Psychology of Money
Why has money come under such scrutiny lately? If anybody watches Billions on Showtime, you may remember Bobby Axelrod saying “When did it become a crime to succeed in this country?”
It seems that the more money somebody has, the more that person is regarded as “evil” or “corrupt”. We have all heard the saying “Money is the root of all evil”.
But is it really? Let’s delve into this idea and see if we can uncover a hidden psychology that presents itself when money is the topic of conversation.
I have heard people say things about rich people like “all they think about is money”.
Is that true? So somebody who has a lot of money is only thinking about money?
People who don’t have money think about money. They make their decisions based on money.
To break this down even more, let’s remove money from this idea and replace it with health.
This is the equivalent of saying that an extremely healthy person only thinks about their injured back. There is no point to thinking about something that you have plenty of.
If you had 500lbs of a non-perishable food source, would that food source take up any of your time for thought?
No, it wouldnt. So why would somebody with money think about it all the time?
There are statistics that also say that money is the number 1 stress causer in America. Well, if you have a bunch of money, are you extremely stressed out over money?
Probably not. If you don’t have enough money to pay your rent/mortgage, all your utilities, car payment, for groceries, and a little entertainment, then stress is probably a regular experience for you.
But THAT stress is caused by a LACK of money, not money itself. So those statistics should read “Lack of money is the number 1 stress causer in America”
“Money is the root of all evil”. This one is my favorite. People think money is either evil, or causes evil.
This is actually somewhat biblical and was taken highly out of context. This saying stems from the King James Version of the Bible.
This was a translation of the Bible that was authorized by King James I of England in 1604 and is still referred to very often. The original text reads as follows:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
So LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Not money.
Money can not to good nor evil, it is the desire and willingness to do anything for that money that causes evil.
This also leads to the thought that money corrupts people. I do not believe this, and I may be wrong, I am only human, but it is my belief, that money only exaggerates who you already are.
If you are an evil person, and you acquire a large amount of money, your evil will be more obvious and apparent in your thoughts, words, and actions. If you are a good person, the effect money has on you will only amplify your good deeds and thoughts.
Being convinced, and continually thinking that money is the root of evil, or that it makes you a bad person, creates a terrible psychological barrier that is difficult to identify and overcome. Most people do not want to be evil, I think that is a fair judgement of the world’s population.
So if people do not want to be evil, and there is a belief that money will make you evil, or is evil itself, it only makes sense to rid yourself of the cause of evil.
So we shop. We consume. Not only do we spend money, we have created such a negative perception of money, that we now go into a negative amount of money called DEBT.
We owe money on our homes, on our cars, on our credit cards etc. So if we have NO money,
and actually OWE money to the evil people that have big homes and nice cars and send their kids to Ivy league schools in cash, then we most certainly could not be evil ourselves, right?
There are an unimaginable number of people who live well above the poverty line, some who even make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and have nothing to show for it.
This is because something happened to them, or they developed a negative opinion of money because of something in their life that they didn’t understand.
Maybe it was their parents arguing about money in front of them. Maybe it was because they were always told “Money is the root of all evil”.
Maybe it was because they never got to spend time with their parents because they were constantly working to provide for their families because their salary or wage was too low to not work overtime.
Have bad things been done with or for money? Yes. Those things are often highly reported, or publicized, or thrown in the face of the public. Are good things done with or for money?
Yes. Do you see those things being reported or publicized as often as the negatives? Not even close.
Business normally does not work if it is not a win-win situation for the business and it’s customers. Capitalism works because people have something, or can do something, that someone needs done.
There is a value placed on that need, and when that service, or product is desired, money is the payment for it. If it were not for money, the payment would come in a form of another service or product.
Somebody would mow your lawn and ask for your particular service as payment. Let’s say you can do manicures and pedicures. So the only way you would be able to acquire a service or product that somebody else provides, would be if they wanted a manicure and pedicure.
This is problematic if you need something like toilet paper, but no toilet paper providers want a manicure or pedicure.
So a type of universal currency is required to allow people to sell their skill or product to those who want/need it, but you do not need their product or service in return.
Money has created a simple way to universally reward people for whatever skill or product they bring to the table. So if you want more money, and do not want to be evil, develop more valuable skills, products, or ideas.
This is not me saying that Capitalism is a great and amazing system. It has it’s flaws, just like everything else in the universe. But the perceptions we as individuals create about what makes up our world, help to create our own environments.
