7 Unhealthy Signs of Obsession with Money

Unhealthy Signs of Obsession with Money

There are many reasons why money has inspired so many proverbs and clichés. Money does make the world go round. You need it to buy necessities to survive. And, it allows us to buy other things that make life more comfortable and convenient. However, people’s greed has given strong evidence that it may be the root of all evil. Sometimes the desire for money can negatively affect your life and relationships. When it becomes the primary focus in your life, it could lead to obsession. If you show these 7 unhealthy signs of obsession with money, you may need to rethink your priorities.

7 Unhealthy Signs of Obsession with Money

1. It’s all you talk about.

Is money the topic of every conversation you have?  Does every discussion circle back to it: what to do with it, how to make more money, and where to invest it? While money is important, it shouldn’t be your only motivating factor. There is more to life than your net worth. So, if it’s the only thing you talk about, this is one of the unhealthy signs of obsession with money.

Although I enjoy discussing finance, I don’t want money to consume my life. Many people are sensitive to these topics, and most prefer not to discuss them at all.  Therefore, it’s better to have diverse interests and other things you are passionate about as well. Otherwise, if money is the only thing on your mind, it could alienate people or cause them to avoid you altogether.

2. It’s all you think about.

On that same train of thought, thinking about money all the time is another sign that you are heading toward obsession. If it’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up, or you find yourself planning your entire schedule around trades and timing the market, you may have a problem. The desire to keep tabs on your account balances and stock tickers can quickly turn into an unhealthy compulsion. For those who think about money every moment of the day, you may want to consider speaking with a mental health expert to regain control.

3. You sacrifice important things for money.

Sayings like “time is money” or “health is wealth”  show how highly our society values money. Those who internalize these beliefs view everything in terms of money. And, they are often willing to sacrifice important things to earn more of it.

For many, it starts with missed events and family moments. Then, it eventually leads to lost friends, family, physical and mental health, morals, and sense of self in the pursuit of money. It can become an obsession before you realize it. While financial security is important, you shouldn’t be giving up what matters most to you to get rich.

4. You jump at every opportunity that comes your way.

In the last few years, I have become a much more active and hands-on investor. However, I don’t buy into the hype or throw money at an investment opportunity without evaluating it first. I do my due diligence and try to decide which opportunities look the most promising.  Investing in new things is good for your portfolio. But, you don’t want to jump at each one that comes your way. Impulsive and uninformed decisions have led to many regrets and huge financial losses.

5. There is a constant comparison between your finances and who you aspire to be.

There are many smart investors who should be admired for their business sense and success. But, fixating on money and constantly comparing your finances to other people is one of the unhealthy signs of obsession with money. In addition to setting unrealistic goals, it also creates anxiety and self-induced stress as you worry about keeping pace or that you aren’t gaining fast enough.

Remember that there will always be someone out there who is more successful and better than you.  However, success is not determined by your financial gains, but by the sum of all your achievements. Instead, compare yourself to who you were and where you are now. That’s the only progress that truly matters.

6. You save every cent.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have passed on doing things or purchasing items I wanted because of the price. Sometimes, it was because I was on a limited budget and had to count my pennies. Other times, it was because I felt an instinctual need to save. While this trait has been very helpful in helping me build my savings, I often tried to account for every cent or denied myself things to save money.

However, as I often tell myself, there is no reason to take it to such extremes. And, that I’m allowed to spend some of the money I earn. When the guilt returns, I remind myself that I work hard and deserve to spend some on things I enjoy.

7. You always want more.

It’s natural to want more money. Whether to pay bills or simply treat yourself, I doubt anyone would turn down an opportunity to make more. However, when ambition turns into a need, it’s another of the unhealthy signs of obsession with money. People with this mindset are always looking for what’s next instead of appreciating what they already have.

Some would argue that this is probably the most serious sign of obsession. There is no end to the desire because you will never have enough.  It’s an endless cycle from which you can never be satisfied. To find fulfillment, you have to change your perspective and view money not as the end goal, but as the tool to help you achieve them.

What to Do if You Have Unhealthy Signs of Obsession with Money

If you think you may have a problem with money, ask yourself “why is it so important?” While it can buy you many things, long-term happiness shouldn’t depend on money alone. So, if you feel yourself veering into obsession or think you are showing signs of a money disorder, seek a professional opinion.

It’s perfectly natural to want more material things in life, but it shouldn’t detract from your mental or physical well-being. It’s also important to stop and enjoy the free things life gives you, not just money. Time is worth more than money, so make sure you spend both wisely.

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