Money in dreams represents things of great value to you, but such dreams are not necessarily about monetary value.
For Jung, money is a symbol of the power required to achieve spiritual objectives. According to Freud, it is a symbol of an orderly or obsessive personality. If symbols associated with money, riches and wealth-such as cash, precious jewels, treasure, expensive houses and cars, and winning lottery tickets-appear in your dreams, try to identify what money means to you in a non-materialistic sense. That this symbol appears in your dreams suggests that you need to assess what is important to you in life, as well as being aware of what price you are prepared to pay for your actions and desires.
It may be that gold does not represent the precious metal to you, but rather someone who has a heart of gold or who is a winner, just as a dream of treasure might represent the people you love in your life, a wealth of knowledge or a treasury of ideas. Do you associate money with freedom, power, desirability or your own personal worth? Do you believe that money can buy you happiness? Thinking about such questions should help you identify the things you really value in your waking life and you may in turn start to question the real value of your previous goals and aspirations.
Money, Money, Money!
Banks and vaults in dreams represent your psychological potential. Your unconscious may be urging you to start using your inner reserves and energy rather than locking your talents away. On the other hand, your dream may simply be highlighting your need for financial security. If you dream of robbing a bank, it may suggest that you are depleting your inner resources. If, in your dream, you were depositing money in a bank, this suggests feelings of security in waking life, although such a dream may also contain an element of wish-fulfillment.
Banking in dreams can refer to something you are storing within yourself; perhaps you are withholding emotion or important information. Freudians would regard dreams of safes or strongboxes as representing female sexuality, since these things usually contain valuables. As places for hoarding things, they may also suggest greed or an inflexible approach to life. Money is a symbol of spiritual power for Jungians, so the safe or strongbox may represent a storehouse of insights into your unconscious mind.
The appearance of cash or money in your dream represents those things you value in life, or perhaps your feelings of self-confidence. It can also signify, your energy, personal resources or what you feel about yourself. In some cases, dreams of cash or money link in with feelings of hardship or misery associated with the struggle to survive or pay your way. For Jung, money appears in dreams as a symbol of spiritual power and represents your ability to achieve your goals; in many dreams, money can depict your personal sense of power to change things or the power you feel you have over others; what you pay in order to satisfy your desires or actions can also relate to sexuality and self-giving.
For Freud, money is a symbol of excrement and dreams of hoarding money express an anal fixation, perhaps caused by the parents mishandling the dreamer’s toilet training in childhood. Such dreams may therefore suggest an obsessively orderly and obstinate personality. Dreams of a pile of coins are especially potent symbols of anal preoccupations.
Most modern dream analysts believe that dream money or cash is a symbol of security, although it may also indicate things of intrinsic value to you or the way in which you value yourself. Whenever you dream of money and those things with which it is associated-such as shopping, writing checks, banks, investments, prizes or wills-you should consider whether they are commenting on the importance of things with a non-materialistic value in your waking life. Bear in mind, too, that money can represent emotional transactions in waking life.
Giving money may signify a generosity of spirit or kindness, or it may reflect emotional ties. Receiving money can suggest the acceptance of emotional support, whilst borrowing money may be a warning to pay attention to your current spending levels. Dreaming of a lack of money can suggest a lack of qualifications or the need to achieve a desired goal and hoarding money can indicate selfishness. Finding money suggests that you are realizing something valuable or gaining power; such a dream is often accompanied by a feeling of release from stress. Holding on to money in your dream signifies feeling insecure, or being ‘tight’ emotionally or sexually; it is also a symbol of not using your power to get what you want. Losing money is a symbol of losing power or opportunity, or can simply represent the pain of loss. Not having enough money indicates a sense of being inadequate or may even be reminding a man about his failing potency. Stolen money represents feelings of guilt about gaining power, a sense that you do not deserve what you get; it may also reveal a sense of feeling cheated or feeling that others are taking us for granted. Perhaps you have given yourself cheaply in sex or in a relationship. According to ancient dream-lore, it was considered fortunate to dream of receiving or finding money, with some traditions going further and saying that a dream of finding money means a birth. Money dreams, of course, may simply reflect anxieties about your finances.
Signing a check, signing a contract or making a payment are generally regarded as positive signs in your dreams, indicating that certain of your plans are going to schedule. Writing a check is a deliberate action; what is important here is not so much the check, but your attitude towards it. If you wrote a check in your dream for an amount you knew you could not afford, you may be feeling guilty about someone or something in waking life. This may relate to money but it may also relate to your recent actions towards someone.
