Let’s Manage Our Money Disorders To Achieve Financial Success

As a Personal Finance Coach, I help clients transform their mindset around money and their overall relationship with it. A recent trend, however, is seeing some clients “winning and achieving their financial goals”; while others do not. Curious, I asked a few clients why it is difficult to achieve goals such as sticking to a budget or saving a minimum of at least 15% towards one’s future.

Behavioural finance researchers such as Jacobs-Lawson and Hershey (2005) argue that people have the best intentions to plan and save, however, there are psychological factors that play a part such as behavioural change, discipline, or self-control. A common phrase used in personal finance books is that “personal finance is 20% knowledge and 80% behaviour”– where the secret to success lies in changing bad money habits such as excessive spending, not saving for rainy days, or not tracking where our money goes. But how easy is to change one’s behaviour?

In pursuit to understand, I’ve recently learnt about “money disorders” which I believe influences our finances. 

What are money disorders and why are they important?

According to Canale, Archuleta and Klontz (2015) our psychology influences our financial behaviour and how we make financial decisions. Our financial behaviour (especially bad behaviour) can form patterns that are self-destructive, leading to symptoms of money disorders. It is however important to consult a qualified psychologist for a comprehensive diagnosis.

Examples of money disorders?

An example of a money disorder can be the need for compulsive buying, where we have uncontrollable urges to buy things even when we cannot afford or need. Another money disorder is called the financial denial, where people avoid thinking about or dealing with their finances which stresses them. Financial enabling is also another money disorder, where people struggle to say “No” whenever a family member, friend or colleague asks them for money, even though agreeing to help them money will leave them in a bad financial position (Canale, Archuleta and Klontz, 2015).

Why is important to be aware of money disorders?

Generally, many people are stressed by their finances – credit card debt, personal loans, increases in food prices, utilities, petrol, and low savings. COVID-19 further exposed how financially unprepared we are, increasing the levels of financial stress. 

As we continue to pursue our financial goals for 2022, being aware of money disorders can help us set new financial boundaries, change our behaviour, and ultimately reduce the financial stress. Granted, it will not be easy, but it can be achieved with the assistance of financial coaches.

I strongly believe that financial prosperity is our birth right. It is our responsibility to acknowledge our money disorders and bad spending habits, then put in the work to change them.

Let’s change our money habits, make better financial decisions, and achieve financial prosperity in 2022!


Canale A., Archuleta K., Klontz B. (2015) Money Disorders. In: Klontz B., Britt S., Archuleta K. (eds) Financial Therapy. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08269-1_4

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