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The Fear of Money

I’ll admit I have a few fears, boa constrictors and heights among them. Fortunately I don’t have to face either on a regular basis. To really face my fears I’d have to go bungee jumping with a boa constrictor.

A true anxiety invoking fear of money is called chrematophobia. Some of its symptoms include heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, sweaty palms and an intense desire to flee the situation. That depth of fear needs to be addressed by a professional.

I’ve met many people in my life who have a fear of money that presents itself as a strong aversion to anything financial. Symptoms include:

  • Not opening bank statements, bills or mortgage statements.
  • Not checking accounts balances or keeping a balanced cheque book.
  • Refusing to track net worth or spending.
  • Being defensive about a lack of financial literacy.
  • Trusting someone else too much with their money.
  • Letting someone else make their financial decisions.
  • Worrying excessively about finances or refusing to think about it at all.
  • Not planning for the basics (RRSPs, life insurance, wills).
  • Overspending or over-saving.

Based on working with people as a financial coach, I see this a lot. It makes me wonder just how rampant it is and what can be done to help people get over their strong aversion to money. Occasionally it presents itself as a fear of math or numbers but more often it comes down to the emotions that seem so closely tied to finances.

I admit, I work mostly with women. I am not one for gender stereotyping. I generally think of people as individuals rather than by gender. Yet more and more I hear women talk about their fear of money. Is it that they will admit it more readily or more easily ask for help? I don’t know but what I do know is that there are many incredibly bright, well educated, intelligent women who have a strong aversion to finances and would rather not think about it at all or pass it off to someone else to handle.

Recently I read What I know Now: Letters to My Younger Self (link). In the book successful women wrote something to their younger selves at challenging time in their lives. One of the authors featured in the book is Naomi Wolf, one of my favourite writers. In it she writes:

“…I reacted by moving further into the elaborate complex of stupidity about money that I had begun to pick up in college. Like many women, I went into a numbers-induced fog that enveloped me whenever I had to discuss my income. I was embarrassed talking to the woman who helped me with my taxes. I thought it was inappropriate for me to learn the least detail about handling my income.” pg. 175

She put into words what so many women I’ve talked to have tried to explain. It’s difficult to ask for help and embarrassing to admit they don’t know the first thing about handling money. This is coming from a woman who has more brain cells than I could ever dream of having!

I worked with someone else who was an over-saver. It was difficult for her to spend money even with a secure, well paid government job and a fully indexed pension. I was shocked when I found out how much she was putting away in savings and RRSPs. With a pension that size, as a single woman with no dependents, she didn’t even need an RRSP. I asked her why she was putting away so much and she said her financial advisor recommended it. I gently asked her how her financial advisor was paid. She said she didn’t know. When I explained that she was paid through commissions every time an investment was purchased, she was shocked. She trusted this person with her money and her advice. She didn’t realize the advisor might not have her best interests at heart. She confessed that she has a lot of anxiety when it comes to money.

I wonder if the fear of money is becoming more rampant as a generation of people go through school without one course in economics or personal finance. Math isn’t always fun and if in someone’s mind math = money and they weren’t very good at math than the logical outcome would mean money management is difficult. I went to school when home-economics was still a required course. That and typing are about the only classes I remember and still use to this day.

Bringing financial literacy back into the classroom would only be a start. At least that way people would have the basic skills. The next step is being willing to talk about it and get help if you need it. It’s only shameful when it’s hidden. Money anxiety can be overcome if people are willing to walk through their shame, admit their fears and begin to educate themselves about the basics they need to know about personal finance. It won’t be easy but it can be learned. Learning a new skill as an adult is never easy but there are people, personal finance blogs and forums that are here to help.

Have you or someone you know overcome a fear of money?

Kathryn has been a staff writer for MDJ since January 2009. During the day she works in an office. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.

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About the author: Kathryn has been a staff writer for MDJ since January 2009. During the day she works in an office. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Balance Junkie April 8, 2010, 10:51 am

    I was one of those that took a fair bit of math in high school, but none in university. I never took a single business or economics course. It was fear about money that finally made me learn everything I could about it.

    An A in calculus or functions and relations does nothing to help us figure out how to structure a budget or run a household balance sheet. I think there are more than a few very well-educated people who are afraid to ask basic financial questions because they feel like they should already know the answers. Thanks for a thoughtful article!