A dream demand for payment represents the personal investment you need to make in order to move forward with your life. Making a payment or paying a bill emphasizes the effort needed to achieve your goals but also reminds you that you only get out of life what you put into it. If you find your pockets empty or your credit card rejected when you are trying to pay the bill, this highlights feelings of inadequacy; it may also be a warning not to squander your resources. Paying with cash instead of a credit card or check may suggest impatience to progress and receiving payment reflects your sense of being rewarded in some way. As a house is often regarded by dream analysts as a symbol of the self, paying rent or your mortgage in your dreams suggests a need to preserve your independence or integrity. Alternatively, if the dream stresses that you are a tenant and not a house-owner, this may suggest your unease with yourself or uncertainty concerning a current situation.
If coins were running through your hands in your dream, are you being extravagant or excessive in waking life or wasting time on things you know are not good for you? Your dream may be urging you to be more careful. If you are surrounded by piles of banknotes in your dreams, this may be simple wish-fulfillment if you are experiencing financial worries. On the other hand, the banknotes may not just refer to financial concerns, but also to sexual or emotional deficiencies.
If a credit card appears in your dreams, this symbolizes your feelings about money and the satisfaction, pleasure, security it can bring, as well as the uncertainties. It may also represent your ability to get what you want in life. Having or getting a credit card symbolizes your sense of personal power in the waking world and the ease with which you make money. Losing a credit card or having it rejected in your dreams signifies uncertainty about your financial future and may reflect the feeling of stress to which getting your needs in life can often lead.
In your dreams, debts may represent something you owe to yourself, such as time to relax, but they may also be a symbol of the debt that others owe you. For example, do you feel that you deserve more respect, consideration or attention from others in waking life? On perhaps you are in debt to someone or are in danger of becoming emotionally bankrupt or destitute?
A dream in which you were bankrupt or refused admission to something because you did not have enough money is a symbol of frustration in waking life. The lack of money in your dream could indicate people who are interfering in your life, obstacles standing in your way or your own lack of confidence. Dreams of going bankrupt or becoming a pauper may also refer to the loss of cherished non-financial resources, such as talents, looks or friends. If such a dream traumatized you, ask yourself what your lost dream riches could symbolize: the love of your friends, your self-respect or your energy reserves? Your dream may be urging you to take some kind of action to avert a real-life financial, emotional, physical or professional decline. If you have a dream in which you leave valuables with a pawnbroker, this represents the sacrifices you are prepared to make in order to achieve your goals. The pawnbroker may also represent someone whom we admire but whose advice or example is questionable; a pawnbroker can also serve as a symbol of low self-esteem.
The notion of saving and investing in dreams may have practical or emotional implications. These may relate to the need to save for your future or equally may be making some reference to the need to prepare yourself emotionally for situations or people that need your attention and time. Dream investments represent an outlay of some kind allied to an element of risk or uncertainty. Are you taking an emotional or business risk? Your dream may be guiding or warning you, or summing up the situation in some way.
If your dreaming mind homed in on a solitary egg in a bird’s nest, it may have represented your nest egg or funds you have been saving. If you have a dream of losing vast amounts of money on the stock market-an image of a ruined man or a man on the verge of suicide may appear-this represents feelings of great disappointment or disenchantment with an aspect of your life in which you feel you have invested a great deal of time and energy.
If the character of a miser appears in your dream, ask yourself if it refers to you. The dream image may not necessarily be referring to your attitude towards money; it may be telling you about your miserly approach to others. Are you always taking and not giving back in return? Beggars in dreams could refer to aspects of yourself or an area of your life that is in some way lacking or deficient. Do you need an intellectual challenge or are you feeling lonely?
In dreamland, pensions are generally associated with aging or old age, so if you had a dream in which you were collecting your pension or setting up a pension, your dreaming mind may be urging you to do just that. If you received your pension payout in your dreams, pay attention to how you felt about it. Did you feel delighted or lost? The answer will tell you not just about your attitude to aging, but about your attitude to work and whether you are working to live or living to work.
Dreams that feature a wage or salary refer to your potential in waking life; how you spend your wage indicates how you are developing your potential in waking life. The income in your dreams may represent your goals in life but it can also suggest job satisfaction, depending on whether or not you feel you are being fairly paid in your dream. If you dreamed of being paid in any way-be it a wage, salary, bonus check or cash-remember that money in dreams often symbolizes something of worth, so your attitude towards receiving the money is extremely important. If you felt angry because you were paid a derisory sum, you may be feeling undervalued in waking life or you may feel that someone is cheating you out of your rightful reward. If, however, you accepted the derisory sum without complaint, this suggests that your self-esteem is in need of a boost. If you dreamed of receiving a pay check for a vast amount of money, your dream was probably simple wish-fulfillment, referring either to your desire never to have to work for money again or to your desire to be recognized in some way.
