Polls / April 16, 2013

What does money mean to you?

More than half – or 54% – of almost 1,000 respondents to this eZonomics poll say that money means “security” to them. About a quarter (24%) say it means power, with the remainder split between love, autonomy or something else.

Think again
Money means different things to different people. And this can influence how we save, spend and invest.
A fascinating experiment run by the BBC in the United Kingdom examines attitudes to money – and highlights the degree to which respondents are motivated financially by love, freedom, security and power. The experiment – called the Big Money Test  – says those that are highly motivated by feelings of security (the most popular response in our poll) are likely to see money as providing “peace of mind” and “ensuring protection for you and your loved ones”. Those motivated by power are more aligned with views of money as status, while those who score highly in the love section may lend to lavish gifts on others as a way of trying to express their feelings.
Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert and responsible for the “Money Knowledge” section of the test, also took part and shared his expert results here highlighting his money motivations of love and security.

Money 101
In the eZonomics article Hands up if you’re an emotional shopper, behavioural economist and independent researcher Nathalie Spencer examines new research published in two papers here and here that use data from more than 100,000 people in the Big Money Test. Spencer writes that the studies suggest attitude may be more important than you think for your financial position in the long-term.
“Those who view money as power are more likely to experience these poor financial outcomes than those who view money as security,” she writes.

Relaxing thoughts
It seems a range of aspects influence how we manage our money, with emotion and attitudes playing a part.
Spencer writes it might pay to consider your emotional state and which coping strategies you typically use when upset or stressed before making an impulse buy.
Work out how healthy financial habits such as having a basic budget and an emergency fund might balance parts of your money personality.


eZonomics team
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