  • Scott April 8, 2010, 11:21 am

    I took both math and economics in university.
    I stopped taking economics after the first course.
    Without being too long winded, it just wasn’t for me.

    One of my biggest fears is ending up broke, homeless, and pushing a shopping cart when I’m 65 (most likely a product of my parents’ over-focus on money — and in reality, I won’t). This causes me to be hyper-sensitive and analytical about money matters (ie. everything being about money). Not so good when my wife is the exact opposite. It does cause tension and I am learning to loosen up and enjoy our money, as well as taking a less cold-hearted Spock-like approach in our household financial discussions.

    I think the biggest fear killer is planning and working that plan. You will always have to revise that plan but having a defined goal and a road map of how you are going to get there helps a lot in diminishing anxiety about money.

  • Kristine April 8, 2010, 11:42 am

    When people have a fear of money, they are focusing on what they don’t want – losing it, not having enough, etc. No matter what their real circumstances are, they will find the information that supports this fear.

    Deciding on what you want, like financial freedom, focuses you on finding ways to achieve that. Start with the end in mind and work backwards. It helps to keep your sights on a healthier objective.

  • Gerry April 8, 2010, 12:45 pm

    I always say, the most valuable course I ever took was Grade 9 business studies. Topics included basic household budgeting, simple business accounting, marketing and advertising, how to use a chequing account, how a credit card works, what a mortgage is, etc. This kind of course should be mandatory study in high school.

  • Future Money-Bags April 8, 2010, 2:31 pm

    @Gerry: I have never heard of such a highschool course, sounds promising.

  • Sarlock April 8, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I grew up in a household where money was tight and we always worried about whether we would have food on the table or not. Money was seldom discussed except to worry about it.
    And yet, I consider myself very financially literate and have no fears about money at all, so I wonder if it’s more of a personality thing than something we learn from our upbringing. I keep detailed financial records, net worth calculations are done by the 3rd or 4th day of each new month, I do my own taxes, do all my own forecasting and planning, etc. I actually look forward to month-end because I get to put a new month’s worth of data in to my spreadsheets.
    I plan to educate my children as best I can about money – but it makes me wonder… if I just had a natural aptitude for finances and wasn’t taught it in my younger years, maybe my children will have a natural desire to do their own finances or they will have fears/phobias about money despite my best efforts to teach them otherwise. Time will tell, I guess.
    I wonder if the fear is similar to the one where people who have a medical issue refuse to go to a doctor to have it checked out for fear of it being something bad? If we ignore something, then it doesn’t exist right?

  • Brandon April 8, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I have the same homeless fears as Scott, which I know is silly.

    I’ve always attributed these fears to being the first born. The oldest child always carries the responsibility burden and are expected to be the successful child. I guess in my eyes, money = success.

  • Ms Save Money April 8, 2010, 5:24 pm

    I agree that I am definitely guilty of some of these money things. On months where I may have spent too much, I definitely don’t like looking at the statement at the end of the month. Maybe starting to track my expenses will alleviate this anxiety.

  • shmuckademus April 8, 2010, 7:34 pm

    I don’t think having a fear of money matters necessarily relates to being financially illiterate or an aversion to mathematics. I know I have a fear of money because I have a fear of making money decisions, which are ultimately life decisions. It’s not because I don’t get math or have a basic understanding of financial matters, it’s that I want to put off making decisions because decisions cause me anxiety. I have such an intense fear of failure, making the wrong decision, or that making a decision will close a door, that I will procrastinate. So for me, this is much more of an issue of psychology than of “education” or “training”.

  • Kathryn April 8, 2010, 10:12 pm

    I have the same fears as Scott too. I try to manage those fears but learning more. knowledge = power.

    Interesting to hear the comments from men. I wondered if it was mostly women who struggle with this but now I think it’s just that women have admitted it more to me in conversations.

    Gerry: I wish that course was mandatory in every high school. Only they should come up with a more interesting name for it. Business studies has very little appeal to a 10th grader. Money management or ‘The Road to Wealth” sounds far more interested even if they covered the same topic. Heck, they could even call the class “Million Dollar Journey” and we could all help write the curriculum! :-)

  • Ryan April 8, 2010, 11:17 pm

    its interesting really, I never had a fear in the world. Had a nice house in Toronto, with a big old mortgage ($420K), plenty of consumer debt (LOC and CC) and a pregnant wife and no emergency fund. I had a good job but one day I went to the office and was told my job was eliminated.

