Money and personality structure

The research work of the Money Research Institute is aimed at studying the structure of the psychological, sociological personality, defining the boundaries of the motivational and demand sphere and highlighting the socio-psychological attitudes and the degree of their expression in the dynamics of a person’s relationship with money in order to form a universal money formula, a catechism, a set of golden rules and cause-effect relationships.

J.S. Karlin (Moscow, Russia) Money Research Institute

O.S. Schwartzman (Zug, Switzerland) Money Research Institute


Ю.С. Карлин (Москва, Россия)

Научно-исследовательский институт

 изучения природы денег

О.С. Шварцман (Цуг, Швейцария)

Money Research Institute



Annotation: The study of the attitude to money and the monetary behavior of a creative personality is of genuine interest, since the perception of money by an extraordinary person is as non-standard as the perception of the surrounding world. The article highlights the key features of F. M. Dostoevsky’s attitude to money, analyzes the influence of his monetary behavior on life.

Keywords: money, attitude to money, monetary behavior, F. M. Dostoevsky, gambling addiction, «Crime and punishment», «Idiot», «Gambler», «Brothers Karamazov».

Ф. Dostoevsky was an outstanding Russian writer, the creator of brilliant novels and a staunch opponent of revolutionary change and liberalism.

Publicist E. Kholmogorov notes in his article “Dostoevsky and Money” that the money in Dostoevsky’s texts is usually enormous, stray, appearing out of thin air and disappearing into nowhere. There is not the slightest sign of labour origin in them, no connection to industrial or agricultural production [7]. В. V.V. Rozanov in his book “Solitary” conveyed the same thought: “In Russia all property has grown out of ‘borrowed’, or ‘given’, or ‘robbed’ someone. There is very little work in property. And because of this it is not strong and not respected”. [6]. There is a clear link between money and criminality, humiliation, aggression and violence.

Е. Kholmogorov argues that money in Dostoevsky is an aggregator of aggression. They are the main challenge in the writer’s novels. Money is withdrawn from production, detached from the creation of surplus value, so it only brings death and destruction into the lives of the characters [7].

Н. N.A. Kladova, analyzing F.M. Dostoevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment”, focuses on the duality of money: “Money is an attribute of both the false and the true world. Those taken by Raskolnikov from the old woman undoubtedly represent the diabolical hypostasis of being. However, the 25 roubles given to his son by Pulkhoria Alexandrovna, the 3,000 roubles left by Marfa Petrovna in her will to Dunya, the money given by Svidrigailov to Sonya and put into the account of Marmeladov’s children, the money for the translation of the text which Razumikhin shared with Raskolnikov while giving him work, and finally, the money Raskolnikov himself helped Marmeladov (twice), the drunken girl, are pure money of mercy and kindness. In general, in the novel, after receiving (Raskolnikov) or attempting to receive (Dunya through marriage) ‘unrighteous’ money is followed by receiving righteous money…” [5, pp. 18-19] The researcher notes: “Money in Dostoevsky’s artistic world is not an appurtenance of the financial sphere, not an economic measure of life, but a measure of humanity in human society” [5, с. 25].

In his novel The Idiot Fyodor Mikhailovich describes a world in which the leading role belongs to capitalists, millionaires, businessmen, adventurers. The heroes of the work are obsessed with lust for profit. The character Gania says to the prince: “… I, my dear prince, am probably doing a very bad job of trusting you. But it was because you were the first of the noble men I met that I jumped on you… This may be the first time I have spoken to my heart in two years. There are terribly few honest people here; there are none more honest than Ptitsyn…” [4, с. 11]

It is noteworthy that Dostoevsky’s attitude towards money was, on the one hand, rather frivolous, as the writer suffered from gambling addiction, loved risk and was a gambling man, but, on the other hand, money played an important role in his life, for the writer even signed a contract with a publishing house to write his novel The Gambler in order to get the necessary sum and pay off debts. Analyzing this act of Dostoevsky, we understand that literary activity was not only a way for the writer to realize himself creatively, to reveal and reveal the actual moral and ethical problems of modernity, man and society as a whole. It acted as a tool for making money, solving pressing financial problems.

