The how and why of money dreams | Dream Times

Dreams about money are common, especially this time of year.

Money is used as an exchange for goods and services, and although its face, form and value have changed throughout time and within cultures, its function has not.

It’s helpful to see how dreams reveal beliefs and practices around money and how being aware of them can enhance our sense of prosperity in waking life.

Q: What does it mean to dream about finding or losing money?

The following three dreams illustrate the dynamics our unconscious expresses about money:

— Walking on a tropical beach near a shabby town, I pass a bench with a pouch and three buffalo nickels face up on it. I take the items home and find a pair of gold cufflinks inside the pouch. My house interior is luxurious, unlike its exterior, and I see my husband wearing a red robe. I decide to move the toilet and search where to put it, but the robe distracts me. I forget about the toilet and show him the found items.

— While grocery shopping, I open my purse and find there is nothing in it. Panicked, I scramble to find my checkbook and wallet, but cannot.

— Someone “surprises” me with cash hidden in containers throughout my house — I’m not looking for money, but I discover it in unexpected places. I open a book with a blank check as a bookmark and “someone” tells me I can have anything I want and I feel rich.

The first dream suggests the dreamer is close (the ocean usually represents the subconscious) to the vast treasures of possibilities the subconscious holds. Although the house exterior appears shabby, its inside is new — indicating everything is not always how it appears, that prosperity is an inside job.

Finding “old coins” (buffalo nickels, no longer in circulation, are faced “heads up” — a dream pun saying, “pay attention”) may symbolize old thoughts about money, yet have collector’s value which makes them worth keeping.

The number 3 (nickels) shows “multiplicity, creative power and growth” (J.C. Cooper, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols), revealing inner tools the dreamer has available to tap in order to prosper.

The cufflinks (a man’s jewelry item that “links,” or closes, shirt cuffs common in a past era) are gold and suggest finding a link to “the gold” or “authentic” parts of the dreamer.

Relocating a toilet (source for elimination) is not practical or probable, which underlines its importance. The red bathrobe diverts the dreamer’s attention, saying there’s no need “eliminate” in order to have wealth (the found treasures from the bench), but may indicate shame of “getting something for nothing” mentality.

The second dream shows fear of lack of money. A purse, a feminine symbol, when empty indicates having no means of exchange for goods; the wallet and checkbook are finite (missing) resources and the panic/embarrassment over the inability to purchase food (nourishment) clearly illustrates this fear. Contrast this with the first dream where a pouch (purse) is opened and gold cufflinks are inside.

The last dream demonstrates the dreamer’s ability to find unending prosperity in unexpected places. The blank check to use for whatever the imagination will allow assures that all is well – that one can discover money anywhere “within their house” (higher self). It instills a sense of limitless supply.

Money symbolism in dreams reflects the state of your prosperity consciousness. Do your dreams usually reveal lack or abundance? Is there a positive attitude toward money as a means of exchange? Being aware of how money appears in your dreams will give you keys to enhance the manifestation of prosperity in waking life.

Note: This column is for you. I invite you to send your questions about dreams to dream or visit my website,

I look forward to hearing from you.

— Marlene King, M.A. is a writer, artist and mental health professional. She has been a dream practitioner for more than 30 years working with individuals and groups.

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