Global News with Tracey Bissett 22 October 2019
It’s not uncommon to have a complicated relationship with money. Some people love to save, and others love to spend.
But for some, it’s more complex, and spending money can lead to a vicious cycle of self-destructive behaviour.
In the book Mind Over Money, co-author Brad Klontz calls such behaviours “money disorders.” He’s an associate professor of practice in financial psychology at Creighton University in Nebraska.
Money disorders are defined as “distorted beliefs about money we develop from our financial flashpoint experiences,” Klontz previously wrote in an article for Psychology Today in 2010.
“Financial flashpoints are painful, distressing, and/or dramatic life events associated with money that are so emotionally powerful, they leave a lasting imprint.”
Klontz outlines three main kinds of money disorders: money avoidance (including financial denial and rejection), money worshipping (like compulsive buying) and relational money (such as hiding spending from your partner, also known as financial infidelity).
It’s more than just being “bad with money,” Klontz said in an interview with Huffpost U.S. in April.
Money disorders don’t currently appear as legitimate clinical diagnoses in the “most widely-used medical classifications of diseases and medical disorders in Canada,” said registered psychologist Melanie Badali. Namely, that’s the DSM and the ICD.
However, experts like registered psychotherapist Jupiter Vaughan see how there could be a connection between past experiences, learned behaviour and spending patterns.
He once had a client who was responsible for financially supporting their parents as a teenager, and it shaped the way the client felt about money as an adult.
As an adult, the client had trouble accepting gifts from others. “They were more comfortable with the opposite … with buying things for other people,” he said.