Do You Have A Fear Of Money? – Chrometophobia
Do You Have A Fear Of Money? – Chrometophobia
Whether you realize it or not, many people have some type of irrational fear of money. There’s actually a specific term for it:
Chrometophobia – which is the extreme fear of money stemming from the Greek words “chrimata” (money) and “phobos” (fear).
There are many different fears that this term encompasses such as:
- fear of spending money
- fear of touching or handling money (really?)
- fear of thinking about money
Most of us have struggled with financial stress at some point in our lives.
5 Financial Stress Statistics
Here are 5 Financial Stress stats from Best Money Moves:
- 41% don’t save any money for their retirement plan
- 25% have charged their credit card for groceries/food and not been able to pay it off right away
- 33% said it would take more than 3 years to pay their credit card debt
- 29% said if they needed $2,000 for an emergency, they would use a credit card (they have no emergency fund)
- 20% of those with children in childcare said the cost is as expensive as, or more expensive than, their monthly rent or mortgage payment
Get this, almost 25% of Americans claims they worry about money most of the time.
Listen, I totally understand. Being in debt is a scary thing. If you want to find out more about our debt story including the $300K in student loans (not including our mortgage) we paid off, then check out our Debt-free story.
Fear Of Not Having Enough Money
Many of us fear not having enough amount of money.
If you’re reading this, more than likely you have enough money as most visitors here are doctors or other high-income earners.
Even though people have enough money, there’s not a day that goes by when these same people will chronically worry about not having enough.
For the longest time, yours truly was in this category too.
I call it “worrying about the what-ifs…”
- What if….patients quit calling the office?
- What if….I become disabled after falling out of a deer stand and can’t work? (I wouldn’t have to worry about this as my wife would kill me first!)
- What if….there’s a stock market crash?
- What if….a pandemic breaks out?
- What if…. we don’t have enough money to retire?
This list could go on and on…
Here’s a few examples:
3 Fear Of Money Examples
#1 I might not have enough…
Let’s say you want to buy a new pair of running shoes for $150. It’s been a few years since you last purchased some and now that your big toe shows through your old pair, you decided it’s time for a replacement.
You make good money so logically, you have the $150 for the shoes. During the check out process, your thoughts lead you to your normal worry cycle.
“Hey self, what if there’s not enough money to pay all of the bills this month?”
Honestly, there should be no reason in the world why there wouldn’t be enough to cover your bills but again, something in you worries about it.
Bottom line: The main fear in this example is: I might not have enough.
#2 What if something bad happens?
We love to travel so I can relate to this one.
Say you’ve been working hard and built up a great practice. One day you look up and realize that you haven’t taken your family on a vacation in five years. That’s right, five years!
So you and your spouse decide on a trip to Disney as the kids are now old enough to appreciate Mickey, Goofy and Buzz.
Guess what? You’ve been so diligent with your money that you started a “travel” account years ago and have enough in it to cover the entire trip.
You get connected with a certified Disney planner who’s great with helping to find great deals and the best times to go but then it happens.
That worry thing starts creeping in the back of your mind asking….what if something happens during the trip? What if you can’t practice anymore? What if….?
#3 What if I start to burnout and want to quit?
Doctor burnout is a real issue. For this example, let’s say this is something that you’ve been dealing with for a while and now it’s time to make a move.
You’ve been wanting to quit and possibly go for a career change or even cut back to part time.
Here’s the deal. You’ve worked with some of the numbers and it’s looking like you could pull this off for a while until you find something better.
You may even be able to start a side hustle or grow additional streams of passive income.
It’s cool to start to see how many different options are out there besides treating patients. But then the what ifs start….
Even though you’re good financially for a year or more according to your calculations, you still realize you’re afraid of running out of money and not having enough.
Fear Of Money Consequences
Occasionally life can present challenges that could force you to undertake financial responsibility.
We see this occur in:
- a job loss
Let’s take death for instance. One of the issues my wife and I deal with is that I take care of all the financial matters for the family.
Now, before you start judging me 🙂 I’ve done everything in my power to get her involved yet she chooses not to.
She has absolutely NO interest in money management. Heck, she doesn’t even like to talk about money.
We have a plan in place for a trusted advisor and friend to help her with financial advice in case something happens to me.
She realizes that avoiding money and being involved with many of the financial decisions isn’t the best thing to do.
If there’s a money phobia that you’re dealing with (or a family member), it pays to address them quickly and head on before the behavior can cost you severely.
3 Steps To Conquer Your Fear Of Money
#1 Start with why
After reading Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, I’ve become a big believer that with any change you’re trying to make, consider starting with the real reason WHY you’re wanting to make it.
For example, I wanted to start investing in real estate because of my 2 “whys”:
- more time to spend with family
- create extra streams of income for diversification
If you suffer from a fear of money, then the first step to conquering your fear is to ask yourself WHY.
Specifically think what about money exactly causes this fear.
It could be:
- fear of not having enough
- fear of running out of money during retirement
- debt issues
#2 Get educated
Most people fear things they either don’t understand or have much experience with. If you have a fear of money in some form or fashion then take it upon yourself to start the learning process.
Find a mentor, read personal finance blogs, listen to podcasts and read books.
The more you know about money, the less you have to fear.
#3 Address your fears head on
Each person that has a fear of money is going to have different areas of their lives that it affects.
If you’re a young professional starting off like us with a tremendous amount of debt, then becoming fearful of money is only going to make things worse.
If this sounds like you, consider building a repayment plan like the debt snowball plan. The quicker you address your personal fear of money, the more quickly you can start to overcome it.
Fear Is Inevitable
Remember this, you’re always going to have to deal with fear in your life, that’s part of it.
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