According to a study by researchers at Kansas State University and published in the Journal of Financial Therapy there are four money belief patterns that may have a negative impact on our financial health:

1. Money Avoidance

Money avoiders tend to believe money is bad, or that they do not deserve money. They are fearful about money, using credit cards, or overdrawing their bank account. They may avoid spending money on even reasonable purchases, which can sabotage their financial success. Or, they may spend unconsciously or give money away to reduce the amount of money within their control. They are also more likely to carry revolving debt.

2. Money Worship

Money worshippers believe money will make things better… that more money will solve all of their problems, despite the fact there is plenty of research suggesting this is not true. Money worshippers are prone to compulsive hoarding, risk-taking, gambling, workaholism, overspending, and compulsive buying disorder.

3. Money Status

Individuals falling in the Money Status camp believe there is an association between self-worth and net-worth. They may become competitive, seeking to acquire more than others, finding themselves constantly trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” Research has shown that those who are over-concerned with financial success and material possessions have lower ratings of well-being, self-actualization, vitality, and happiness. And, they have higher levels of anxiety and physical symptoms.

4. Money Vigilance

Money vigilance is associated with a deep source of shame and secrecy around money. Those whose belief patterns center on money vigilance may lie to their spouses or partners about spending, and they may develop financial behaviors that are unhealthy for their financial future. They have concerns about money and may be fearful of pending financial trouble or danger. While this attitude may encourage saving and frugality, it may also prevent them from enjoying the benefits and sense of security that money can provide.

These money belief systems are often learned in childhood and they impact the way we think about and relate to money as adults. And as we know, money is a common source of conflict in relationships, and even divorce.

The study also reports that “[People] have become so indoctrinated with the idea that having money is important, that they no longer question why. They are unaware that perhaps what they are truly seeking is an increase in self-respect, or security, or freedom, or love, or power.”

Can you relate to any of these money belief patterns?

Do you see yourself, or someone close to you, in any of these descriptions? Remember, awareness is the first step in making a change. If you identify with one of these belief patterns and it's having a negative impact on your life, or relationship, you can take steps to change your attitudes about money.

Author's Bio: 

After spending 25 years in the marketing industry, Debbie LaChusa became so frustrated with its "be more, do more, have more" mentality that she began speaking out about it. She wrote a book entitled "Breaking the Spell: The Truth about Money, Success, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and created the Money Success Happiness blog all in an effort to help others learn how to stop chasing money, success, and happiness and instead discover the true path to a happy, healthy, wealthy life. To read the first chapter of "Breaking the Spell" for free, visit