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Thread: Is money tied to your self esteem?

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    Moderator jen's Avatar
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    Is money tied to your self esteem?

    I'm doing a great deal of reading on women and money these days and am currently reading Emotional Currency by Kate Levinson.

    This question brought up all sorts of things for me and thought it might make an interesting debate. I wish Michelle was still here.

    It's entirely against what I want to believe, but my salary is tied to my feelings of value as an employee. How I hold on to (or release) that money can be very much tied in to feelings of pride or shame, which does directly impact my self esteem. I can get into phrases I don't use about my self in any other realm- stupid, impulsive, lack of control, etc.

    I'm curious to hear if that's universal or not.

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    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    Yes, I think.
    It feels good knowing that my value to my company is reflected in my paycheck.

    That's not to say that I don't look to other ways to feed my self esteem from my job (respect, the ability to teach others, problem solve, etc), but being paid what I think I am worth is part of it. Definitely.
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    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    Additionally, I don't attach other feelings about money or how I spend it (pride, shame, etc).

    It's just a means to an end.
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    Premier Sponsor Jasmine's Avatar
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    It's tied to my self-esteem in that in means a lot to me to be self-sufficient and have enough money to live a comfortable lifestyle.

    When my parents were killed, I literally became my brother's kid when I was 16 because I was still legally a minor. When he and his new wife sold our house, they used the money to put me through college. I always felt guilty about being a burden even though I was never made to feel that way, so it meant a lot to me when I became a fully functional and self-sufficient adult.
    "Life is about dreams. Teaching is about making them come true."

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    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    I didn't know that about your parents, Jasmine.
    I'm sorry.
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    nolite te bastardes carborundorum stellarfeller's Avatar
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    I have often felt diminished, I guess, because I don't earn a paycheque from an employer. To be clear, I don't feel that way because of what other people might say - it's entirely internal. Even though the reason I don't work outside the home is due to circumstances entirely beyond my control, I still sometimes feel as if I don't contribute to society in a meaningful way.

    Fortunately, we do qualify for fairly generous benefits due to having children with disabilities, and I use those funds to pay for our utility bills, kids' clothes and supplies etc, and also to put money in their education and disability savings plans. So that allows me to feel that I am contributing to the household in a small way.
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    argh Nansel's Avatar
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    Money is a tool. That's all.

    I'm the child of public servants, and have been a public servant for the majority of my working life. I grew up thinking that my worth comes from what I do, not what I get paid to do what I do. Interestingly, both of my brothers developed a love of money and status somehow, and judge me as less than. Whatever.

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    Full Sponsor GiftOfFlavor's Avatar
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    For me money is the only way I feel secure. Growing up with my mother and her addiction issues at one point we lost our home and I slept on the floor of her bfs apartment.

    Money gives me feelings of stability.

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    Full Sponsor maurinsky's Avatar
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    I tend to get more self-esteem from what I accomplish, and more from the unpaid work that I do than from the paid work.

    I love getting paid and I'm always interested in getting paid more, but it is not what feeds my self-esteem.

    My security is not tied to money, either - I had an abusive parent, but we had a roof over our head and three meals a day and some semblance of stability. I was the primary breadwinner for my family for the majority of the years I was married to my ex-husband. I always thought I would someday make more money and be able to do more things, but the costs have outpaced my money.

    I have lived in poverty, and the feeling I get of paying all my bills on time, and not having to worry about juggling them or not being able to eat, is a good one.

  10. #10
    ••••••••••••• niccikatie's Avatar
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    This is an interesting question. I'm having a hard time figuring out an answer.

    Yes, to some degree. Now that I'm self-employed, it's a little bit different than it was when I was salaried. I take pride in what I earn. It's a little surreal at times, honestly, but does contribute to my self-esteem.

    Because DH and I have flipped back and forth as the primary wage earner over our marriage, I rarely consider my own pay when looking at our big picture finances, but mostly think in terms of our household income. Our income has increased significantly over our 15 years together. It has actually caused a bit of a problem in my DH's family recently, but I'm hoping we will be able to navigate through that without any long term bad feelings.

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