Digging for treasure
Finding money in a dream, or digging or searching for treasure or riches can suggest power, independence and security. It may have a literal interpretation, telling you that now is a good time to start a new financial venture, but more often than not it symbolizes discovering parts of yourself that have been neglected or repressed. The treasure in your dream may symbolize things you want from life but can also suggest the treasure lying within you, maybe something that has been neglected or repressed such as a positive attitude, self-respect or a talent of some kind. Ancient dream-lore disagrees with more modern interpretations of this kind of dream, suggesting that it indicates that someone you have loved and trusted is not worthy of your love. If, however, you dream of finding gold, then this is usually a good sign.
Shops and Shopping
The colorful and varied array of goods for sale in an open-air market represents the huge range of choices that are available to you in waking life and this kind of dream is most likely to appear at times of great change in your life, such as starting a new job or a new relationship. If you hear the many cries of market sellers or street vendors, this may express your fears of losing direction in waking life. Dreams of being in a market suggest your ability to cope with the demands and social interactions of daily life. If, however, the atmosphere in the market is closed in and intense, this may suggest feelings of confusion.
Bear in mind that markets are also places of buying and selling, so they can give you an indication of how highly you value yourself and your talents, and whether you feel you have something you can sell or there is something you want to buy. Busy market dreams may simply suggest that you need to spend more time with other people. The exotic atmosphere of a dream bazaar or souk represents the desire to seek out new and exciting experiences, whilst haggling merchants can represent people in your life who are extremely demanding.
Selling is all about persuasion and buying is all about acceptance. Selling is about persuading people to have things they did not know they needed, so you need to bear that in mind if an item is up for sale in your dream. Street peddlers, hawkers or door-to-door salesman are all symbols of possible dishonesty; if they appear in your dream, you should weigh up the pros and cons of some new undertaking or the motives of someone close to you. Trading in dreams symbolizes interaction and communication and if this image appears in your dream, you may be considering what personal qualities you have to offer someone or what they have to offer you.
In dreams, shops suggest what you want or think you need in waking life. If you are in a shop you know, then you are aware of what you want from life, but if it is an unfamiliar shop, then you need to open your mind to new possibilities. Shops and stores are places of interaction, whether this is the exchange of money and goods, or the communication between the salesperson and the shopper. In dreams, they therefore represent things you desire in life and the manner in which you go about getting these things. A supermarket, for instance, suggests a wide range of choices, a village store represents the essential things in life, whilst a store or website selling a range of odds and ends-such as an antiques store, an auction site on the Internet or even a car-boot sale-suggests the small details of everyday life that are often overlooked. Your dream may be urging you to pay attention to these.
If your dream was quite mundane and you saw yourself doing your weekly grocery shop, then your dreaming mind may simply have been processing a memory or reminding you that you need to go shopping. Alternatively, such a dream may be suggesting that you are taking good care of your basic emotional needs. If, however, you had a dream in which you could not decide what to buy, this may be referring to some kind of confusion or indecision in waking life. If someone you know in your dream transformed into a sales assistant, your dreaming mind may have been commenting on the emotional cost of your relationship with them.
Bear in mind, too, that whilst stores, supermarkets and shopping malls are places of opportunity and choice, they also threaten potential exclusion and humiliation if you do not possess the necessary funds; your feelings about going on your dream shopping trip should indicate whether or not you are feeling empowered or denied in your waking life. If you dream that a shop is closed or that you have insufficient money, this may indicate that you feel the things you want from life are unattainable. Your dream may be telling you to lower your expectations and set more realistic goals. Finally, if your idea of heaven is to go on an exclusive shopping trip and spend loads of cash in luxury stores, then a dream of having a day doing just that may be simple wish-fulfillment.
Shopping often represents the possibilities in life, the decisions you can make, the variety of attitudes or activities from which you can choose, or something for which you are searching. The image of shopping presents a view of your life’s prospects and opportunities; it also represents the exchanges you are prepared to make to satisfy your desires. What you are shopping for may be relevant. If you are shopping for food, you need sustenance but if you are shopping for clothes, you need protection. How much you buy in your dream may indicate your ability to take advantage of opportunities.
Not finding the item you want or discovering that the store has sold out of it may express frustration at not getting what you want out of life. A much-reported shopping dream involves the panic at closing time. Not being able to buy all you want before the shops close suggests anxiety that life is too short to achieve all your ambitions. Shop windows are symbols of opportunities in waking life that may be out of reach. The image may evoke frustration or envy that you are missing out on the good things in life, but it can also remind you that you still have the choice to seek out more accessible and affordable items.