Like almost everything else in life, your response to money is largely determined by your personality. But have you given much thought to how you behave in regards to your finances and how that behavior affects your bottom line?
Understanding your monetary personality is the first step and will help you shape your approach to spending, saving, and investing.
The Five Personality Types of Money
Character traits related to money can be classified into specific groups. This topic has been analyzed in a number of ways, and many people can identify with parts of several of these money personality profiles. The key is to find the type that most closely matches your behavior. The main profiles are big spenders, savers, buyers, debtors and investors.
Big consumers love nice cars, new gadgets, and designer clothes. People with a “spending” personality type are not usually bargain shoppers; They are in fashion and always looking to make a statement. This often means the desire to have the latest and greatest mobile phone, the biggest 4K TV, and a beautiful home.
When it comes to keeping up with the Joneses, the big spenders are the Joneses. They are comfortable spending money, they are not afraid of debt, and they often take big risks when investing.
- It can be helpful to understand the various personalities of money when finding the right approach to investing, spending, saving, and general management of your finances.
- Five common money personalities are investors, savers, big spenders, debtors, and buyers.
- Debtors and buyers tend to spend more money than recommended.
- Investors and savers can overlap in personality traits when it comes to managing household money.
- Big spenders and shoppers tend to have similar habits, but big spenders tend not to worry about debt, and shoppers may spend more time searching for bargains.
Savers are the exact opposite of big spenders. They turn off the lights when leaving the room, close the refrigerator door quickly to keep it cold, shop only when necessary, and rarely shop with credit cards. They are generally debt free and can be seen as tight-fisted.
Savers are not concerned with following the latest trends and get more satisfaction from reading interest on a bank statement than from purchasing something new. Savers are conservative by nature and do not take great risks with their investments.
Shoppers often develop great emotional satisfaction from spending money. They can’t resist spending, even if it’s to buy items they don’t need. They are often aware of their addiction and are even worried about the debt it generates. They look for bargains and are happy when they find them.
Buyers are varied in terms of investment. Some invest regularly through 401 (k) plans and may even invest a portion of the windfall, while others view investing as something they will eventually hit.
Money personality traits don’t always apply to everyone, and people may have overlapping characteristics when it comes to managing their finances.
Debtors are not trying to make a statement with their expenses and they are not shopping for entertainment or encouragement. They just don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their money and therefore don’t control what they spend and where they spend it.
Debtors generally spend more than they earn and are deeply in debt without much thought about investing. Likewise, they often don’t take advantage of the business combination in their 401 (k) plans.
Investors are money conscious. They understand your financial situation and try to put your money to work.
Regardless of their current financial situation, investors tend to look for a day when passive investments provide enough income to cover all of their bills. Your actions are driven by careful decision making, and your investments reflect the need to take a certain amount of risk to achieve your goals.
Make these changes to your monetary personality
Once you’ve determined which of these personality types describes you the most, and you’ve given some thought to how you approach money, it’s time to see what you can do to get the most out of what you have. Making small changes can often produce big results.
Spenders: buy a little less, save a little more
If you love to spend, you likely will continue to do so, but you should be looking for long-term value and not just short-term satisfaction. Before splurging on something expensive or trendy, ask yourself how much that purchase will mean to you in a year. If the answer is “not much”, skip it. This way, you can try to limit your spending to the things that you will actually use.
When you channel your energy into savings, you have another chance to think long-term. Look for slow, steady profits rather than high-risk, quick-win scenarios. If you really want to challenge yourself, consider the merits of downscaling.
Savers: use moderation
Ben Franklin once recommended “moderation in all things.” For a saver, this is particularly good advice. Don’t miss out on all the fun parts of life just to save a few pennies.
Also fine-tune your savings efforts. Pinching pennies is not enough. While minimizing risk is the primary goal of any investor, minimizing risk and maximizing return is the key to investing success.
Buyers: don’t spend money you don’t have
A fundamental step for buyers is to take control of their credit cards. Unchecked credit card interest can wreak havoc on your finances, so think before you spend, especially if you need a credit card to make the purchase.
Try to focus your efforts on saving the money you have. Learn the philosophy behind successful savings plans, and try incorporating some of those philosophies into your own. If spending is something you do to make up for other areas in your life that you feel are lacking, think about what they could be and work to change them.
Debtors: plan your finances and start investing
If you are a debtor, you need to get your finances in order and establish a plan to start investing. You may not be able to do it alone, so it’s probably a good idea to seek help. Deciding who will guide your investments is an important choice, so choose any investment professional carefully.
Investors: Keep up the good work
Congratulations! Financially speaking, you are doing very well! Keep doing what you’re doing and keep educating yourself.
The bottom line
While you may not be able to change your monetary personality, you can recognize it and address the financial challenges it presents. Managing your money involves self-awareness; Knowing where you are will allow you to modify your behavior to better achieve your financial and life goals.