Grief & Spending

Grief & Spending

The two main trends I see when people say they have money problems are:

  • Grief
  • People

Money problems are normally the fruit of grief and people. Today I'm going to talk about grief.

Grief and spending are two seemingly unrelated concepts that are often intertwined in the aftermath of a significant loss or change. Grief is a natural and normal response to loss, and it can show up in a wide range of emotions, behaviours, and physical sensations. Spending, on the other hand, is a behaviour that involves the exchange of money for goods or services.

I've observed in others and myself, that grieving - is not the same as what you do because of the grief. Spending is something you can do that is free and legal. It offers a temporary easy buzz of feel good hormones. It's something that quite a large number of people DO. But behind it I tend to hear/feel deep loss and grief.

Have you soothed yourself ...or punished yourself ... with your money? Does it give you a temporary sense of control or a much needed sense of losing control?

I remember my mother had this quirk of viewing loss (losing a competition, having no money, being able to live on $20 per week) as success. And she would openly sometimes be cruel about anyone who had bountiful resources. Capitalists she reckoned. Like me.

When I worked out that I felt grief and disconnected from a close relative who viewed me like this, I've been able to reign in a pattern of throwing away my wealth at assholes with whom I get in to relationships (not just intimate ones). Whilst I'm good at attracting money to my life, I would "throw it" at people whom I wanted to get away from me. Almost as if to avoid attracting negative vibes from them. 

Do you experience a cycle of grief, spend, soothe, grief, anger, spend? Any variation of this?

My cycle was grief, not spend, hoard money, feel stuck, release it by spending at someone or something to make them go away. Hell, I could've just said "I need space" aye. Could of just said NO.

Have you ever seen a dog taking a dump - and that awkward vulnerable look on their face when they see that you're watching them do it. Yeah - when I need to grieve, thats how I feel about people being around me.

Although I remember hearing about Neuro economics. When you're going through stressful traumatic shit, and your reptile brain takes over, the part of your brain that makes financial decisions is shutdown. REMEMBER get proper neuro science advice to clarify this! But this is my one sentence summary.

Not everyone who is grieving will engage in impulsive or excessive spending. I, for example, often hoard resources - I don't spend or pay anything and I go in to apocalypse mode. Storing money and resources for 40 days and nights.

Grief is a highly individual experience, and everyone responds differently. Do you have a money problem, or is it something else?


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