5 Toxic Money Habits of Massachusetts Narcissists

by | Dec 4, 2023 | Divorce |

Narcissists possess challenging personalities that can significantly impact the mental health and well-being of those around them.

Unfortunately, traits such as grandiosity, superiority, entitlement, and a lack of empathy have risen recently, often unnoticed or ignored.

In this article will delve into the most toxic money habits that narcissists share and explore effective strategies to deal with them.

The Narcissist’s Secrecy Surrounding Finances

Narcissists often keep their financial situation vague, withholding important details such as their income or savings, particularly within intimate relationships.

By keeping their partners in the dark, they gain the upper hand in making wrong money decisions and controlling their perception of what the couple or family can afford.

This pattern can also extend to business partnerships, where a narcissistic co-founder might dismissively assign financial responsibilities, claiming, “I’ll handle the boring money stuff since you’re the creative genius.”

What to do: It may seem tempting to let a partner handle financial matters if you need more confidence in that domain. However, this can have serious consequences, such as negatively impacting your credit score if bills are not paid on time.

To mitigate these risks, always stay involved and informed in any financial decision that affects you.

The Public Display of Generosity

Narcissists often use extravagant displays of generosity in public to gain approval and admiration from others. They may spend lavishly on colleagues or cover the cost of social events but privately exhibit stinginess. Unfortunately, this stark contrast between public image and private reality can be isolating and frustrating for those closest to the narcissist.

What to do: Dealing with a self-serving narcissist can be mentally exhausting. To maintain your sanity in such a relationship, consider expressing and processing your feelings through journaling or by seeking therapy.

It may become evident that setting strict emotional boundaries or ultimately exiting the relationship is the best solution if the narcissist remains unwilling to change.

Skimping on the Essentials

Narcissists often prioritize unnecessary and self-serving expenditures, such as buying luxury items they cannot afford while neglecting essential needs like food, health expenses, or basic household items.

In intimate relationships with narcissists, partners may find themselves quietly saving money to ensure their well-being—an approach referred to as the “narcissistic survival skim.”

Unfortunately, this strategy can feel easier than arguing with the narcissist.

Similar patterns emerge within business settings. Picture a founder or CEO who underpays their staff while indulging in first-class flights and luxury accommodations using company funds.

What to do: Due to their self-centered mindset, narcissists often struggle to recognize or empathize with the needs and feelings of others.

If this dynamic impacts your ability to provide for yourself or run a business effectively, have an open and honest conversation with the narcissist. Afterward, take a step back to reflect on whether the relationship is worth maintaining.

The Hypocrisy of Narcissists

Narcissism and hypocrisy are closely intertwined because hypocritical behavior stems from a sense of entitlement. Most narcissists believe they are exempt from rules and regulations, even though they are quick to enforce them on others—this also applies to budgeting.

A narcissistic partner may freely spend on themselves while constantly exceeding the joint budget, only to criticize you for similar expenses.

Consider a colleague who regularly treats her subordinates to lavish dinners but reprimands you for occasionally dining out for lunch.

What to do: Based on my experience, confronting a narcissist about their hypocrisy rarely leads to productive outcomes; they will often attempt to shift the focus onto you.

Keep detailed records of any inequitable or reckless spending, as this information may prove useful for legal purposes in the future. Remember, you have a right to your fair share of the budget, even if a narcissist’s sense of financial fairness is misaligned with reality.

The Use of Money as a Punitive Tool

Narcissists frequently employ money as a means of punishment. They might financially reward you when you comply with their desires but withhold funds when they feel vindictive. This behavior can make you feel unsafe, degraded, and confused.

For instance, a narcissist may plan an extravagant birthday vacation for you but refuse to cover essential expenses after an argument. You may feel compelled to play along with their game to keep the household or business running smoothly.

What to do: Anticipating this dynamic and having funds set aside for basic expenses can help you manage or exit the situation without feeling blindsided. Recognize that this behavior is characteristic of narcissists, and developing a strategy to navigate the situation can provide a sense of control and stability.


Navigating the toxic money habits of narcissists requires awareness, assertiveness, and emotional resilience.

By understanding these patterns and implementing the suggested strategies, individuals can regain control over their financial well-being and protect their mental health.

Remember, you deserve financial stability and healthy relationships, free from the detrimental influence of narcissistic behaviors.

Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

This article was written by AI.

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