I would bet a lot of money, that if you think money is evil, and a terrible thing to have, then you probably have very little of it.
I am no psychiatrist, but I have been involved with investing, entrepreneurial enterprises and business creation, all of which are associated with the accumulation of large sums of money in a short amount of time, relative to the normal routes of acquiring what most call “riches”.
The people that I have encountered have a very different mindset than your average 9-5 worker, pessimistic complainers, or people who are protesting for income inequality / minimum wage hikes and other popular topics in the less affluent circles.
People in these less wealthy categories will always tell you money is a bad thing, or that it is evil, or that “It’s not about the money”.
Then, when that rhetoric dies down they will continue to fight for redistribution of wealth, or elimination of loans, or for this to be free, and that to be less expensive, ultimately discrediting their original opinions of money.
They find it so important, that they skip work or school to attend a protest and hold a sign saying something along the lines of “We want more money”
So let’s try to step away from this whole idea that money is a bad thing.
“People used to want to be the guy in the limousine, now they just throw eggs at it”
If you throw eggs at the guy in the limousine, there is a pretty good chance you wont ever be the guy in the limousine. You will probably be driving it for him.
Sienna - February 5, 2016 at 5:34 am
I agree with you! Money itself isn’t evil, but it’s the greed that people have in trying to acquire money. We can’t run away from the fact that we do need money to survive in this world, but we shouldn’t go all out to achieve this goal at the expense of other just as important things in our lives.
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 5:37 am
Yes beautifully said Sienna your absolutely right. Like one of my mentors Jim Rohn always says money isn’t everything but it ranks right up their with oxygen lol. How can money ever be evil if we can only earn it by adding some sort of value to someone. So many chase money and thats why they will run forever. When we realize we earn money by adding value through solving problems We attract abundance. Stay blessed come back soon We look forward to working with you
Ashley - February 7, 2016 at 11:44 pm
Beautifully put, Brian!
Brian - February 7, 2016 at 11:48 pm
Thanks Ashlie Great to see you in our community. Look forward to working with you on your HUGE Dreams.
Arief - February 5, 2016 at 5:52 am
That is correct. It is the love of money, not the money itself.
It is the same thing with my love to my daughter. I will do anything for her (of course the good one).
People who love money will do anything for money. Even crime.
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 6:01 am
Yes your right. See that is a misunderstanding of what money is. Money represents value. Why would you give someone your value? Anyone who would commit crime to get money just doesn’t understand how money actually works. Those that understand how wealth is created would never wrong a soul. Its like tripping over dollars to pick up pennies. thanks for stopping by look forward to adding value to you and see those big dreams of yours come to life.
Sundar - February 5, 2016 at 5:52 am
As you said we all need money but it show not become the ultimate one. If we choose money over everything then there comes all the problems in our life. We can buy anything with money but cannot live a contended life unless we have good minded people around us.
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 5:59 am
Yes exactly. When we have good minded people around us we most likely have a lot of money too. Its fascinating how living a truly good life leads to abundance. So glad to see you back again in our community look forward to working with you.
Mr Pianoforte - February 5, 2016 at 6:32 am
Love the article, thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I believe the information here is accurate regarding people’s opinion on money.
I especially find the part where ‘good things are done with money not being advertised’ interesting compared to those who have done ‘evil things’ to obtain money. Great post, keep it up 🙂
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 6:34 am
Thanks for your feedback glad that you got value from our content. Look forward to working with you.
RuthM - February 5, 2016 at 6:32 am
This is such an interesting article. You have raised some great questions, and I love the analogy between health and money. It makes total sense.
I never knew where the saying came from, so it’s all about the love of money. That makes more sense. People, rich or poor, who are obsessed with money are the ones that might use money for evil. But evil is a strong word. Thank you for your article, good stuff
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 6:33 am
Glad you enjoyed it ruth Thanks for stopping by look forward to seeing you around
Sarah - February 5, 2016 at 7:41 am
Great post! Too often people say that money is the root of all evil when in actuality it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. When you are greedy and you allow money to consume you to the point that you will do anything, say anything and crush anyone to get it, that’s when the dark side of money reveals itself. It’s not the thing, it’s the person.
