By Adrian Furnham
Professor of Psychology
1. Money as Security
The Compulsive Saver
For them saving is its own reward. They tax themselves and no amount of money saved is sufficient to provide enough security.
Self-deniers tend to be savers but enjoy the self-sacrificial nature of self- imposed poverty. They may spend money on others, to emphasize their martyrdom. Psychoanalysts point out that their behaviour is often a disguise for envy, hostility and resentment towards those who are better off.
The Fanatical Collector
Obsessed collectors accumulate all sorts of things, some without much intrinsic value. They turn to material possessions rather than humans as potential sources of affection and security.
The Compulsive Bargain Hunter
Money is fanatically retained until the situation is “ideal” and then joyfully given over. The thrill is in out-smarting others – both those selling and those paying the full price.
2. Money as Power
These people use money to exploit others’ vanity and greed. Manipulating others makes this type feel less helpless and frustrated. Their greatest long-time loss is integrity.
The Empire builder
They have (or appear to have) an overriding sense of independence and self-reliance. Repressing or denying their own dependency needs, they may try to make others dependent on them. Many inevitably become isolated and alienated, particularly in their declining years.
They have more money to bribe and control so as to feel dominant. They often hide an anger and a great over-sensitivity to being humiliated – hence the importance of public respect. But because they buy loyalty and devotion they tend to attract the weak and insecure. They destroy initiative and independence in others and are left surrounded by second-rate sycophants.
3. Money as Love
The Love Buyer
Many attempt to buy love and respect: those who visit prostitutes; those who feel unloved not unlovable and avoid feelings of rejection and worthlessness by pleasing others with their generosity.
The Love Seller
They promise affection, devotion and endearment for inflating others’ ego. They can feign all sorts of responses and are quite naturally attracted to love buyers.
The Love Stealer
The kleptomaniac is not an indiscriminate thief but one who seeks out objects of symbolic value to them. They are hungry for love but don’t feel they deserve it.
4. Money as Freedom
The Freedom Buyers
Money buys escape from orders, commands, even suggestions that appear to restrict autonomy and limit independence. They want independence not love : in fact, they repress and hence have a strong fear of dependency urges.
The Freedom Fighters
They reject money and materialism as the cause of enslavement of many. Frequently political radicals, drop-outs or technocrats, they are often passive-aggressive and attempt to resolve internal conflicts and confused values. Camaraderie and companionship are the main rewards for joining the anti- money forces.
I am more towards Money as Freedom - The Freedom Buyer and hope that soon I will have enough money to buy enough freedom and free myself from the Rat Race.