Money habits and human emotions

December 17, 2021by Editorial Team
Is money everything?

We claim ourselves to be rational beings. But when it comes to handling something as important as money, we usually become the most irrational. Read on to unravel the overwhelming impact of our emotions on money matters.

Man and money

George Bernard Shaw had said, “The surest way to ruin a man who does not know how to handle money is by giving him some.”
Humans are not particularly rational creatures when it comes to money. Our financial decisions get affected by varied emotions ranging from guilt to sadness, excitement to happiness. Our financial statements reveal a lot about what we care about. They are our unintentional personal manifestos. These statements lay out in stark detail how we spend our time. As a result, we end up with a clear picture of what we actually value rather than what we say we value.

Expenses and expectations of the mind

Buying things can make us feel better and chase away the blues temporarily. This is also termed as ‘retail therapy’. But we actually do not need more things when we are sad. Distracting the mind by spending outdoors, or with close friends and family helps as well. Fear can play a big role in our financial lives. It makes us exaggerate risks rather than discount them. If we value our family but spend too much time working, we feel guilty, and try to make up for it by extravagant spending.

Our habits and patterns of behaviour actually lie buried in our subconscious, controlling our well-being. If we want to be in control of our wellbeing, we need to access the unconscious through self-reflection. This can help us better understand how we think, feel, or behave, which can thereby affect our spending pattern.


Budgeting and mind mapping

Making spreadsheets to know about our extra expenditures, which can be cut and our savings increased, is extremely beneficial. Money gives power, confidence and independence. It enhances our well-being. However we have over-estimated its importance. What if you  are a billionaire but with no friends, no family to applaud and cheer you? You will lose the purpose of life itself and the money will be of no worth.

The problem does not lie with money; it lies in our approach towards money. People who constantly think about money face problems throughout their lives while those who think that money is something within their control can educate themselves to become successful in future. In order to prevent emotions getting into money matters, there is no other tool more powerful than education and awareness.

Setting limits in money matters can help. We can keep ourselves from going overboard by creating budgets that are not influenced by our emotions, such as guilt. The antidote to guilt is gratitude. Beyond being just a pleasant emotion, gratitude has been proven to “reduce excessive economic impatience”, according to a Harvard Lerner Study. So, the next time you are struck by the urge to spend money or dig into your savings, take a moment to list the things that make you grateful. You may as well decide you have more than enough.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students from St. Joseph’s High School Matigara, Darjeeling: Hiral Airan, Debopoma Bhattacharjee, Oindrila Saha and Shreyashi Chatterjee.

Get free advice from Global Experts on how your institution can be Future Ready with Experiential Education through S.T.E.A.M.

Get free advice from Global Experts on how your institution can be Future Ready with Experiential Education through S.T.E.A.M.

Contact us
+91 983 148 0116
Global Presence


© 2020 ISTEAM Research Private Limited | GDPR Privacy Policy | Child Protection Policy

× How can I help you?