If you’re in search of an alternative personal finance book, The Psychology of Money may be just what you need. This book examines 19 unusual ways that people think about money and teaches readers how their beliefs and emotions influence financial decisions.
Recognizing your biases, flaws and behaviors which influence financial outcomes is key. Here are three ideas from The Psychology of Money that may help.
Financial fears can be crippling; whether that be losing your savings, becoming an alcoholic, or failing to meet bills on time. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America Survey, 87% of people list money and finances as one of their major sources of anxiety.
Money attitudes evolve over time based on many influences such as family background and experiences with money as children. Our specific money fears may also be determined by attachment styles or how we perceive the world around us.
Assuming there’s never enough, having a scarcity mindset may encourage hoarding or overspending, feeling jealous of those with more wealth or only shopping when there is a sale – neither are healthy states of mind! Mild to moderate levels of anxiety are beneficial motivators; use your fear as fuel to take action against any money issues you face.
Guilt can be a powerful motivator in making financial decisions, leading some to avoid spending or consume unhealthy food as they feel guilty for it. These feelings could stem from previous experiences such as living with parents who struggled financially or having too much debt themselves.
If emotions go unchecked, they can impede your ability to save, invest and create an appropriate budget. Furthermore, this book covers how fear-based beliefs such as an anxiety about losing wealth can lead to poor investments choices and lack of savings habits. Finally, this book states that while building wealth may take some time with patience and hard work on our part it can still be done; first however it’s crucial that any underlying issues influencing your financial decisions are dealt with before trying.
Financial envy can wreak havoc on mental health, relationships and finances. It is a common feeling that can impact individuals from every life stage – from those in their 20s watching friends spend on concert tickets to those in their 50s seeing peers buy vacation homes – making it difficult not to feel jealous of what others have.
Envy can lead you down an expensive path of spending beyond your means and falling further behind on reaching your financial goals. Furthermore, envy can make us compare ourselves against others’ financial situations which is dangerous and self-defeating.
When dealing with envy, remember that life is abundant. Every time one person gains something new, another does too. If you find yourself feeling envious of a friend, remind yourself they didn’t sacrifice anything in order to attain what they have; rather they simply found new ways of experiencing what they love.
If you prioritize safety and want to minimize risks, the temptation may be to make investments that maximize returns while ignoring personal motivations – however this chapter of The Psychology of Money suggests otherwise. When making financial decisions it’s essential that they take account of both sides; not just numbers!
At first glance, emotions involved in financial decisions may seem irrational, but it’s essential that you recognize their effects so you can become conscious of how your emotional state influences your actions and avoid missing potential investment opportunities or making hasty decisions that put your funds in jeopardy.
Housel offers an insightful reading experience for anyone hoping to change their relationship with money. While other personal finance books tend to focus too heavily on mathematics-based logic, Housel provides an engaging holistic perspective by taking into account our behavior and motivations when looking at personal finances – which is essential in changing money habits for the better.