What’s your money paradigm?


We all have a money paradigm, or a way that we view money and financial matters. For some of us it’s about being comfortable with money, and for others, it’s lack of money, or anything in between.

Our money paradigm determines our financial success in life. In other words, how we view money determines our capacity to be creative with it. If we feel comfortable with money, we don’t tend to worry about the lack of money, and therefore tend to see opportunities all around us. If, on the other hand, we have a lack money paradigm, we constantly worry about not having enough, we talk about how expensive everything is, and we feel dis-empowered or even ashamed to have conversations around money.

Our money paradigm is usually formed by our first experiences as a child or our consistent experiences throughout our lives. Our parents (or other people from our childhood with a perceived position of power), usually give us the starting point to our money paradigm. If your money paradigm is "I have to work hard to make ends meet", this may be the approach that people in your early life had around you. You just kind of absorbed it through osmosis and never questioned it. If you believe that you have to work hard to make ends meet, then you will probably never realize that there is an easier job out there somewhere that pays more. Because you are stuck viewing life through the eyes of working hard for money, you may completely miss an opportunity in front of you.

Our money paradigm usually falls into one of 3 categories: dependent, independent, and interdependent.

The dependent money paradigm makes you feel like you have no control over your income or spending. You feel like a victim of circumstances with very few choices. The dependent money paradigm often has a lot of shame associated with not being wealthier, not being better off financially, or not having a choice about a “crappy job”.

The independent money paradigm is exactly as it sounds: you feel not dependent on circumstances, and you know that no matter what happens in life, you will be ok, or you will make it work. The independent money paradigm feels more empowered than the dependent money paradigm, but it can still feel very lonely. With the independent money paradigm, you often feel like it’s you against the world, or at least that you are the only person you can trust about money.

The interdependent money paradigm is all about growing and sharing wealth with others. With the interdependent money paradigm, you can comfortably share finances and financial transactions with people that you trust and who trust you. Interdependence with matters of money means that you KNOW you are ok, but that you don’t have to protect yourself financially. Please note that poor boundaries and oversharing finances or financial matters with others is not an interdependent paradigm. It’s a dependent paradigm, because it’s based on lack of boundaries and doing whatever you can to be accepted by those around you.

Each of these money paradigms have something important to teach us. But before we get to that, let’s first take a quick money paradigm test. To discover your likely money paradigm, only pick one option. If you can't decide which is most accurate, think about how you were when you were 20 years old.

Take a note of your answers. Are you getting a lot of 1s or 2s or 3s? Later we will look at the top tip for transforming your money paradigm.

When I think about work, I believe that

  1. I am at the mercy of my boss' whims.

  2. I can always find a better job.

  3. If we all work toge