    I took me 4 months to find another job, and we barely squeaked by on my severence.

    Its a healthy fear of being homeless (mostly because I realized how quickly and easily things can go sideways) that forces me to have a firm grip on things.

    Since then, we have eliminated all the consumer debt, downsized the mortgage considerably, and just generally gotten a much better understanding of all things money related.

  • PD April 9, 2010, 7:06 am

    I am teacher and I often see students with special needs feeling lost in assignments. They require several strategies to understand better. Chunking information is key. Having the student repeat back to me what I have said tells me if he “got it” and the repetition helps his memory. Visualization is also key and any type of graphic organizer helps a student hold the information.

    Whenever I get frustrated with a student not “getting it” I quickly remember that I have special needs in the money department. I know the basics and I can budget for the month, but when it comes to understanding mortgage language or RRSPs or any acronym in the money world I feel confused and lost. I have a healthy fear of money because anything outside of the basics is like a foreign language to me.

    I get that knowledge is power, but how does one really find the time to learn all the bits and pieces that will make one financially sound? I would need to study constantly and still I know I would need support. So, I get support. I am fortunate that I actually know Kathryn and I meet with her to study my finances. Thankfully, she chunks information for me and patiently repeats concepts until I “get it.” I also have homework and most of the time it makes sense when I do it.

    I guess my point is I don’t think my fear of money will ever go away, but I won’t let it incapacitate me where I don’t even think about it. I will trudge along and celebrate the aha moments, but mostly I will consult the sound financial minds I know.

  • Mitchell April 9, 2010, 11:16 am

    This is a great article and something that I can relate to. I’ve always had a “fear” of not having enough and as a result have always been looking for ways to optimize cash flows and increase my net worth month over month. We are creatures of our environment and after watching my mother work two jobs and raise two children never want to be in that scenario. What started as a need has now turned into a want and a bit of a game seeing the rewards of creating a budget, executing an invest strategy and tracking the results.

    How much is enough? Kathryn gave the example of the government employee who was saving excessively – but if that’s what made her feel secure then isn’t that ultimately what she should do? (Although I do wonder how much her Financial Adviser was benefiting from not being truthful with her).

    I’ll end this comment with two questions:
    1. Is the Golden rule of save 10% of your gross income as suggested by the Wealthy Barber enough?
    2. What is considered a “favorable” debt to equity ratio when considering a leveraged investment plan?

    I realize that the questions above are different for every investor, but I’m curious to know what others on this forum think

    Thanks in advance,

    M

  • Financial Cents April 9, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Good post, and as mentioned already by a few folks, I think many people can relate to this…

    I think we’ve all had some sort of “fear of money” at one point in our lives, whether it be from a young age or in adulthood. Those who reach financial independence seem to overcome those fears or at very least, manage those fears much faster or better than the rest.

    The symptoms above are a good start for a list of financial questions everyone should ask themselves…and try to work through.
    Cheers!

  • Kathryn April 9, 2010, 3:17 pm

    Mitchell: Everyone’s answers to your questions will be different but here are my thoughts.

    1. Unless you begin at age 18, never once stop and increase with every raise or new job, 10% probably isn’t enough. It should be more in the 15 – 20% range. A lot of professionals suggest 18% of gross pay. Personally our ratios are give 10%, save 15% and live on 75% of net income.

    2 I’m not the one to ask. We don’t have the stomach for leveraged investing.

  • Sarlock April 9, 2010, 5:39 pm

    With the prospect that those of us in our 20’s and 30’s will live until we’re 85-90 years old, facing 20+ years of retirement is daunting and the 10% save rule certainly needs to be looked at, especially if one expects that government financial assistance for the retired will diminish over the next decade or two as a flood of baby boomers overwhelms the system (either by lowering benefits and/or raising the retirement age).
    If the average person works 35-45 years, from age 20-25 to 60-65, and then retires for 20+ years, one has to assume that the savings rate has to be up in the 25% range to have a chance at a decent retirement. This would include the forced savings that occurs with your CPP contribution (which is 9.9% of your wage up to $47,200k/year).
    As I plan to retire before I am 50, my current savings rate is over 50%.
    And this leads us back to the original topic: Financial literacy is even more important now than it was 20 years ago. There are far fewer companies offering pensions and we are left to our own devices to plan for our retirement. Unless we are aware of how important it is to plan for retirement early, by the time reality smacks us in the face it’ll be too late to save any appreciable amount to retire on. Knowing that many people are scare/phobic/whatever of their finances, this makes it even more important to embark on a huge financial literacy campaign. A society filled with seniors unable to afford their retirement is not a healthy society.

