10 Signs of Money Phobia

Could you be having a money phobia problem? When dealing with personal financial matters, do you approach them calmly or do you tend to avoid them? What’s it like for you when it comes to filing tax, for instance? Do you start to feel dizzy, sweat profusely or sick in the stomach?

It was not clear to me that I had huge money phobias, at first. It would even sound ridiculous since I had worked in a bank for many years previously. There was a stage when I had to handle lots of physical cash when serving high net-worth individuals. Later on, I realised that while I was able to advise others on what to do about their investment portfolio, it was different when it comes to handling personal money matters.

In the past, I would give tons of excuses on why “now is not a good time” and would often delegate money related matters to the last in my to-do list. By making them low in priority, it meant that I almost rarely had to deal with them! If I should ever get to them, I would feel anxious, stressed and low in energy. The result was that I neglected managing my funds properly and wisely.

Luckily, all these have since changed for the better. I no longer have a bad brain fog that prevents me from addressing personal money matters. Nor do I allow any emotional discomfort to stop me from getting calculations done. What’s great is an increased ability to make difficult financial decisions in a way that is calm.

I have been finding out that I am not alone. Many women (more so than men, perhaps) tend to display money avoidance behaviour. They would find excuses or a way to dodge financial discussions.

Having dealt with a lot of my money phobia issues, I believe that releasing the disruptive energies is key in a better way forward. Recently, I have had the privilege of helping clients in this area. After working together, they reported to experiencing fewer headaches and stress-related symptoms when filing their income tax or reviewing credit card statements. Funny enough, that they were able to work through their personal financial blocks eventually translated to major breakthrough results for them, in terms of money. A truly empowering experience!

Ready to do this for yourself too? Let’s first address what a phobia is about.

What a Phobia Means

A phobia arises due to excessive fear. With a phobia, you are prone to react in a way that is not proportionate to the issue at hand. And usually, the fear is irrational. For instance, watching too many movies with sharks as dangerous harmful creatures can have a negative effect on you. You develop a fear of swimming even in safe waters altogether.

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” German Proverb

feed the wolf fear

Having a money phobia problem is going to create negative consequences. Do realise that it’s virtually impossible not to have to handle money matters in this day and age. You can’t run away from them. For stress reduction, finding a better way forward is key!

Irrational Behaviour with Money Phobia

Money phobic women tend to have confused ideas about finance.

Mostly, they prefer to leave all the money talk to their spouse or partner. They react in ways that do not best serve their financial well-being. They may also show up with erratic behaviour; such as going through periods of raking up huge credit card bills and then periods whereby they hoard excessively. Their erratic behaviour is also contributed by having little awareness of how much they have in the bank and an inability to manage their emotions tied to finance.

The medical term for the fear of money is Chrometophobia. Symptoms can vary from person to person. In a phobia, you may experience the following symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, stomach churning, irregular heartbeat and shaking. However, for most people, the signs are more subtle. Hence, you may not even know that you have a phobia until you start to pay attention to your relationship with money.

10 Signs of Money Phobia

Not sure if you have the signs of a money phobia? Here are possible tell-tale signs…

1. Procrastinate filing tax because you can’t bear to look at your personal financial statements.

2. Actively divert any serious talk about money and finances to shoes and shopping.

3. View any mention of large sums of money as unreal.

4. Find taking any form of financial planning or action a bore.

5. Experience anxiety whenever your credit card statement arrives.

6. Glazing your eyes over the finance section of the newspaper even though some knowledge of these can be beneficial for you.

7. Can’t keep a close watch on spending and a refusal to budget.

8. Do not know exactly how much you earn.

9. Leaves your spouse or partner to handle every financial aspect that affects you and turning a blind eye.

10. Experience a brain fog every time money matters are being discussed.

Consequences of Money Phobia

It is possible to be challenged by a dramatic life event that forces you to undertake financial responsibility.

This can happen in a divorce, death, loss of a job and so on.

Let’s take divorce. A few friends I know floundered in confusion after their marriages collapsed. Prior to the relationship breakdown, they had trusted their spouses to be take care of all financial matters for the family. However, after the collapse in the marriage, they had to learn money management – especially if there are kids involved – and understand all legal financial implications.

It was when they began to realise that avoidance had been the worst thing to do. One girlfriend managed to unearth secrets about money amounts that were siphoned away by her ex-husband. A sure wake up call!

Where there is money phobia, it pays to address fears quickly. Don’t procrastinate before your money phobia behaviour cost you dearly! There is nothing to lose. On the contrary, there is everything to gain.

Face Your Fears

Avoiding money matters is not helpful. Never wait for a catastrophic event to happen before taking charge. As billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the most important investment is in yourself”. And, the first step to investing is less about learning how to make more money but more about mastering your fears.

Understand that fears are not real. As it is often metaphorically alluded, refrain from making the “wolf” bigger than what it truly is. Ask yourself what your phobia is about. Did your fear come from a childhood event or belief? Do you have limiting beliefs that you are “too slow” or “stupid” to take charge of finances? If needed, seek appropriate assistance to address any money phobia.


Becoming mindful about your physical and emotional reactions help to let you know what your blocks are. When you put any money phobia out of the way, learning financial management becomes a whole lot easier. With clear thinking, you are able to make better and wise decisions about personal money matters.

Love and Abundance Always,

Evelyn Lim

Abundance Life Coach for Women

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