Money Talks, So Should You

Money Coach: How to identify your money problems

Money Coach
by Money Coach , Dimespring Contributor  (@CarrieBirgbauer)

It's never about the money.  

So what is it then? In my personal experiences as a financial therapy client, private school graduate, personal assistant to high-net-worth individuals, yoga instructor, secondary school educator, and professional money coach, I can safely say that financial problems run much deeper than account balances.  

Here are the signposts for four types of money disorders:

Wealth Addiction

  • Mass accumulation of stuff (i.e. clothes, electronics, jewelry, real estate, collectibles, investment accounts) that never satisfies or feels like enough
  • Doing the same thing with money over and over again expecting different results
  • Not opening, removing the tags from, wearing, consuming or using purchases

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Chronic Debting

  • Inability to stop using credit cards
  • Failure to pay bills or taxes in full and on time
  • Making financial choices with negative consequences on relationships and emotional wellbeing
  • Repetitive self-defeating behaviors with money


  • Earning less than needed or wanted
  • Waiting for someone or something to save you
  • Feeling powerless, hopeless and spiritually depleted over money

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Compulsive Spending

Perhaps you identify with these behaviors or feelings on a regular basis. Maybe it's only happened once or a few times. It is possible that one of the other “big four” has a grip on you: food, sex, alcohol or drugs. Most people with even a hint of a money disorder suffer from habitual fear and scarcity thinking about money. Regardless, it is important to be aware of what drives your unique relationship to money. In the process of money coaching, we take a holistic approach to financial planning, which includes examining why you do what you do.


Carrie Birgbauer is a certified money coach and a former kindergarten teacher, chief of staff, college tennis player and yoga instructor. She has completed the intensive financial counselor training program at the Financial Recovery Institute and has started her own holistic money coaching practice. Birgbauer helps professional individuals, families and small business owners take control of their daily finances.