Money Obsession: What Is It and How to Deal With It?

What can be done when someone has a money obsession? Find out here!
Money Obsession: What Is It and How to Deal With It?
Maria Fatima Seppi Vinuales

Written and verified by the psychologist Maria Fatima Seppi Vinuales.

Last update: 24 January, 2023

In Spanish, there’s a term called “crematomanía“, which refers to a money obsession. While it’s true that money is necessary for many areas of life, this condition – like other obsessions – brings with it consequences at an individual and social level.

The person who suffers from it usually does anything and everything the ycan in order to increase their wealth. They don’t mind leaving aside their family, friends, dignity, and other values if it means earning more money. Let’s take a closer look at what a money obsession is all about.

What is money obsession?

As its name suggests, money obsession implies that for the person the world is reduced to an excessive and excessive concern for money matters.

Thus, when analyzing a situation to make a decision, he or she loses sight of all the factors involved, focusing only on money. So, how can you recognize this obsession? Here are the main symptoms.

A person’s interest is reduced to money matters

Conversations become monothematic: how much a person earns, how to generate more income, and so on. Sometimes, they can become addicted to work, since it gives them satisfaction to know that this allows them to increase their capital.

¿Qué es la obsesión por el dinero o crematomanía?
People with money obsession summarize their life to money and put their family and personal life on another plane.

Discomfort when spending money

Plans that involve spending often generate anxiety or discomfort. In fact, they may avoid invitations or meetings so as not to have to use the money they have saved.

Sleep disorders

Thinking about money becomes so obsessive that it takes up all their attention. It can even lead to sleep disorders. The person can’t stop thinking about how to earn more money or how to avoid spending the money they already have.

Their desire for more has no limit

No matter how much money they have, it is never enough. As a result, the sufferer often remains trapped between their feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration.


They put so much care into their spending that they often neglect themselves. For example, they may not invest in activities that give them pleasure, since they begin to see them as “expenses”.

In fact, they may neglect their personal appearance (they may wear worn-out clothes or clothes in precarious conditions in order to avoid spending), and they may not buy even medicine, among other things.

A loss of values

Being obsessed with money can lead people to lose their values, behave unscrupulously and even get involved in illegal activities.

Social difficulties

These people may feel distrustful of people, believing that they want to enter into a relationship for money or that they want to harm them. They may also experience envy when they perceive that someone has more capital than they do.

This is not a recognized disorder

It’s important to note that money obsession is not recognized as a pathology or disorder in diagnostic manuals. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t become a problem.

In this sense, to know whether the relationship with money is functional or dysfunctional, a person should assess who “dominates” whom. They can do this by asking themselves a simple question:

Do I do what I want  with my money, or does my money do  what it wants with me ?

Like this article? We think you may also like to read: How Does Money Affect Mental Health?

How to deal with a money obsession

When a money obsession begins to affect other areas of life, such as family, relationships, work, or friendships, it’s advisable to pay attention. Here are some recommendations for dealing with this problem.

Evaluate your beliefs surrounding the valuation of money

First of all, it’s important to know what beliefs are involved in this excessive valuation of money. For example, a person who’s very attached to money may have gone through a situation of economic deprivation in his or her life, so he or she now tries not to return to that circumstance.

In this case, it’s important to determine that the end result ends up being circular, since he or she returns to the same point. There are needs and shortages, since he or she doesn’t want to spend the money. Therefore, it will be necessary to work for a more flexible way of thinking.

Question the role or function of money in your life

What’s money for, really? What does it allow me to obtain? In other words, start by asking yourself about the purpose of wealth: To obtain recognition? To attract attention? To have power? To bond with someone?

Perhaps your mind is stuck in the rigid idea that money is the only way to achieve its objectives and that there are no other possible alternatives. In relation to this, a person who seeks to please through money should focus on working on other social skills.

Get therapy

Therapy can be of great help. For example, through cognitive therapy, it’s possible to identify irrational beliefs and facilitate thoughts that involve valuing other aspects.

A person with a money obsession.
If the obsession with money is affecting other pillars of life, it is best to seek psychological therapy to deal with it.

You may be interested in reading this article, too: How To Prevent Mental Obsession

This is an obsession fostered by society

When we talk about obsessions, it’s necessary to take this problem out of the individual level. Obsession with the body, with healthy food, with shopping, having the latest cell phone and, in general, with money, are often promoted by our capitalistic, consumeristic society.

Both at the mass media level and in individual comments, the fact that a person has a lot of money is constantly reinforced. This is how we find that some people are more interested in objects of consumption than in experience or in working or having more and more, instead of enjoying or resting.

Undoubtedly, this has an impact on our health in general, especially our mental health. In addition, these people validate and “measure” others based on their purchasing power. As a result, they fail to really connect with those in front of them, in addition to deteriorating their interpersonal relationships.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Garrido Piosa, María. (2014). Adicción al trabajo: características, detección y prevención desde una perspectiva integral. Enfermería Global13(33), 362-369. Recuperado en 13 de octubre de 2022, de
  • Russo, M. D. (2021). Afecto, cuidado y dinero. RUNA, Archivo Para Las Ciencias Del Hombre, 42(2), 385–403.
  • Bados López, A. (2017). Trastorno de ansiedad generalizada: Naturaleza, evaluación y tratamiento (2017).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.