Money Dysmorphia: What Is It and How to Overcome It

Money Dysmorphia: What Is It and How to Overcome It 

The millennials and Gen Z are struggling with money dysmorphia, thinking they are financially behind. In this blog, we are talking about what money dysmorphia is, the symptoms, and how we can overcome it.

Meet Money Dysmorphia

Recently, a study by Intuit Credit Karma found that 29% of Americans experience money dysmorphia. The study discovered that 43% of Gen Z and 41% of millennials had a distorted view of their finances.

Here’s what it means: Money dysmorphia is a condition in which an individual has a sense of worry about their financial situation even when the true picture shows little cause for concern. It can happen when one push themselves to change their habits and ideals to match what they are seeing on social media.

Here are a few examples: Let’s say there’s someone who has built a good amount of wealth throughout their life. However, their internal perception may be that they can’t enjoy or splurge their money because they still feel their resources are as limited as they once were. This can lead to the person being unwilling to spend on even necessities in response to an intense fear they will lose everything. They may also believe they don’t have as much resources as they think.

On the other side, money dysmorphia may appear in another extreme. Let’s say someone was born into wealth but suddenly has money problems. They may not be able to face the fact that their income and wealth are being depleted and continue to spend as they once did. As a result, they may begin hoarding material possessions, acquiring immense debt, and engaging in compulsive spending to cope.

what is Money Dysmorphia?

Money dysmorphia is a psychological disorder in which people have an incorrect view of their financial status, which frequently causes them to experience excessive tension and anxiety. Money dysmorphia is a condition that alters a person’s sense of their financial health, just like body dysmorphia does. This can take many different forms, such feeling impoverished all the time even though you have a steady job or becoming fixated on small financial setbacks. This illness can have a serious negative influence on mental health and financial decision-making for Millennials, who are already dealing with economic insecurity. It’s critical to recognise and treat money dysmorphia in order to preserve one’s mental and financial well-being.

How Do You Know You Have Money Dysmorphia?

Below are some common symptoms of money dysmorphia:

You hoard money – Do you feel like you can never have enough money? This one speaks to people who are quite wealthy, but still feel like they don’t have enough and hoard money as a result.

You always feel like you are at ‘rock bottom’ – Money dysmorphia can make you constantly feel that you are on the verge of financial ruin regardless of how much money you have in the bank. It can also be about debt or income. Despite paying off debt or earning more money, you still feel as though you are about to go broke.

You either overspend or are not spending enough – Sometimes, money dysmorphia comes out in impulsive spending to ease emotions. This could be through gambling, retail therapy, shopping addiction, or lifestyle creep. On the other hand, some people may not spend money at all, not even on necessities because of fear of depleting financial resources. Either extreme can indicate issues with money dysmorphia.

Your relationships are being strained – Money dysmorphia can lead to you developing a problematic relationship with money, thus affecting other relationships. Maybe your partner is complaining that you never go out on dates because of your fear of spending. Or maybe a loved one is pointing out that you online shop too much. If your relationship with money is affecting your interpersonal relationships, it might be a sign you have money dysmorphia.
Also Read: How To Save Money From Salary

How To Overcome Money Dysmorphia?

Here are some simple ways to overcome money dysmorphia:

Understand you have a problem – The first step to getting over money dysmorphia is by accepting that you have a problem. This will allow you to identify problematic habits and begin determining ways to address them.

Figure out the underlying issue – Money dysmorphia is usually a response to a deeper emotional issue. Identifying what this issue is and addressing it can help eliminate symptoms of money dysmorphia. For example, if you do online shopping often because you are dissatisfied with your job, finding a new job that brings you more joy may stop the urge to online shop.

Stay off or limit social media – Whenever we scroll through social media, we may absorb things in an unconscious way that can harm us. Reduce your screen time so that you can stop comparing your finances to others that you see online.

Ask for support from friends & family – Talking with your loved ones can help you navigate this issue better. Reach out for support from those you trust and be honest about the issue you are experiencing.

Increase your financial literacy – Read books and blogs that focus on increasing your financial knowledge as it can help you gain a deeper understanding of your financial circumstances. You may find that your internal perceptions are inaccurate and it can help you become more confident with your money. 

Limit triggers – During your journey, you may identify common triggers to your money dysmorphia. For example, you may frequently check your bank balance or credit score to motivate restrictive spending. Or, scrolling on social media may be a trigger for you to impulsively purchase something. Once identified, limit your triggers to encourage positive behaviour concerning your finances.

Also Read:10 Ways to Save for a Big Purchase

In Conclusion…

Money dysmorphia can cause a lot of distress in your life as well as those around you. Make a weekly or monthly budget to manage your finances better. Stop comparing your financial goals, plans, or budgeting style with those whom you see on social media. Comparison is the thief of joy, so be proud of your achievements and be grateful for what you have.