scorecardresearchDifferent stages of our special relationship with money

Different stages of our special relationship with money

Updated: 15 Jun 2022, 08:05 AM IST
TL;DR.
Money tends to magnify our inherent state of mind. One’s existing relationship with money could broadly be classified, for most humans, through one of the following dominant perspectives:
Money tends to magnify our inherent state of mind. One can be happy with money or one can be wretched with it.

Money tends to magnify our inherent state of mind. One can be happy with money or one can be wretched with it.

We all have our special equation with money which crystallised over the years. Our childhood experiences, our needs, our aspirations, our character, our moral fibre, views and perspectives of various influencers around us, circumstantial learning, etc., give shape to our individual equilibrium with money. Each of us has a unique, evolving and dynamic relationship with money. It metamorphoses with time, for better or worse.

Money tends to magnify our inherent state of mind. One can be happy with money or one can be wretched with it. One can treat it like bondage or one can use it as a liberating force. Gianni Versace outlines his balance with money as “I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it to buy my freedom.”

READ MORE: Managing money starts with your emotions

The age-old adage of the equivalence between time and money is explained very well by Christopher Rice, “Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each.” All of us are born equals. How well each of us invests our time (and therefore money, in interchangeable terms) is what eventually distinguishes one individual from another. Along these lines, I strongly believe in the following quote by Billy Graham,- “If a person gets his attitude towards money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.”

One’s existing relationship with money could broadly be classified, for most humans, through one of the following dominant perspectives:

Quick-fix

  • Money is a remedy for reaching instant gratification- the unrequired (40th one) T-shirt which looks great, the hot pair of heels, the attractive watch, eating out often, the latest smartphone etc.,
  • Life is being lived king-size today.
  • Balance between instant gratification and delayed gratification is yet to be struck, for these people.
  • This could either be owing to a lack of understanding (on what overspending could lead to) or, there may be no imminent reason to be concerned about the paucity of money.
  • These people are most likely to be stuck in the rut and would keep running the rat race.
  • He who buys what he does not need, steals from his future.

Power

  • Money is power in its most liquid form. It is a mechanism to control.
  • It is one of the simplest and most well-understood tools for getting one’s way around. It confers an equal power to all its owners irrespective of their origin, caste or religion.
  • As is said - “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, the possessors of such wealth have either earned it through easy ways (read wrong) or, are second or third generation recipients of huge wealth.
  • More often than not, the owners of such power use it as a crushing force for one’s whims, not as liberating energy to initiate favourable change.
  • Qunitilan says is apt, “Nothing is more dangerous to men than a sudden change of fortune.”

“Well, I guess in all honesty I would have to say that I never knew nor did I hear of anybody that money didn’t change.”– Cornac McCarthy

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Convenience

  • Money is a medium to live comfortably.
  • It is needed to shoulder one’s responsibilities, realise one’s goals, reach one’s aspirations and achieve one’s dreams.
  • They respect money as they have earned it the hard way.
  • Realisation is that money is hard to earn and easy to lose, so it is guarded with utmost care.
  • An equilibrium seems to be beautifully struck between today’s wants and tomorrow’s needs.
  • It is well understood that if one lives for having all, he’ll never have enough

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”– Warren Buffet

“You can be young without money, but you can’t be old without it.”– Tennessee Williams

Freedom

  • Money is a liberating force.
  • It provides a means to sort out various problems and provides time and freedom of addressing the ones that money cannot solve.
  • Under normal circumstances, money can be directly correlated to freedom.
  • It allows one to invest his time and energies in one’s passion without having to look over one’s shoulders for future inflows.
  • It means having the time to do what you want and when you want.
  • Freedom does not come when you have great possessions but when you have limited wants.

“There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else.”– Oscar Wilde

READ MORE: The hidden mystery behind - How to make your money work for you?

Philanthropy

  • The purpose of these people blessed with money is to help the have-nots
  • They believe that money and fortune lie in ideas.
  • Wealth flows from vision, passion and action. The origin of all riches is in the mind.
  • To them while money means pride of accomplishment, it can only be made long-lasting by spreading this treasure of wealth around, for the benefit of those not born with enough needed for a dignified existence.
  • Names of Narayan Murthy and Bill Gates instantly come to one’s mind. They are a few of the world’s biggest philanthropists (besides being a few of the world’s wealthiest guys) and are reticent about their various charity initiatives.

“It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.”– Gloria Steinem

Exhibition

  • ‘Have money-will show’ seems to be the mantra
  • It is thought that one’s ‘arrival’ in life has to be announced loudly through an ostentatious display of wealth through its material trappings.
  • Since others’ opinions about them drive their behaviour, they are insecure about themselves and suffer from low self-worth.
  • Money is never enough and there’s insatiable greed to acquire more.

“Money doesn’t talk but it swears.” – Bob Dylan

Deepali Sen is founder partner of Srujan Financial Services LLP (a Mutual Fund Distributor) and author of ‘Why Greed is Great!’

Article
Key lessons from 'The Psychology of Money'. 
First Published: 15 Jun 2022, 08:05 AM IST