Ten Traits of Underearners – Barbara Stanny

Recently, I felt inspired to take my relationship with money to coaching. Without going in to too much detail (as I wrote about it here, here, here and things I remembered here), I realised it was more about my thoughts around money than actual money per se.

I have been continuing this journey (as I am finding it challenging although insightful). One thing I found today, whilst I was reading Overcoming Underearning(TM)by Barbara Stanny was the Ten Traits of Underearners. I resonated with many of them as soon as I saw them. So what are the ten traits?


Ten Traits of Underearners by Barbara Stanny

According to Barbara Stanny, the Ten Traits of Underearners are:

  1. Underearners talk as if they’re trapped.
  2. Underearners give their power away.
  3. Underearners underestimate their worth.
  4. Underearners crave comfort.
  5. Underearners are self-saboteurs.
  6. Underearners are co-dependent.
  7. Underearners live in financial chaos.
  8. Underearners are vague about money and success.
  9. Underearners are anti-wealth.
  10. Underearners are controlled by fear.


Questions for Reflection

  • Can you relate to any of these?
  • What do each of these traits have in common? See below for answer!
  • Is there a payoff for underearning? If so, what is it? What is it’s purpose?


“Disillusionment with yourself must precede Enlightenment.” ~ Vernon Howard

P.S. The answer is the traits of underearning are self-imposed and we can change them when we are responsible. If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?



Stanny, B. (2009). Overcoming Underearning: A Simple Guide to a Richer Life. USA: Harper Collins Publishers.

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