Money and Mind: Exploring the Psychology Behind Wealth

5 Minute Summary
3 min readOct 19, 2023


Money and Mind: Exploring the Psychology Behind Wealth | Shortcut Reads

The psychology of money is the study of how people think, feel and behave with money. It explores the emotional, cognitive and social factors that influence our financial decisions and habits.

Money is not just a medium of exchange or a store of value. It is also a powerful symbol that affects our identity, self-esteem, relationships, happiness and well-being. Money can evoke a range of emotions, such as joy, fear, anger, envy, guilt, shame and gratitude. Money can also trigger various biases, such as overconfidence, loss aversion, anchoring, framing and mental accounting.

The psychology of money can help us understand why we sometimes make irrational or suboptimal choices with our money, and how we can improve our financial well-being by aligning our money behaviors with our values and goals.

Here are some key insights from the psychology of money

  • Money is relative. How much money we have or earn is less important than how we perceive it in comparison to others or to our own expectations. We tend to adapt to our income level and adjust our spending accordingly, which means that more money does not necessarily make us happier in the long run. Instead of chasing more money, we should focus on finding our optimal level of income that allows us to meet our basic needs and pursue our passions.
  • Money is personal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing money. We all have different financial personalities, preferences, values and goals. What works for one person may only work for one person. We should avoid blindly following the advice or norms of others, and instead find our own money style that suits our unique situation and aspirations.
  • Money is emotional. Money can trigger strong emotions that can cloud our judgment and interfere with our rational thinking. For example, we may overspend to cope with stress or boredom, or underspend to avoid guilt or anxiety. We may also attach emotional meanings to money, such as security, freedom, power or love. We should be aware of our emotional triggers and associations with money, and learn to regulate our emotions and cope with them healthily.
  • Money is social. Money affects not only our individual well-being but also our relationships with others. Money can be a source of conflict, cooperation, competition or compassion. How we communicate about money, share money, spend money or save money can influence the quality and dynamics of our interpersonal interactions. We should be mindful of how money impacts our social connections, and strive to use money as a tool to enhance rather than harm our relationships.
  • Money is behavioural. Money is not only a matter of numbers and calculations, but also a matter of habits and actions. How we handle money is largely influenced by our habits, which are formed by repeated behaviours that are reinforced by rewards or punishments. Habits can be hard to change, especially if deeply ingrained or unconscious. We should identify our money habits, evaluate their consequences and benefits, and replace the ones that are detrimental to our financial well-being with ones that are beneficial.

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