The writer not only recognized but also emphasized the importance of money in human life. In the novel The Brothers Karamazov we find words from the prosecutor’s accusatory speech in court (accusing Dmitriy Fedorovich Karamazov of murdering his father): “I precisely assume that part of the money was hidden at the same time, and precisely in this house, shortly before his arrest, in some crevice, in a crevice, under some floorboard, somewhere in a corner, under the roof – for what? What for? The catastrophe may come now, of course we have not yet thought about how to face it, and we have no time for it, and there is a nagging in our heads, but what about money? – money is necessary in every situation! A man with money is a man everywhere…”. [3] F.M. Dostoevsky focuses on the fact that people who have money find it easier to adapt, to find their place in society, new acquaintances, a way out of difficult situations.

Dostoevsky developed a passion for gambling, especially roulette, abroad. He believed there was a system, following which one could constantly win. Fyodor Mikhailovich tried to find it. Sometimes he would win, but much more often he would lose his entire fortune, looking for money to get out of debt.

Dostoevsky often shared his despair with his wife Anna: “…Oh, my dove, don’t even let me go to the roulette wheel! As soon as I woke up – my heart falters, my hands and feet are trembling and cold. I got here at a quarter to four and found out the tape measure was till five o’clock. (I thought it was till four). It must have been an hour to go. I ran. From the first bet I lost 50 francs, then suddenly went up, I don’t know how much, I didn’t count; then I started losing heavily; almost to the last one. And then suddenly, on the very last money, I won back all my 125 francs. Anya, darling, I was thinking of sending you a hundred francs, but it’s too little. If only it had been at least 200. But I give you my word of honour and great promise that tonight, from 8:00 to 11:00, I will play… in the most prudent manner, I swear to you.” [2].

In a letter of 1868 Dostoevsky wrote: “…My dear angel Nitya, I have lost everything as soon as I arrived, in half an hour I have lost everything… Forgive me, Anya, I have poisoned your life! Send me as much money as you can. Not for gambling (I would have sworn to you, but I don’t dare, because I’ve lied to you a thousand times). My angel, send me 100 francs. You’ll have 20 or less left, pawn something. I wish I could come to you soon! Don’t think, Anya, of my demanding 100 francs as madness. I’m not crazy. And don’t think me vicious either. I won’t cheat, I won’t cheat, I won’t gamble. I am only asking to be sure…” [2]

Undoubtedly, Dostoevsky’s monetary behaviour had an impact on his relationship with his loved one, his wife, who suffered from his addiction. In her diaries she wrote: “Finally, I reached, I received a letter first from Fyed, and then I asked him if there was any insurance, he submitted a letter from my mother. Both letters were terribly bad. Fedya wrote that he had almost lost everything, and Mum had only sent 35 roubles. This made me terribly sad, and I came home and cried terribly. I cried a long time and a lot, but then I wrote a letter to Fede, asking him to come home soon rather than stay there, and sent it to the post office. At the same time, I wrote to my mother, asking her to secretly pawn my fur coat and send her money. I was terribly disturbed by these letters – it was horrible, it made me so sad. [2].

Researcher L.A. Beloglazova in her article “Gambling addiction as a phenomenon of alienated reality” notes that “gambling addiction” is a term found in the research literature and captures the phenomenon of morbid craving for games [1, p. 99]. The passion for gambling marred Dostoevsky’s life for many years, reinforcing unhealthy monetary behaviour and suppressing the writer’s critical attitude towards gambling and constant losses. In this context, L.A. Beloglazova’s conclusion is noteworthy: “Of course, one can be carried away by anything (that’s what human freedom is all about), but when one is carried away by something, one should not allow oneself to be carried away to the last line, when there is no room for either doubt or criticism anymore. [1, c. 102].