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 8:18 am
Exactly great points thanks for stopping by look forward to seeing you around
miguelwu2016 - February 5, 2016 at 8:39 am
Enjoy reading your article, that is basically correct about how money affects our lives positively and negatively. Everyone love money, they would do whatever they can do for money.its just like people who would do anything for survival when they have been cornered. Even they will do something unacceptable.
Like you said, money sometimes could be harmful for us.
Hope all people can earn money for good things.
Brian - February 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm
Thanks for your feedback yes all people that actually understand money would only add value to people in order to gain compensation. Stay blessed
Nate Stone - February 5, 2016 at 11:27 am
This a really insightful post, I completely agree with you that people don’t fundamentally change due to excess or lack of money. They are who they are and the financial scenario highlights this in one direction or another.
In my opinion being able to earn & create wealth is a good thing especially if you can put it to good use, the funniest thing a lot of these people criticizing the wealthy would be without employment etc. if it wasn’t for those wealthy people that they criticize.
Brian - February 6, 2016 at 4:26 am
Your absolutely right thanks for stoping by really appreciate your feedback Mike definitely knocked this one out of the park. Stay tuned for many more articles from him as well. We look forward to working with you.
Roger A Ford - March 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm
Lots and lots and lots packed into this site!
I find the webpage itself a bit overwhelming, there is just so much going on there. But it is striking and beautifully laid out. I love whatever that structure is on the top! Wow!
Once I started reading, things were much cleaner and clearer. Your writing style is direct and informative. Very nicely done.
I like how you put the images in to break up the text. I would also like to have the text use “headings” to make the categories clearer. In WordPress, you can selected “Heading 1” etc. to create a different look.
But your text is amazing, the images are eye popping.
I wish you nothing but the very best and financial freedom!
Oh, and as a religion major, I REALLY liked how you pointed out the misuse of “Money is the root of all evil.”
I believe it should be:
â€œFor the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” As per the apostle Paul.
Anna - May 30, 2016 at 3:25 am
I enjoyed your article very much!
I completely agree with you, it’s not the money doing bad things, it’s the person doing it. A person’s character is what determines their actions, not the money they have or don’t have.
There are many people who are very wealthy who spend millions of dollars on charities that are close to their hearts. They don’t advertise it because they have no need to do so.
They don’t want recognition, they just want to improve the lives of people who need help. They know they are fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to help them.
In these cases, the money is doing wonderful things and is the exact opposite of evil!
Hilton - June 21, 2016 at 2:37 am
Yes, I’ve often thought about this myself, whether money itself is evil, or just the person who has it or wants to have it. It’s like wondering whether or not a knife or a gun is evil, or if it’s just the person who’s possessing it.
However, the perception that rich people are evil or apathetic or selfish is very prominent in society, and it’s often played out in movies and TV. In storylines where there are characters of different socioeconomic groups, it’s often the case where the poor people are portrayed as saints or more trustworthy, whereas the richer people are the villains or seem as out-of-touch.
I don’t know how true any of this is, since I don’t know or socialize with any people who are mega-rich, but I often wonder if they have a different psychology or mindset compared to other people, and what that’s really like as opposed to what’s fictional.
Brian Klock - June 21, 2016 at 2:37 am
Yes Hilton it is or philosophy not the economy that determines our financial quality
Jagi - August 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm
Money itself is a piece paper, but once a connection of human energy is made with it, that’s when it becomes a force of good or evil. People who having a lack of mindset have been rooted to believe money is evil, so it always alludes them. Those who believe money is way for them to live a life of comfort have a sense of being secure around money. Great article.
Rachel - March 24, 2017 at 12:13 am
Great post! I find the psychology of money intriguing and you’ve discussed some really interesting aspects of it. When I was growing up my parents each worked 2 jobs for a while so they could get ahead in life and they purchased a tiny holiday cottage where we spent most weekends. When their friends visited they always said we were ‘so lucky’ to have the cottage and it really annoyed me when I was young because I saw the long hours that my parents worked. Over time it’s turned into a family joke! People don’t want to know about the effort behind the results and they dismiss the results as luck because then it’s not their fault that they don’t have the same results!
I’d like to see education in schools about money, teaching kids about good and bad debt and setting goals. Overcoming some of the money myths will be tough but oh, so worth it if they can learn that luck has very little to do with financial success!
Mike - March 24, 2017 at 12:13 am
WOW I LOVE YOUR STORY I can so relate thank you for sharing.Definitley thank you Rachel we are actually in the process of creating a school just like that it is at Freedom.College