Signs you have unhealthy Relationship with Money

relationship with money

Relationship with Money? I do not understand. What does that Mean? Amit was looking bit perplexed when I asked about his.  

Let me explain Amit. See, you have many relations in your life. Friend, Father, Son, Spouse, Employer, Employee, Colleague etc. The same way you are also related to your money in some way.

You may not be able to give that relationship a name, but how you treat your money defines your relationship with it. In fact, this will also reflect on what is the relationship of you with self.

Sounds Interesting…Tell me More. Amit looked curious to know.

Also, friends, just to briefly share, Amit in a way had asked me, about, the theme I have written My First Book On.

Yes, Dear Readers, I have written a Book in Collaboration with CNBC TV 18, the biggest Media house in the country. I hope it would be a good read for all.

We generally take our relations for granted and sometimes even ignore their wishes, expectations under our preconceived notions. And when the relationship is invisible as we have with money, we sometimes do not treat it that well too. But like every Relation demands some Care, Respect, Love, sometimes guidance, Counselling…and so does money.

Did you ever speak to money? I keep doing this. And she shares with me her doubts, apprehensions and even what she expects from me.

Sometimes she acts as a friend to me, and help me in my difficult times, sometimes it acts like my parents and says don’t worry son, I will take care of it. Sometimes I feel like a parent to her, and have to take care of her, take care of her health, her future, show her the path to grow, and take her to some financial doctor (Planner) if she is not feeling well, sometimes she is my spouse and we discuss how can we make our future more comfortable, happier.  

So, it’s all about how you treat her, she will reciprocate in the same way. This is the theme of Good Moneying too. When I say, be good with money, it means that only if you be good with her, she will reciprocate. But if you abuse her, don’t give love and care, take it for granted…then one day she will also treat you the same way.

Now today I would like to tell you some signs which should make you attentive towards her and aware that something is wrong where you may need help on.

1.You live Paycheck to Paycheck

Are you the one who always says, “paise bachte hi nahi hai”. Or “I earn well and also the family expenses are nominal still I don’t know where the money goes. Even if you start thinking of a new job after the 10th of every month, Your Relationship with your money seems to be not healthy.

You have to give respect to it. You have to show some care towards her. Tell her that you love her and would do every possible thing to save her. You have to be aware as to where she goes (Note down your expenses), is she in the bad company (Non-suitable insurance policies), why is she not listening to you (due to EMIs).

You should not use credit cards and consider it as a solution to all your money problems. This way again you are kind of taking away the growth years of money by spending it before even earning.

Talk to her, sit with her, take note of her problems as to why she does not like to stay with you. Why she always stays away from you. You have to watch your behaviour towards her. It may take time, but once you start understanding her, change your attitude, she will be back and start living with you again.

You have to take charge like a father and find out the exact problem, so to have a solution to it. Else, you should not expect her to give you a better future…as in “Budhape ki laathi”

2. You live frugally

There is a difference between spending wisely or living frugally. You deserve happiness. Your family expect somethings from you. Your money should give you happiness. You should be able to enjoy your money.

Living frugally sometimes tells you are being Overprotective towards your money. It also shows your fear of losing it. You have a problem with Sharing / Giving.

Giving not only in terms of Donating money only, but parting with it in form of Paying taxes, Paying Insurance Premiums (Health/Term) which will not give any return, even paying pocket money to kids…all this shows your fear. And Fear is not good for growth.

You have to look a bigger side to it. Spending in limits is not at all bad. After all, the purpose of savings also is just to spend the money in future. You should buy things that make you happy, you should travel with family, you should entertain yourself, it’s not bad pampering oneself.

You should not be wary of giving pocket money to kids or even buying them gifts but help them learn the importance of money, by guiding on how to make the best of it. You should not worry paying taxes but look at it as the way you are funding the government to do good for the society at large. Paying insurance is not spending, but providing for exigencies.

Being protective and careful is fine, but an excess of everything is bad. Saving and Investing are important for the future but Spending is also required for a happy present.

You should learn to say thank you when receiving it and Bless you while giving it.

3. You are a Big-time Saver

Please note that here I am telling about Saving and not Investing. If an excess of frugality is bad, then what you do with your money besides spending has also to be looked into.  Excess of saving is also bad.

Here again, you are polluting your Relationship with Money.

By saving high you are trying to shield your money from Market Vagaries as if the outer world is bad for your kid. This sometimes is due to the trust issue. You don’t trust the school(Institutions), Subject (products), you don’t trust the Teacher (Financial Planner), you don’t want to send her to Hostel (lock-in investments)…that’s why you prefer to keep your money in the bank and traditional deposits where you are happy seeing her in front of your eyes, even at the cost of her living a below-average life.

This could also be due to having low confidence in money management ability. Or Feeling bad about self or inferior than the outer world. This could be due to arrogance due to mistrust on others. Your every action has a feeling behind it, which came from your thoughts about self.

You should learn to trust. Then only you would be open enough to look out for opportunities to grow. You should let your money grow. Yes, you have to be vigilant towards it and some Savings / Protection is required (Emergency fund and Insurances), but post that she should be given Freehand to grow, though under Supervision of a Planner or you having a well-structured plan.

4. You like Investing a Lot

While High Saving is not good, sometimes more of investing is also Bad. When only one goal is in your mind, that is money’s growth, you tend to invest every surplus money in risky investments. You can easily be mis-sold by showing high returns, as with this mindset you do not consider risks.

You may not like keeping money in an emergency fund (Bank deposits, Liquid funds), in safe instruments like PPF, Sukanya Samriddhi etc., which is equally important to have along with investing for growth, in fact, these also participate in your money’s growth. It gives balance to your investment journey.

See, you just can’t keep pushing money to grow, that shows your over-ambitiousness towards it. Here you are not showing care towards it, but are taking it as an instrument to help you achieve something.

You may be seeing the whole world as a competitor, or you may want to win some race or want to prove something. With this mind again, you won’t be able to enjoy your money. You just want to keep your money running for you, even if you have already achieved your goals, and can be happy with what you have.


Financial wellness requires you to have a balance between your money and life. Managing Money is similar to managing life and the way you treat one shows how you treat the other.

Watch your feelings, Know the bigger purpose, look at your life holistically. Your Money is an important Relation and will do everything you expect her to, but first, you have to be good with her and give her all the love, care, growth which it expects from you.

Keep your emotions at bay and look at it objectively. And if you can’t then take some outside help. A Debt Counsellor or Financial Planners can be of help.


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