  • saveddijon April 9, 2010, 6:30 pm

    Fear, or prudence?

    A civil service pension is only good if you hold the job for a good chunk of your career. The civil service does have layoffs from time to time. Private sector pension? Think Nortel. RRSP? You can count on that. It’s YOURS. And you can draw against it in case of job loss and poor employment prospects (think high-tech worker in fall 2001).

    How much is enough? Assume you’re within 10 years of retirement.

    If I asked you on August 31, 2008 whether you thought your nest egg was adequate, you’d likely say “yes”. Fast-forward 3 months. Would you have the same opinion?

    This isn’t hypothetical. It happened.

    Everyone has his/her own margin comfort level. I would not think it unreasonable to save money, even with a good government pension.

  • Scott April 9, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Oh, great. Now I’m scared again!!

    And just in time for the weekend, too. :)

  • Kevin April 9, 2010, 9:11 pm

    In high school I took a course called “home economics”, but it’s all about learning the 5 food groups, how to bake cookies, sew clothes, taking care of infants, family relationships, etc. nothing about production and distribution of goods and services around the home or budgeting or money matters. In other words, every topic under the roof of a functional home was discussed, except “economics.” A few years later, just before I graduated, we had a Career and Personal Planning class, “CAPP 12”, which again, turned out to have nothing to do with personal financial management. And in college and university, there was no mandatory courses regarding financial development, so being ignorant back then like all my friends I didn’t take any for my electives. For most people money is important, yet it’s not emphasized at all by schools, coincidence?

    I encourage someone to correct me because I really hope I’m wrong about this, but perhaps the school boards are being coerced by the government to limit the number of financially literate individuals to be sent out into the working world. People’s “fear of money” is encouraged because it is often these kinds of individuals that are taxed the most, spends the most, and disseminates the most money to others who can then repeat the cycle and help perpetuate the healthy flow of currency within a nation. If everyone understood how money works and started saving more for retirement, real estate or other investments, then they won’t have as much money anymore to spend on immediate satisfactions like eating out at restaurants and buying new cars, and our economy would not grow as rapidly as it did in the past few decades. We live in a society where it’s “cool” to drive across the border just to buy an iPad. The taxes that consumers pay today on a $100 bottle of wine, is worth a lot more to the government than capital gains tax on the opportunity cost of the individual investing that money into a savings bond or something similar. If more individuals felt comfortable learning about money, like the viewers of this blog, then the average household would not owe thousands of dollars in consumer debt, which may sound good at first, but without the abundance of cash flow and interest payments in this country, credit card companies would probably go out of business. So as far as the gov’t is concerned, people’s “fear of money” generates active, realized income, is a boon to the national economy, and keeps Canada competitive with other G7 nations, which is also beneficial from a political standpoint.

  • Financial Cents April 9, 2010, 10:12 pm

    @Sarlock – very well said!

  • bob April 9, 2010, 11:27 pm

    “I encourage someone to correct me because I really hope I’m wrong about this, but perhaps the school boards are being coerced by the government to limit the number of financially literate individuals to be sent out into the working world. ”

    I’m correcting you. You’re wrong. That’s simply ridiculous.

    First, when was the last time you stepped into a school? There is an awful lot of financial literacy emphasized starting in the elementary curriculum.

    The Junior Achievement society is another avenue:
    http://www.jasouthalberta.org/programs.cfm?itemid=1788&smocid=235

    Second, the “Government” is hardly coercing a lack of financial literacy. About a year ago, the Minister of Finance created a task force on just that subject: financial literacy
    http://www.fin.gc.ca/n08/09-067-eng.asp

  • Car Battery April 10, 2010, 3:07 am

    Wow this is a really tough one to analyze. I would almost say that it definitely does vary from person to person. I think at some point, people get frustrated by the over whelming challenges of finance, and choose to at that point to simply ignore it. Sometimes laziness comes into play too but I’d say it all depends on the person. I mean if a person doesn’t even care about their money… and taking a look at it, I am sure they have other problems in life as well. Or at least most would, I would guess.

