As I began to ask my new client about her money and financial systems, she began to become unnerved. I asked her about her budget, the financial system that should be supporting her; to which she quickly darted around that one wasn’t needed in her industry. As I began to list the financial reports we will need to review in our next meeting; there was an inability to articulate words and even sentences. As I gently asked her how comfortable she was discussing money, cash and her financial knowledge she began to discuss how this meeting time was not working and unsure if the work we were about to do together was really going to have an impact. I knew right there, I had another.
What is Chrometophobia?
Chrometophobia is the fear of money. The origin of Chrometophobia is Greek; which tells us this isn’t something new. The fear around money could be centered around not having enough, too much, not understanding how it works, needs to be tracked or monitored. It is more than just not knowing numbers; it is the fear of understanding those numbers and what they will tell you. People with Chrometophobia are so anxious in managing numbers; they will ignore the simple solution of educating themselves and stay lost in this depliidating disease forever
What can I do?
Talking about your personal finances can be as unnerving as being naked in front of someone for the first time. Traditionally, in American culture, money is a taboo topic. People just don’t talk about how much money they make and even less often how much money they owe. Others are so deeply ashamed of their spending habits and past mistakes, they go to any lengths to keep up appearances and avoid engaging the numbers. Like any other disease, hiding the truth from yourself and your loved ones can have devastating consequences. It doesn’t have to be this way. I would never suggest talking to everyone in your life about the details of your finances, but I definitely recommend selecting a few trusted people to be transparent with. We’re not supposed to know how to figure it all out by ourselves.
As long as you remain fearful of money, it will control you. Taking steps towards self-responsibility, sharing the details, asking for help and aligning your finances with your values will shift the current out of control feelings to that of power and stability.