Do You Have Monetary Self-Esteem?

by Bill on March 19, 2012

Bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as monetary self-esteem. Originally I was going to label it financial self-esteem, but after Googling it I found out the correct name for it. So, what is monetary self-esteem and how do you know what yours is?

Financial self-esteem is how you feel about your money and the habits around it. Notice I didn’t say just money because we’re not here to talk about everyone else; although focusing on other people’s money is one trait of low self-esteem, but more on that later.

High and low self-esteem based on money depends on your actions and relations to or about money – obviously. Your spending habits and how you handle finances are signals of the level of your own self-esteem. Now, this is not the same as self-worth; no, self-worth is the value you place upon yourself in regards to performance and how valuable others should see you. In this regard, self-worth is a part of self-esteem.

Financial Self-Worth Examples

Here’s a few examples of low self-worth with money.

  • You charge less for your services than you know you can earn you would be seen as overpriced for your work.
  • You continuously accept lower pay for accomplishments and jobs because you didn’t think it was good to ask for more.
  • You have trouble asking to be paid back for money you lent out because you don’t want to be a bother.
  • You don’t talk to anyone about how much you make, or any problems regarding money because you will be seen as inept, incompetant or your opinions and ideas will loose value.

Okay, so here’s where self-worth fits into all this with a few personal examples.

  • Writers, including me, start out settling for the low-pay or no-pay gigs because you probably won’t get higher prices; the problem here is those that get stuck at the low end because they don’t think their work is sufficient for higher wages.
  • Someone who continuously takes minimum wage jobs because “its all they know”. I did this for a long time with restaraunts and retail.
  • How many of you out there would have early retirement from all the people that owed you. I’d be writing this blog from a small piece of land in South Dakota instead of a cramped apartment in New York State myself.
  • I never tell anyone how much I actually make unless I have to; and usually I cop an attitude about it to cover the fact that I don’t want to talk about it.


So guess what guys – you all ain’t alone!

Low Financial Self-Esteem

Outside of having a low self-worth about money there are a few more signs that you have a low monetary self-esteem.

  • The checkbook is never balanced because you’re afraid to see the result
  • The bills are paid late usually due to you are so worried you won’t have the money to pay them
  • You feel guilty for giving to charitable causes because you’re sure the money might be needed elsewhere.
  • Debt and extra bills are piled on with no way of knowing how to pay for them.
  • Guilt covers any purchase not deemed a necessity like bad lemon-flavored chocolate so you just don’t do it.
  • You blame others for your trouble because they are either the cause of the spending or of the lack of money

Now on this end I can say I have done everything but the last one. Although I have seen people who use the “we can’t afford it” theory for most, or the “they can’t take what we don’t have” to all of these problems. Here’s a few examples again.

  • The checkbook – I gave up trying to have one. I’d get on track now and then, but somehow always screw it up. So, I don’t have one anymore. Cash, Paypal and money orders.
  • I’ve got an electric bill due this next Monday that falls flat into this category. Now I know if I work at it I can make it, but i’ll be scared shitless until I get there.
  • Charitable donations – yes I consider me more of a charity than the Red Cross. This also goes hand-in-hand with the next one.
  • Guilty purchases – I’m always saying to myself “if I didn’t buy that I would have the money for this”. Another angle of this is the famous “if I didn’t need to do this I’d have what I needed” or something similar. You all can fill in the blanks there.
  • Piling debts – my fall is magazines I would love to read. I get samples, set up the “Bill Me Later” option and then can never get to pay the damn bill to keep the magazine. I also don’t have cable TV or a Verizon account for that reason. I want it, I figure out a theory of how to pay for it, and then nothing works.
  • Financial blaming – this one I don’t do. But, once again neighbors come to the rescue for the blog. Its always the bank was late, Time Warner charged too much, the heat costs too much, or they need to pay back family so they can borrow again later.

So that’s how you know if you have a low financial self-esteem and low self-worth with money. Part 2 of this whole idea will be the positive side to this – some ideas on how to get around some of it, some fixes and some tips on how to break out of your shell.

Comment, suggest, expand on whatever you will here. Ask questions and I’ll answer as best possible.

William Swan, writer

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