LIFE GOES ON: The Psychology of Money

The Psychology of Money

Money = Freedom

Money = Power

Money = Control

Money = Workaholic Behavior

Money = Fear of Loss

 Money can mean all of these things.

The Law of Scarcity says, “If you have something, I can’t since there is not enough to go around. “ At times, this is true.

During WW2, the Depression caused hunger, joblessness, fear, and worry.

Bread lines, little gasoline, search for scrap metal.

The Law of Abundance says, “We can have what we need because there is more than enough for us all. “ I cheer your success because I may be next.”

This is a time for scarcity for many. The rate of employment seems to be rising, but not knowing when a time of abundance will return makes it difficult to hold onto hope.

At times like these, we need to reassess our relationship with money.

Years ago, I had a patient who was raised in severe poverty. When he saw television shows depicting families in houses having dinner together, he thought it was just fiction. One day, a man took him for a ride and showed him the suburbs. He couldn’t believe it existed.  He vowed at that moment to get an education, move out of the projects, and work hard to make lots of money.

This is not a happy story. He made lots of money. He bought a house, had beautiful furnishings. He showed me photos of his 2 boats and all of his technological toys. He also bragged that he had a huge savings account. His possessions and $ gave him a feeling of security he had never known before.

BUT, he had no personal life. He worked and worked and worked to maintain and obtain more possessions. He didn’t have time for people or fun or relaxation or vacations. He had everything and yet he had nothing.

 Assess your relationship with money, and decide to choose balance.


Kathleen Cairns, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in West Hartford, Connecticut. She works with adults, adolescents, and couples. You may call her at 860-236-5555 to make an appointment. She is the author of “The Psychotherapy Workbook.”  You may email her at and she will try to answer as many of your questions as possible.

Life goes on… and every day matters…

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