6 Unhealthy signs that you’re obsessed with money

Have you ever listened to the ABBA song ‘Money, money, money / Must be funny / In the rich man’s world’ and nodded your head fervently?

6 Unhealthy signs that you’re obsessed with money

A wise man once said: “It’s not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” While we may all nod sagely at this truism, the fact remains that many of us fail to practise it in our daily lives. We tend to forget that money is only a part of life – it’s not the be-all and end-all of our existence.  

Society at large has conditioned people to believe that money is everything – that it brings happiness, success, and everything else that matters. They aren’t entirely wrong – there’s some truth to this sentiment because money is essential to live a comfortable life that’s full of choices and opportunities. 

Unfortunately, in their struggle to earn more money and build wealth, many people get carried away and harm their mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. It’s more common than you may think, and the worst part is that it’s not obvious when such an unhealthy money attitude takes over your life. 

The line between working hard to build a good life for yourself and overworking and constantly stressing to earn money is a thin one. Here are some unhealthy signs of being obsessed with money that you should be on guard against.

Related: 5 Proven ways to make money online

1. You talk about money all the time

Remember the character from the movie 3 Idiots who would go on about how much his personal articles like shoes and watch were worth? If you find yourself doing that a lot, it’s time to dial it down a notch. But fixating on money can be more subtle than that. You could be forever discussing market opportunities, salaries and bonuses, and seeing everything through the lens of money. 

2. You see money in only money terms

You must have often heard classic proverbs such as ‘health is wealth’ and ‘time is money’. They may seem overused, but that’s because they hold such an important truth of life. If you are overworking yourself and neglecting your health, you’re being counterproductive. Over time, your deteriorating health can result in high medical bills – in addition to physical agony. 

Therefore, it’s important to see money in terms of time and convenience rather than in a strictly financial sense. For instance, if you get a driver instead of driving yourself to work daily, you may have to pay the driver money but you will get that extra hour or so daily to catch up on reading, calls, and other important stuff. After all, you are earning money so that you can live a comfortable life. 

Related: Are you in your 20s? Avoid making these money mistakes

3. You keep comparing your finances with others

Wanting to know how much your peers earn and how they invest is normal curiosity. But constantly comparing your finances with theirs is far from healthy. If a friend buys a new asset like a car or a second home and you go down the spiral of ‘how is that possible?’ and start comparing your financial situation to theirs, it’s not good for your sanity or your relationship with them. 

You should learn to accept that there will always be people who earn more than you do or are more privileged, but how they live their lives shouldn’t have any material impact on how you live yours. Just remember that and keep doing your own thing. 

4. You stress yourself out about your earnings

Who doesn’t want to earn more money? Even millionaires want to become billionaires; that’s basic human nature. However, if despite having a good job that pays well and that you enjoy doing, you’re constantly looking for a better opportunity simply because it may pay a little more, you’ll always be restless and ready to look for ‘what next?’ without truly appreciating where you are. 

5. Your spending behaviour is extreme

Overspending and taking loans to fund consumption expenses such as a trip to Europe or to indulge in materialistic things like a designer watch to maintain a certain social status is not prudent. That’s one end of the spending behaviour spectrum. The other extreme is not spending at all on discretionary expenses and not allowing any space in your budget to indulge in fun activities or hobbies. It’s important to find a balance because neither of these spending extremes are healthy. 

Related: Money can’t buy happiness – but here’s what it can buy

6. You’re alienating friends and family

If you can’t remember the last time you took a vacation – even a short one – with your friends or family, chances are you’re too focused on work and earning money to give them the time they deserve. Yes, you’re working hard for them, but your presence is more valuable than money. What child will be happy getting fancy gifts on their birthday if their parents aren’t around most of the time? You need to set aside some time every week for leisure activities and to spend with your loved ones, no matter how busy your schedule.

In the end, a person who is content and at peace isn’t the one who has the most money in the bank but the one who can eat well, sleep peacefully, and laugh a lot. So make sure to check for these signs – not just in yourself but also your loved ones.  Read these 7 Tips to ace money management in a year

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