Cold Hard Cash in a Contactless World
While modern life has driven us towards the world of contactless and on screen balances, the phrase ‘cold hard cash’ still provides valuable insight into how we perceive the role of money in society today.
While acknowledging the importance of money, the phrase simultaneously highlights the long-standing assumption that money exists on an entirely different plane to our emotional selves. This association is constantly reiterated to us by the transactional and functional role money plays in our everyday lives; it is fundamental to our day-to-day routine and in many ways ‘makes the world go round’.
It is interesting then, that while money is involved in almost every aspect of our existence, we never really stop to think about what money really means to us. The role of money in often tedious life administration and the never-ending ‘to-do’ lists that seem to be a hallmark of adult life make it very easy, inviting even, to assume that money has very little to do with our emotional selves. In fact, it is a widely held belief that logic drives our financial decision making. This can be a damaging view to hold on to, as we will explore, the reality is that money and emotions couldn’t be more intrinsically tied together.
In My Feelings
We may like to think of ourselves as sensible beings more than capable of making logical decisions, emotions are a vital part of what makes us human, and money matters are no exception.
In fact, Harvard professor Gerard Zaltman reported that an overwhelming 95% of spending decisions are subconscious. Zaltman’s findings indicate that when it comes to our finances, we are not driven by logic but by unconscious urges, the biggest of which is emotion. Recognising this is a key step in debunking the myth that money plays a logical and solely transactional role in our lives.
Addressing the relationship between our emotions and financial choices sheds light on urges and behaviors we may previously have chalked down to a lack of organisation, disinterest, or simply being ‘bad with money’. We perhaps wouldn’t naturally recognise behaviors such as avoidance as an emotional response, but these findings encourage us to see such patterns as a natural urge to avoid the worries and concerns that often arise when pouring over bank statements or trying to make important financial decisions.
In some cases, the more visible lack of control over our money can actually then spiral into other emotions – which are less obvious – such as fear, anxiety, and stress. So how do we regain this control and start building a healthier relationship with our finances?
Knowledge Is Power
The good news is that once we harness the knowledge that emotions drive our financial decision making, there are steps we can take to better understand our own responses to money. In fact, it turns out there’s more to it than merely recognising the link between money and emotions; our personality traits and characteristics actually play a role in shaping these responses. We’ve researched the different money personalities that people fall into; how you value and perceive money, and your general outlook on life, shape the financial decisions you make.
So, how do you find this out and reach a deeper understanding of your money mindset? Luckily, we’ve put together a quiz that you can take HERE to find out what your money personality is.
Utilising this knowledge will lead to a greater sense of self-awareness and provide you with the foundation to incorporate your findings into future decision making processes – never a bad thing when you’re trying to find your inner zen and master your money mindset.
In other words, we’re big believers in the notion that knowledge is power, and can be a vital force when it comes to taking those first steps towards financial wellbeing.