Today I’m honored to present a guest post from Michelle Laurey, a writer of various subjects including personal finance. Her bio is at the end. I hope you enjoy the post!
Many people struggle with managing money. You may have read a few books or articles about money management; saving, investing and retirement hoping you could turn your finances around and make progress with your goals. Maybe your own goals and financial behaviors conflict with your partner’s, and you cannot seem to find a happy middle ground.
Each person has a unique relationship with money, and they can be viewed as money personalities. Each person may identify with one major money personality and be influenced by a secondary one. This creates multiple attitudes and financial behaviors. When you understand the true nature of your money personality, you can better learn how to manage your habits, so you can get your financial house in order.
The Big Spender
This is a very common personality. Spenders like “keeping up with the Joneses”. They love to buy the latest gadgets and wear the trendiest clothes. Through their purchases, they feel validated and respected. Many Big Spenders often consider themselves entitled to splurges and treats because of their hard work. Big Spenders also may love to take advantage of credit card offers.
Spending can lead to a serious problem with debt. You must be honest with yourself about how your buying behaviors have affected your finances and your debt balances. If you discover a potential issue with impulse buying and a lack of control, take steps to curb your problem.
One idea is to set a budget and stick to it. If you have trouble sticking to a spending limit with your debit or credit card, use cash instead. When the cash is gone, you know you are done spending for a while.
You may be a debtor if your credit card balances are close to your account limit. Sometimes, you spend too much out of the desire to wow others, but you can also end up in debt if you do not pay enough attention to finances to make smart financial decisions. Money is unimportant or only minimally important, so you may not track your spending or try to contain debt.
Expect the Unexpected
Debt is a serious problem that can have long-term and damaging effects on your life. Avoid making any new charges on your credit card. Save money to pay cash for your purchases and focus on eliminating your debt balances. You also should fund an emergency savings account, so you have a way to cover unexpected expenses.
Savers get excited about finding special offers and discounts. They often brag to family and friends on what a great deal they got on a recent purchase. These are truly frugal individuals who may wear the same clothes for years because they do not think there is anything wrong with their current wardrobe.
If you are a Saver, you may even hide money around the house to keep it close by, and you may avoid taking vacations because you consider them a waste of money. Saving money may come naturally, but it is a source of stress because you are never happy with the amount of money you have saved.
Find the Balance
Saving money is not a bad behavior, but excessive saving can lead to discontentment in life. In addition, hanging onto all your old items is an extreme behavior that can lead to hoarding. If your home is cluttered with things you think you may use one day or if others say you are cheap, this may be a sign you need to find moderation.
It is great to put most your money in a savings account but remember to keep cash available for spending and fun activities. Buy things when you need them but try to look for sales and special offers.
The Risk Taker
Risk Takers generally have a job related to finance. They understand how money can work for them, and they are eager to take risks that may pay off in a big way. If you are a Risk Taker, you get excited about investments, and you may invest as much money as possible. This may generate a lot of passive income, but it also may lead to risky investments and financial loss.
Become a Smart Investor
Losing money is possible with most types of investments. Understanding risk is critical so you can moderate your exposure. Before making any investments, educate yourself. Find if there is an equivalent or similar choice available that may be less risky. Avoid making any investments you are not familiar with and knowledgeable about.
You don’t budget, save or invest money. Avoiders prefer not talking about money, and they may even feel inadequate about their abilities to manage finances. If you are an Avoider, you may have grown up in a house where money discussions were taboo. However, when you fail to manage your income, you may never achieve financial independence and enjoy all the great life experiences that come with that.
Simplify Your Budgeting
You must overcome your attitude about money in order to achieve goals. If you need to make positive correlations with money, jot down positive stuff you could do if you had more of it. This may include assisting others, like supporting charitable organizations and more.
Take advantage of technology to simplify your money management and take some stress out of it. With automated budgeting though apps and bank programs, you will have more control over the situation without putting a lot of effort.
A Final Thought
If you are like most people, you will find yourself within one of these personalities. You might not be able to change your habits completely, but now that you have figured out which type of money personality you are, you can make improvements to address your financial challenges.
Michelle Laurey produces stories on finance, entrepreneurship, and productivity. She is a virtual assistant for small businesses. Making a few mistakes with loans and credit cards forced her to expand her financial literacy and change her perspective on money. Outside of her keyboard, she enjoys a good book, healthy food, and bike rides. Reach out to her on Twitter.
I use Personal Capital because (1) it’s free, (2) it tracks all of my accounts and overall net worth, (3) my account balances automatically update, (4) it shows how my investments are diversified and allocated in various sectors, and (5) can use built-in tools like “Investment Checkup” to get….wait for it…free personalized advice!