What Money and Food have in Common

money and food

What is your relationship with money like?

Do you see any correlation between your relationship with eating and spending money?

We often talk about “being in relationship” with someone or something: Our relationship with our spouse, with food, with our bodies, and yes even with money. And when we talk about being in relationship it really just means the way we feel, think and communicate around that topic or with that person. Like any relationship, feelings ebb and flow and change over time. Sometimes the relationship deepens, sometimes it sours and sometimes it has us feeling conflicted. But, most relationships are delicate and require ample communication, respect and trust. Today I want to talk about the similarities between how we relate to money and to food. You may be surprised at the commonalities and how we show up in relationship to both the same way. Do you agree? I look forward to your comments below.


Scarcity vs. Abundance

As with money, the term of scarcity with food brings about great anxiety. And in times of economic downturns or recessions, there might not only be scarcity with money and jobs but likely also with nutritious food. Unlike with money, however, scarcity with food can sometimes be a psychological or self-prescribed phenomena by way of extreme dieting. Done enough times, self-prescribed scarcity with food can become a precursor for binge eating and an overall mistrust around food and one’s ability to bring nutritional balance into their lives.



Many people who have ever dieted see calories as a budget that they have to spend on food and drink per day, much like a monetary budget. One thereby needs to decide where to “spend” or “save” that money or those calories and if the purchase was a sound investment (into their bodies or bank accounts). Unlike micromanaging money, however, micromanaging calories can lead to tremendous angst and can shut off our ability to derive pleasure from food.


Excitement, Freedom and Pleasure

Have you ever had a windfall of money come your way unexpectedly by way of a bonus or scratch card? Your heart may soar, excitement builds and fantasies arise about how you’ll spend, save or allocate that money. Now imagine that feeling arising from an unexpected neighbor popping by with a batch of fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies. Or the pleasure derived when a delicious cold drink is served to you on a beach. With both money and food, there is the opportunity for feelings of excitement, joy and pleasure. Sadly, however, like money that feeling of bliss is often tainted by our own conflicted feelings about that food or complications that can arise from eating it. The pristine moment of pleasure is interrupted by our own narrative and stories around the choice to eat or drink it much like the way we feel with an indulgence purchase. It’s a mixture of both pleasure and guilt. This speaks much more about our societal views on indulgence, hedonism and pleasure than anything else but no less plays a role in dampening our experience.


Investments in your long term financial health or long-term investments into your physical health and longevity by way of what you eat.


We can draw correlations between terms like “you’re just throwing away money” or “That was a complete waste of money” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” (like food) with the type of food waste and guilt associated with that that occurs in restaurants and our households daily. The concept of waste or unnecessary use of commodities is a charged area for many of us and speaks to a larger socio-economic and environmental issue in our society.


Does our relationship with money mirror our relationship with food? What have you noticed in yourselves about this topic? What other ways do you see connections between money and food?

Sound off below!

2 thoughts on “What Money and Food have in Common

  1. Melissa says:

    I feel the same way about money I do with food. I have some of the same thoughts about money and food, but I don’t make or have a lot of money, so there is where I correlate between the two of them,but I am able to purchase healthy foods with the money I make.

  2. Cathy Wang says:

    Great post! I think changing the mindset from “I’m here to follow a set of rules around food” to “I’m going to set guidelines around food that work for me” is the key to living in abundance without going overboard (easier said than done 😉

Comments are closed.