Do you view money more like security or a tool?

Do you view money more like a tool or as security?

When you hear the word money, what does it make you feel? What about when you hear your partner say they want to talk about money, how do you feel? Some people light up with excitement dreaming of more. Some people are filled with dread, wondering if they have enough. Even if there are many emotions that go with money, they usually boil down to two primary views. People view money as a tool or as security. Knowing how you view money can help you master the decisions you need to make. 

Money as a tool

If you view money as a tool, you are more likely to be comfortable with the way it flows from object to object. You are probably willing to risk money for things you want and find investment opportunities that may have a larger risk and reward profile.

The pros of this view is that you tend to leverage your money for opportunity. You may be more freely willing to be generous to causes and find value in the experiences and opportunities money can bring.

The cons of this view is that you can be overly aggressive and create too much risk. You may also view money as so fluid that you put financial security in jeopardy by taking on too much debt and buying too many items that decrease in value and erode your net worth.

Money as security

If you view money as security, you are more likely to find ways to store and accumulate wealth. You probably feel a sense of peace knowing that you are growing or have a sizable nest egg. Your risk profile could lean more conservative and tends to focus on possessions and investments that retain value over time.

The pros of this view is that it can lead to a strong and stable financial future with good disciplined financial decision making. You may create a safe haven for yourself and those around you because of your approach and you avoid frivolous expenses and don’t get caught trying to catch the next fad.

The cons of this view is could be that you constantly push out opportunity and experiences because you don’t feel like you have enough. This can create a trap where, no matter how much you have, you never feel like you are secure. 

What to do?

Neither view is right or wrong, and to own your future, you’ll need to get comfortable with both mindsets, even though one might be your default. If you view money more like a tool, try to get a little more disciplined and skilled in how you use it. Budgeting apps and tools like OnTrajectory can help you strategize and plan for how you will use your money. If you tend to lean towards security, these same tools can help you feel at peace knowing that your money is under control and you can reserve the right amount for each of your goals. You could also talk with a financial coach or a licensed professional. Financial pros often help clients deal with their emotions and behavior so they can make better decisions. That’s one reason we have our ask an advisor feature in OnTrajectory. Don’t feel bad about asking an advisor to help you process the way you feel about money and investing. Managing your emotional relationship to money helps you gain the right perspective and make wiser decisions.

What about you? Are you more of a “money as a tool” or “money as security” person? If you are married, what about your spouse? This can be a major pain point until you understand how each other are wired. Join the conversation on our social channels