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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Considerable research and investigation articulates the nature and consequences of a dysfunctional relationship to money and material possessions. But in technology-based, capitalistic societies, core human needs include a functional relationship to money and possessions. This chapter builds on previous work that extends self-determination theory and Kinder’s model of money maturity to propose the attributes of a functional relationship to money and possessions. Evidence supports cross-cultural commonality in three core financial needs that extend self-determination theory’s core psychological needs to the financial domain: (1) financial autonomy, (2) financial competence, and (3) financial relationships. In contrast, evidence suggests that financial values are culturally embedded. The proposed pyramid-shaped model includes a scaffolding relationship among the three, previously mentioned, tiers. It radically differs from the dominant self-centered view of financial functionality in its inclusion of transcendent financial motivation and embeds a paradox: a functional relationship to money is nonmaterialist, financial resources are merely a means to achieving nonfinancial, transcendent goals.

Keywords: financial motivation, self-determination theory, George Kinder, positive psychology, financial self-efficacy, financial materialism

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