Thus, we can identify the following key features of the attitude towards money of the creative person – F.M. Dostoevsky:

The association of money with evil (violence, aggression, adventurism) in the conditions of regressing morality and the current socio-economic situation in Russia of the nineteenth century.
The perception of money as a measure of humanity in society.
The perception of the “dark” and “light” sides of money: money can be associated with both negative and positive intentions and actions.
The perception of money as a test for the individual.
Light-heartedness, approval of the risks associated with money, ignoring losses, losing money in pursuit of more money, in search of a system that guarantees permanent gains.
Highlighting the importance of money in solving many of life’s issues and problems. Perception of money as a tool to achieve goals of various kinds.
Contradiction in the perception of money (arising from a combination of frivolous and conscious attitudes to money).

The writer’s money behaviour had a negative impact on his relationship with his wife. Gambling destroyed marital happiness and strengthened Dostoevsky’s unhealthy perception of his financial situation over the years.

A creative personality is characterised by inconsistency and a choice of extremes. These features were also characteristic of the writer in the financial sphere of life. Dostoevsky, like any creative person, was in search of the best: the right way, the truth, spiritual and material wealth.

List of references:

Beloglazova L. A. Gambling as a phenomenon of alienated reality // Bulletin of Voronezh State Technical University. – Voronezh: Publishing house of Voronezh State Technical University, 2022. – [Electronic resource] – Access mode:, free. – (reference date: 05.12.2022).
Degtereva E. When it is impossible to stop: six famous writers who suffered from gambling addiction // Together. CIS main TV magazine, 2018. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (Date of access: 05.12.2022).
Dostoevsky F. M. The Brothers Karamazov. Unfinished. Collected Works: in 15 vol. – Vol. 10. – L.: Nauka, 1991. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (Date of accession: 03.12.2022).
Dostoevsky F.M. The Idiot. – Internet-library of A. Komarov. – 50 с. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (Date of access: 05.12.2022).
Kladova N. A. Money as a detail-symbol in the novel “Crime and Punishment” by F. M. Dostoevsky // Philology and Man. – №2. – Barnaul: Publishing house of Altai State University, 2018. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (Date of access: 05.12.2022).
Rozanov V. V. Solitary. Apocalypse of our time. – Moscow: Martin, 2021. – 224 с. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (Date of access: 05.12.2022).
Kholmogorov E. Dostoevsky and Money // Russian Economic Thought. Russian Economic Society. С. F. Sharapov, 2016. – [Electronic resource] – Mode of access:, free. – (access date: 05.12.2022).

Bodo Schaefer’s view of wealth and financial independence in his book The Road to Financial Freedom

In this book the author reveals the secrets of creating, preserving and increasing personal wealth, tells how you can achieve financial independence with the help of simple but very effective methods.

In the preface Bodo Schaefer writes: “Many people have a gap between their dreams and a sense of reality. And they believe that this is perfectly normal. To put an end to this misconception, in 1997 I wrote the book “The Road to Financial Freedom”.

I wanted the book to touch the hearts of readers and show them the way to the treasures of our life, including money. I wanted to show that wealth is our birthright. Living a life of dignity in financial freedom is our natural destiny…”

In the introduction, the author begins his dialogue with the reader as follows: “Do you know what prevents most people from living the life they dream of? Money, and only money. After all, money is a symbol of a certain attitude towards life, a measure of the way of thinking …”.

Bodo Schaefer further notes: “Having money means, first of all, living more freely and independently. When I realised this, I felt an urgent need to share my knowledge with people. I made a promise to myself to help everyone I meet on my path to financial freedom. After all, just as anyone can learn to fly, dive or write computer programs, they can learn to build their wealth. All it takes is learning a few fundamentals.

There are several opportunities to make your first million. They fit into the four strategies outlined in this book:

You save a certain percentage of your earnings.
You invest the money you save.
You increase your earnings.
You save a certain percentage of your increased income.”