    As far as my experience, I have not known anyone personally to overcome their fear of money, but I have seen it on TV shows? if that counts lol.

  • used tires April 10, 2010, 4:07 am

    I’ve always been scared over money concerns. It’s even kept me from settling down with a family so far, as I’m scared of not being financially secure to shield them from the elements come times of shortage or recession. I’m saving up for that very reason, every day. Just to have that security.

    Till then,

    Jean

  • mp April 10, 2010, 12:46 pm

    If the crash taught me anything it was how bad mutual funds with their high MERs were for the overall value of the portfolio and how important it was to have a financial advisor that did not get paid commission. The dogs in my portfolio were whitewashed when things were good – they became much clearer dogs when things tanked.
    My first priority is to build the emergency fund, then I’ll think about sinking more into that abyss but as for financial literacy in schools – the ones pushing this are the same people who pushed mutual funds and high cost investments. If the courses say never carry balances on credit cards, never take investment advice from someone being paid commission, never use a line of credit for an emergency fund, and save for the big purchases, then I might believe we’re on the right track.

    But with an economy that needs consumer spending to keep it going, if everyone all of the sudden decided they were going to start saving 25% of their pre-tax income for retirement, you can imagine the effect on gdp growth that would have!

  • Future Money-Bags April 11, 2010, 9:06 am

    Knowing what is a ‘safe’ amount to save is not just one calculation.
    You take into account your age, and how many years until you retire, and how much you want to live off of. There are many calculators to figure out ANY formula these days, all 1 click away on the internet; there are no longer excuses about how you never knew how to calculate something.

    Saying that saing 10% of your money a month is enough, is partially right, but not necessarily. If you are putting it into a savings account, or if you are starting when your 35-45 years old, this is NOT ENOUGH.
    But if your in your early 30’s, or even better, 20’s, and are gaining 10% interest; This can definitely be enough for retirement.

    But if you can afford to save more, and if you care just the slightest about your retirement and your future, and your family, and not struggling when your older, I would say to save as much as you can! Sure, still enjoy life, and have fun, and reward yourself, but it’s not hard to save more than 10%.
    Sure I may be in a better situation than some, and not have a family of 4-5 and tuition to pay for my kids, but you ‘reap what you sew’?.
    I am in my 20’s and I save a considerably larger amount than 10% a month. And I find it hard to believe that the vast majority have trouble saving this amount. (DISCLAIMER: I appologize if you fall in this catagory, but im just frustrated by the average person not caring about their future). Maybe it’s just because the majority of people I am around, are in their 20’s and 30’s, but its natural for me to save and I expect others to care about their retirement like I do.

    That being said, saving 60-80% of my income each month, is far from easy. I budget like no other and keep track of every expense I make (charging all to my MC to keep an expense report and track my monthly finances). Now trust me I do not make any sort of even slightly modest income to my standards, but I make ends meet and I save like no other.

    Fearing money is a huge mistake so many of us make, and I can see that over the past decade, many people are slowly beginning to pay a little more attention to their finances. But unfortunately, consumer debt has never been higher. Meaning that those of us that spend more than we should, are doing it more than ever. Thus making it look like our country is getting worse.

    Good luck to everyone in the future, make every moment better than the last and work to succeed!

  • Scott April 11, 2010, 1:00 pm

    @FMBs: great to be young and living at home! BTW, it’s “reap what you SOW”. Still lots to learn! :)

    @used tires: whole heartedly agree with holding off on having a family if one is not financially able to support having a child (voodoo and/or otherwise – ha ha). It has been said the cost of raising a child in Canada until the age of 18 is ONE MILLION dollars ($56,000/yr). Obviously one does not have children for financial gains (just as you don’t marry for money?), but to start a family, on purpose, without having proper means is completely irresponsible, not only for the you and your spouse, but for the child and for society at large.

    Having a child is probably the most important decision a couple can make and I certainly would not want to bring a child into an already harsh world, further hampered by inadequate financial security. That would be incredibly selfish (and rude!).

    I know I’m going to take a big slap of criticism for this but…that’s reality.

    p.s. — big expensive weddings are also hugely selfish and inane.

  • shmuckademus April 12, 2010, 6:26 pm

    @FMB: “It has been said the cost of raising a child in Canada until the age of 18 is ONE MILLION dollars ($56,000/yr).”

