Money is often deemed essential in life. While having cash available can certainly make a person more comfortable; when the drive to gather up money becomes disruptive and hindering or impacts their mental health. A money addiction could be the issue. If you’re curious about the signs of money addiction. Here are some of the red flags associated with the condition.
Preoccupation with Earning Money
While everyone may think about obtaining money on occasion. A person with a money addiction may be preoccupied with the idea of bringing in more cash. As a result, they may take some riskier actions.
In some cases, gambling could be part of the equation. In others, the person may spend nearly all of their waking time working. Thus, allowing them to bring in more income. Making risky stock market or other kinds of investments could also be a manifestation of this issue.
Tying the Self-Worth to Their Net Worth
When a person has a money addiction. They may believe that their self-worth and net worth are intertwined. They may feel that the amount of money they make or the balance of their bank accounts dictates their value. In some cases, this can lead to a preoccupation with earning cash. However, it could also cause hoarding tendencies where the person avoids spending money as often as possible. Even if it’s to their detriment.
Being Vague About Their Financial Situation
While it’s true that talking about money tends to be a bit taboo, those with a money addiction may go the extra mile to avoid discussing the specifics of their financial situation. It may be a form of denial, allowing them to ignore the fact that they may have a problem. Fear of being judged by others could also play a role.
For this to apply, the resistance to talking about their financial situation may need to go beyond basic privacy concerns. Often, there needs to be a sense of anxiety behind the decision to be vague. As a result, this sign alone isn’t always enough to determine whether a money addiction is in play.
Extreme Frugality and Spending Avoidance
Since many people with a money addiction try to hoard their cash, some with the condition may embrace an extreme form of frugality as a means of spending avoidance. Essentially, even if they could easily afford an item they genuinely need, they’ll attempt to either avoid the purchase entirely or buy the lowest cost version even if it is of subpar quality or isn’t a logical choice.
At times, the person will even skip buying outright necessities, even to their detriment. For example, they may not buy groceries when they are out of food to ensure the money stays in their bank, or they might skip prescription medications in the name of setting aside cash.
Withdrawing from Social Occasions with Spending Components
Many people with money addiction will withdraw from any social occasion when spending might be part of the equation. For example, they’ll decline invitations to dine out with family or friends so that they don’t have to pay for the meal.
While a single declined invitation isn’t necessarily worrisome, most people with money addiction develop a pattern of saying “no” when spending money is involved in the gathering. As a result, they may withdraw socially in a significant manner, leaving them incredibly isolated.
Ambiguous Financial Goals
It isn’t uncommon for people with money addiction to have ambiguous financial goals. For example, they may be driven to “save more money for the future,” but they don’t have a specific savings target that lets them know that they’ve set enough aside. They may also only have a vague idea of how much they’re earning, spending, or saving, leaving them a bit confused about their financial state overall.
Often, the ambiguous nature of the goals is because they’re waiting for a “magic” moment when everything feels perfect. It isn’t driven by logic. Instead, it’s the notion that they’ll somehow know when they reach the right point because they’ll experience a sense of relief or contentment. In reality, that moment never arrives, leading them to continue with the harmful money practices they’ve embraced.
Chastising Themselves for “Mistakes”
At times, a person with money addiction may make a spending choice they later deem a “mistake,” even if the purchase itself was entirely necessary. Since they believe that spending that money was a misstep, they may chastise themselves for their decision, often to the point of harming their self-esteem.
Essentially, they believe that the purchase diminished their value and that they aren’t as worthy of a person because of it. It could be even more extreme if the person had previously vowed not to spend money on that particular item or service type, as they may feel that they’ve failed somehow.
Obsessively Monitoring Bank and Investment Accounts
In some cases, a person with a money addiction will monitor their financial accounts obsessively. They may check and recheck their savings accounts balance to either reassure themselves that they’re okay or to encourage themselves to save more. They may watch the stock market without a break, hoping to spot a moment that they can capitalize on or, at least, try not to miss an opportunity.
Think You Have Money Addiction? Get Help, Its Okay
Addiction and other mental health challenges can result in significant impairments to your health and well being. For example, people with money addiction may forgo sleep so that they can keep an eye on a cryptocurrency or they begin to struggle at work because they’re too distracted by checking their investments. If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing money addiction, consider getting help.
A good resource is the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) referral helpline.
That number is: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
From their website, here is a description of what the SAMHSA helpline offers.
Can you think of any other signs of money addiction that people should know about? Have you dealt with a money addiction personally or known someone who struggled with money addiction? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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