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4 Reasons You are Falling Behind with Money - And How to Reverse the Trend: Part 4 of 4

Reason 4: You have an unhealthy relationship with money

In Part 3 we talked about how the most important investment you can make in your wealth journey is in yourself. It’s about skills and mindset. In this last part of the series I am going to take this a step further on the mindset side.

What are your beliefs about money?

Money corrupts.

It can rot your soul.

It can change you.

The only way to be really wealthy is to be unethical.

You maybe have heard these or other similar sentiments growing up.

Maybe you even believe them.

How about this quote from the New Testament:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil…”1 Timothy 6:10

Sound familiar?

It is not the only time that riches or wealth is addressed in a negative light in religious or philosophical texts.

I misunderstood this scripture for most of my life. I have found that I am not alone.

Somehow it has twisted into something with a completely different meaning:

Money is the root of all evil.

But money isn’t evil, the love of money is.

Loving or worshiping money is not good. But money itself is neutral.

It is neither inherently good or evil. It can be a means to both.

Money is a tool.

It’s an amplifier.

It amplifies who you are.

If you are naturally a selfish person, then your money will amplify that and give you more resources with which to be incredibly selfish.

If you are naturally a selfless person, it will give you more resources with which to be selfless.

This is one way that we look at money that affects us negatively. There are more.

In fact, there is a lot of research on how our psychology affects our money decisions.

Enter Money Scripts

Dr. Brad Klontz

What the heck are money scripts?

According to research done by Dr. Brad Klontz, founder of the Financial Psychology Institute, there are primarily four money scripts that we have learned from our parents and those we associated with growing up.

These money scripts are:

  1. Money Avoidance

  2. Money Worship

  3. Money Status

  4. Money Vigilance

Based on his research, these money scripts are beliefs we hold on the subconscious level and they are responsible for our financial outcomes.These scripts can limit our potential or even sabotage what we have.

So what do they mean?

Money Avoidance

This is where you really want to avoid thinking about money.

Where you just want to sweep it under the rug and pretend all is well.

You probably feel tremendous anxiety just thinking about looking at the bank account. It is easier to just not worry about it.

That anxiety about your current or future situation compels you to put your head in the sand and hope it works out.

You also believe that there is virtue in having less money than others and that rich people are greedy or corrupt.

Money Worship

If you have this money script, you believe that money is the answer to all your problems.

Everything wrong in your life would be improve or be fixed with money.

You also believe that you can never have enough money and continue to focus on accumulating more and more.

You also probably spend money to feel better.

You think that spending money and buying things will bring you happiness, but it is never enough.

Money Status

This is the belief that your wealth displays your status.

You are likely to buy the newest and best of everything, even when you can’t afford it.

If you have more money, you have a higher status in society, so you prioritize spending in ways that increase your status level among peers.

The new house.

The new car.

The fancy watch.

The more your possessions exude wealth, the more wealthy you feel.

Money Vigilance

This is where you are extremely vigilant about your money.

You believe that a penny saved is a penny earned.

You prioritize savings over spending.

You tend to be anxious about the uncertain future, and that inspires you to prepare for the future.

You belief that people should work for what they get.

You are very frugal.

You may have a hard time spending any money on yourself or loved ones.

Dr. Klontz has an assessment on his website that shows you what your money scripts are. Check it out here.

In it he goes more in depth about what those money scripts mean for you and some tips to become aware of and address those subconscious beliefs.

So, what do you do about this?

Set aside some time for some self-reflection.

Dr. Klontz recommends grabbing your journal and writing down the answers to the following questions:

  • What are 3 lessons I learned from my mother and father about money?

  • What is my earliest memory involving money?

  • Was it positive or negative?

  • What is my most painful memory with money?

  • What is my most joyful?

Once you’ve explored these questions, and identified your money scripts, ask yourself:

  • Have these things helped me or hurt me?

  • How can I change these beliefs to serve me better?

As with most problems in our life, self-awareness is key.

It is the golden goose and one of the secrets of the wealthy and successful.

If you are constantly evaluating yourself and maintain a state of self-awareness, you will be able to anticipate problems and strategically plan to overcome them.

Fix your relationship with money

Study your subconscious beliefs. Ponder them. Reflect on how money makes you feel. If you make a mistake with your money, don’t worry about it.

We have all made mistakes and felt shame about doing something stupid.

But don’t let that shame last, because it will keep you stuck.

Realize that you are not perfect and nobody is. Everybody makes mistakes with money.

It’s okay.

The best part is that you are aware of it now.

When you are aware of it, you can take action to overcome it.

Fixing your relationship with money is foundational to making progress towards your wealth goals.

Change your mindset, change your life.

Have specific money questions?

I love hearing from my readers about their money questions and problems. Let me know what you need help with and I’ll create content to answer your questions.

Let me know here!


Dave Lowell is a financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional that has advised everybody from college students to multi-millionaires. He recently left the investment management industry to hone his focus on financial planning and education, especially to those that can’t get financial advice elsewhere. He believes that money is only a tool to help you live a fulfilled life and specializes in helping individuals create a strategy and framework for their wealth that supports the life they want to live. He does this through a combination of education and one on one coaching. Dave loves learning languages and traveling with his family. To learn more visit

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