The author argues, “Of course, the road to financial freedom will not always be easy. But living in financial dependence is even harder. If you follow the recommendations in this book, you will surely achieve your goal.”

Bodo Schaefer writes that “finances are of the utmost importance in building self-confidence”.

The author goes on to emphasise: “You must not allow your financial situation to undermine your self-confidence. For without this confidence, you will be living at a minimum consumer level. You will never know what abilities lie within you. You will never take risks. You will never develop as a person. You will never do what you are capable of. You won’t reach your potential. A man who lacks self-confidence does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.”

Summing up the first chapter of the book, Bodo Schaefer writes:

“- Money always has only the value we give it. If you have financial problems, money takes on too much importance.

Your inner values and goals must match, otherwise you will stagnate.
Optimism is the ability to see the positive side of everything, and self-confidence helps to understand that you can cope with the negative.
A person is confident if they find evidence in their own experience that they can always rely on themselves.
Your way of thinking has brought you to where you are today. If you continue to think the same way, you will never get to where you want to be.
Success means that you have become what you wanted to be, and happiness is about liking who you have become.
Financial problems always overshadow all other areas of life.
Make a decision: do you want to create a mechanism that extracts money for you, or do you want to be that mechanism yourself for the rest of your life.
Determine your favourite hobby and build a career around it.
If you work all day, you don’t have enough time to make money.
It is only when you make a conscious decision about your values that you will be guided by in the future that you take control of your life.
Everything you do in life depends not so much on your iron discipline but on what you dream about, what your goals, values and strategies are.

May this book help you start your journey to financial freedom and learn to take responsibility for yourself, because, as the author says, “you cannot become rich without realising the fact that we are responsible for everything”.

On the motivation and needs sphere

The motivation and needs sphere includes a variety of needs, desires and motivations.

It is important to realise that this sphere is dynamic. It can change depending on life circumstances, environment, age, social status, etc.

– Physiological needs. These are basic needs: food, water, clothing and shelter. The degree of their expression can be high (when a person faces lack of money to fulfil these needs) and low (when he is provided in this respect).

– Need for security. The individual seeks security.

– Social needs. Money plays an important role in fulfilling these needs. They enable one to participate in social activities as well as to organise them.

– Need for respect and recognition. A person seeks recognition, success and respect from others. Money contributes to the achievement of this goal.

– Need for self-realisation. This need is related to the desire for personal development. Money provides opportunities for personal growth.

– Need for power. Some people seek power and control. Money facilitates the achievement of this goal.

– Material ambition. Some people are characterised by a high degree of material ambition. Money plays a key role in their lives and relationships.

Money and personality structure

Money can influence and interact with aspects of personality structure.

– Self-esteem and self-respect. Financial situation often affects self-esteem and self-respect. Monetary stability has a positive effect on self-esteem, while financial difficulties have a negative effect (in most cases).

– Relationships and social adjustment. Financial status affects social relationships and social adjustment. People who have a lot of money tend to be surrounded by successful and influential people.

– Emotional well-being. Financial difficulties cause stress, anxiety and depression. This negatively affects the emotional state and personality structure.

– Values Attitudes. Attitudes towards money reflect the values of the individual.

– Behaviour and financial decisions. Personality structure affects financial behaviour. For example, people with low self-control tend to be wasteful.

It is very important to remember that the influence of money on personality structure is individualised.

A study of the relationship between money and personality

The study of the relationship between money and identity is an interesting and multifaceted field in psychology and the social sciences.

– Self-identity. Researchers study how financial status and lifestyle relate to self-understanding and self-identity.

– Consumer psychology. This field studies how personality influences consumption patterns.

– Financial decisions and behaviour. Research in this area shows what factors influence financial behaviour.

– The psychology of poverty and wealth. Research shows how different levels of income affect an individual’s psychological state and well-being.

– Financial stress and debt levels. Research shows how financial distress and debt affect an individual’s psychological well-being.