent than to the money itself.

Then there is the individual who is actually afraid of money. He/she feels money is power and therefore reacts with extreme caution in spending money as the underlining fear in spending is that the money will dry up and run out, like an intimate love relationship that has turned sour!

Sometimes, this overwhelming fear of money leads a person to overspending behaviours such as: casino/lottery addictions, horse racing addictions, shopaholicism. The overspender actually uses sabotaging behaviours because the deep fear inside is that of being financially poor.

This deep fear propels him/her to overspending until the fear becomes a reality. Much has been documented on individuals who have won the lottery and within a few years are financially bankrupt.

If you, the reader, would like to know more about your relationship with money I suggest you take the quiz by Leanne Jacobs, who published an article entitled “Beautiful Money” in the February 2017 edition of the magazine SUCCESS.

(Kathleen Kelly is a Chemainus resident and author of the book ‘The Tornadoes We Create.’)

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