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TheStreet Open House

5 Reasons You May Be 'Scared' of Money

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In the holiday season, when Ebenezer Scrooge looms over the landscape, terms such as "miser" and "skinflint" may creep into consumer conversations, fairly or unfairly -- negative terms linked to money, wealth and generosity (or the lack of it).

But there really isn't a term to describe someone who "loves" money, and that's a shame, according to one wealth creation expert, because if Americans embraced a more positive view of money, they could wind up with more of it.

That's the thinking of Noah St. John, author of The Book of Afformations: Discovering the Missing Piece to Abundant Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness.

St. John says there is a huge stigma around money, and that gathering wealth is looked upon as bad thing across much of consumer culture. If you adopt that view, though, you could be damaging your own lifelong financial prospects.

"Your relationship with money is like your relationships with people, and if you treat money badly, it won't stick around," he says. "When you speak, think and act positively toward money, you will attract more of it in your life."

To turn a potentially toxic view of money around and build a better relationship with cash in your life, St. John advises looking for some "warning signs" that can alert you that your partnership with money is "on the rocks."

You link money with trouble. People who fret about what they don't have and what might happen in a financial crisis are missing the boat, wealth-wise. Instead of worrying about money, St. John advises taking a positive view, asking yourself "Why did everything work out better than I expected?"

You worry when things go too well. St. John says that if you "worry about success," it's really a likely irrational concern that success isn't sustainable, leading to another irrational thought that you'll be living eventually in a van down by the river. The reality: You don't need permission to succeed, from you or anyone else.

You don't have enough savings. "If you don't have a savings account to fall back on at all, you're effectively telling yourself that you won't have any savings, which will tend to make it true," St. John says. "This also probably means you are not paying yourself, which means that you may be living on the edge financially." He advises to start paying yourself first -- and to start believing it's OK to pay yourself first.

You're too "miserly" to yourself, but not too others. Lots of people like to spend money on others, not on themselves. "If this is you, you might start to feel resentment, which can lead to stress, burnout and loss of motivation," St. John says. "Remind yourself that money is not the end itself, but a means to an end to live a healthy, happy life."

You hang out with people who "fail" with money. If you align yourself with dreamers, whiners or complainers, you may wind up just like them. "Numerous studies have shown that your income is the average of your five closest friends," he adds. "Are the people you associate with lifting you up or dragging you down? If you're the smartest person in the room, you need to find a new room."

St. John's larger point is this: Consumers with a healthy view of money make more of it and sustain those moneymaking skills over the long term.

That doesn't mean they keep it at all costs, or don't share it with others . It just means Americans who "get" money are way ahead of Americans who don't -- in more ways than one.

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