    Hold on that doesn’t compute. There’s no way that can be true. As plenty of families live on way less than that and aren’t taking hand outs either. I read the number in the U.S. was 300k until the age of 18, so how could it be 1 million in Canada?

    Also I’d like to add this general comment that I can understand in today’s “independence” obsessed culture how children can be seen solely as a “cost”, but they can also be viewed as an investment.

  • Kathryn April 12, 2010, 10:45 pm

    Well said shmuckademus.

  • Future Money-Bags April 13, 2010, 7:27 am

    @scott: I may be young, but I don’t live at home ( I simply have cheap rent and watch what I spend; if this is what you were referring to :) )

    And I don’t believe the $1million for 1 second, it takes many people a lifetime (20+ years) to even have ‘earned’ 1million, nevermind have it in cash. Seeing as I was raised on much less and have lived on much less my entire life, and I will continue to do so.

  • Financial Coach April 13, 2010, 10:49 am

    As a Financial Coach, I see many people that truly have a fear of money. What I’ve come to determine is that although the fear is real, it’s definitely an exageration of the true picture. For the majority of clients that I work with overcoming the fear of money happens when they are able to understand and see a financial snapshot of their current situation. When a client is told “it’s not as bad as you think” and you show them what they must do to improve their situation, the joy they experience from overcoming that fear is what motivates me to continue doing what I do.

  • cannon_fodder April 23, 2010, 12:42 pm

    I read Sarlock’s first post and thought I found my long lost brother that I never knew existed. My wife falls more into the fearful camp but I know that if I weren’t competent taking care of our finances, especially investing, she would take a more active approach.

    We’ve discussed what would happen if I should die and we are lucky that a very good friend of ours would step in and offer professional advice that would be in my wife’s best interest.

    I can’t explain why my sister and I turned out so differently except that my parents split up when I was 12 and she was 8. I seemed to have inherently adopted a love for money while it is only now, more than 30 years later, my sister is facing her ignorance.

  • WittyArtist May 19, 2011, 8:35 am

    You’ve made a point here. I sometimes have money issues and it may be related to the fact I didn’t like math at all; and I think it’s some kind of placebo effect.

    I’ve also heard many people saying they would do anything but for involving in activities related to money. Then they wonder why they don’t have more money. It’s simple: if you run from money, it won’t come to you either. And to overcome that fear you just have to confront it face to face and see it can’t harm you.

  • David August 9, 2011, 8:30 pm

    My partner and I keep track of our numbers. We set aside 20% of our monthly income for saving. And on months where we do exceptionally well – we add more to savings.

    However, we still face a very paralyzing fear of money.

    But I think it’s not so much money, as what it symbolizes. The truth is, no one can be certain about their financial future. Wars, economic meltdowns, etc. are always a possibility, and can always have an extremely negative affect on money.

    Before World War II, Germany was at the top of the world. After, it was a mess – physically, financially, and in many other ways too.

    So money isn’t the issue here, at least for me. It’s fear of the unknown aspect of the future.

    The future is so uncertain. It can turn out amazingly wonderful, or painful. You never know.

    I believe for a lot of us, the fear of money is just a tangible way of expressing this fear of the future. Every time we spend, we sub-consciously think no more money is coming in. We think now I’m going to be broke. Now I’m going to lose it all. I shouldn’t have done that.

    For others, it may be different, but I know this is my experience.

    So far, this is what I’ve done to combat it:

    – Acknowledge my lack of control over the future
    – Acknowledge my fear, and all of the feelings it brings up
    – Talk about these feelings & fears with loved ones who are supportive, and empathic – but will be honest & blunt with me
    – Create thought experiments where my worst fears about money come true. Then, I play these experiments out in my mind.

    Through these thought experiments, I realized that:

    1. My family would not let me go homeless.
    2. I don’t really need money to survive. Just a good-enough roof over my head, and fertile soil to plant seeds.
    3. There are many avenues for making money. If all of mine dried up, I could find others.
    4. I’m safe. Because all of the above are true, money isn’t what determines my safety. I am just safe.

    I don’t feel it’s my fate to be left destitute. In fact, I feel a very different future for myself. But in order to embrace this future, and embrace how blessed my life is right now, I need to work through this fear.

    The more that I work through it, it seems the more my life opens up in wonderful, beautiful, mysterious ways. And through all of the intense, scary, difficult work I’ve done in gaining awareness & healing on this issue, I feel more connected to myself, my loved ones, and all of life.

    David

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