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What does it mean when you dream about money?

When you dream about money, you may be tapping into subconscious attitudes about your life or finances. Here’s how to interpret those recurring money dreams, and gain insight along the way.

6 min read

The average person may dream as many as four to six times per night, though not every dream is easy to recall in vivid detail the morning after. Science hasn’t yet fully explained why all this dreaming occurs, but some studies suggest that it may have something to do with how we retain and organize our memories. That may be the case, but it doesn’t quite answer why so many people have recurring dreams about their finances. So, what does it mean when you dream about money?

For starters, the dreams you remember most vividly tend to be those that elicit a strong emotional response. As the topic of money can be highly emotional, you may find yourself recalling dreams about money more often and more clearly than your other dreams. To learn more about how to interpret these dreams (and even use them to your advantage), let’s dive into the fascinating world of the unconscious.

What do dreams about money really mean?

Because dreams are fleeting, intangible, and often truly bizarre, interpreting them is as much an art as it is a science. When it comes to decoding dreams, you might focus on one of two approaches:

  1. Psychoanalysis. Based on concepts developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, this approach considers the possibility that dreams are reflections of our subconscious. As such, a dream may be full of references to forgotten childhood memories and point toward deep-seated truths about the self. 
  2. Neuroscience. This scientific approach asserts that dreams occur as our brain replays events that occurred throughout the day—but that they are random, unquantifiable, and inconsistent. As a result, they don’t adhere to any recognizable logic. This doesn’t mean that dreams can’t suggest certain concerns, drives, or preoccupations, but they don’t lend themselves to being “decoded.”

Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, what’s important is that your dream interpretations bring a sense of clarity and understanding to you. After all, it’s your mind that’s creating these dreams, so it stands to reason that your mind is the best-equipped to decipher them.

And yet! It helps to have a place to start. Understanding some common interpretations of money-related dreams can be a great way to figure out what resonates with you. With that in mind, let’s explore some common dreams about money and what they might teach you about yourself.

4 common dreams about money—and what they may signify

Dreams about money can take many forms, and they may not end up being about material wealth at all. Money means different things to different people—and it can take on a whole new set of meanings depending on whether it’s being gifted, found, won, or lost. For example, money is often understood to be a symbol of power and influence. So, if you dream about losing money, it could mean that you’re feeling out of control and unable to influence the course of your life—not that you’ll wake up with a lighter wallet. 

In the end, there’s no one way to interpret your dreams about money. With that said, here are some common interpretations that may help to put you in touch with how you’re feeling about your finances—and your life in general.

What does it mean when you dream about someone giving you money?

When you dream about receiving money, there are two things to consider:

  • What it means about your relationship with yourself. Broadly speaking, dreaming about receiving money could indicate a strong sense of self-worth. It could reflect that you’re in a place where you’re feeling confident and ready to receive gifts or recognition—be they monetary or more symbolic (i.e. a new relationship or job opportunity). In short, you’re ready for success. 
  • What it means about your relationship with your benefactor. This may depend on the specific person giving you money, but one possible meaning is that you feel this person wants to support you in your endeavors. If you dream of a stranger giving you money, it could mean that you’re open to receiving rewards in unlikely places—and that you’re open to new possibilities.

What does it mean to dream about winning money?

Dreaming about winning money could indicate that you’re feeling optimistic and hopeful about the current direction your life is taking. 

Perhaps you feel that the path you’re on is aligned with your values and where you want to be in your life. Perhaps you feel financially secure, and this allows you to focus more on gratitude for what you have versus what you may lack. In any case, a dream about winning money likely indicates a focus on what’s positive in the present rather than anxiety about the future.

What does it mean to find money in a dream?

Similar to a dream about winning money, a dream about finding money likely reflects a positive frame of mind in the present. 

It could indicate that you’re open to new adventures and finding opportunities in new places. It could also signify optimism about your future. Perhaps things are going well in your personal or working life and you’re feeling confident that you’re making the right decisions.

What does it mean to lose money in a dream?

If you dream about losing money, this could suggest a feeling that your life doesn’t feel under control. Perhaps you’ve made a decision you regret, or you’re afraid of making a bad decision in the future. 

Losing money in a dream could also reflect a real loss in your life. Maybe you’re reflecting on a relationship ending or the death of a loved one. Possibly, it’s an indicator that you’re feeling anxious overall. This could be a wake-up call to start making some positive changes in your life —and maybe even your finances.

Can financial stress affect your sleep?

Financial stress and anxiety can take a huge toll on the quality of your sleep. If you’re constantly worried about money, those anxieties will likely follow you to bed. And the lack of distractions at night can actually amplify the noise of those nagging voices in your head, resulting in long nights spent tossing and turning.

What’s more, feeling sleep-deprived during the day can actively worsen your anxiety—leading to an even worse quality of sleep the following night. This vicious cycle makes it increasingly hard to reach a place of calm, where you’re able to make better-informed decisions and start actively helping yourself recover.

Here’s the good news: if you’re dealing with financial stress and anxiety, there is a way out. First things first—take some time to focus on yourself. This starts with simple steps such as eating nutritious meals, getting enough exercise, practicing self-care and spending time with your loved ones. Once you’ve got the basics covered, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to start assessing whether your money woes are really as bad as they seem, and start making plans to address your overall financial and emotional health. 

How you ultimately conquer financial stress may depend on the individual financial goals you set for yourself. Setting goals can be empowering and give you a sense that you’re in the driver’s seat. You may want to start by:

Your money at N26

At N26, we’re all about making mobile banking a dream. As an N26 customer, you’ll receive instant notifications each time money leaves your account, meaning you’re always up-to-date with your finances. Plus, your expenditures are categorized in real-time, allowing you to see areas where you’re overspending.

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