Welcome back to Money March! This month we have discussed WAYS TO TRACK EXPENSES, HOW TO START SAVING MONEY, WHY YOU SHOULD TRACK EXPENSES, and HOW TO SAVE FOR SINKING FUNDS. If you missed any of this important information, click on the link and look for FREE PRINTABLES as well!
You are out with your friends for a little shopping and lunch (pre-pandemic, of course). You are each looking for different items, laughing, talking, having a good time. As you are browsing through the racks of clothes, your mind wanders to how much money you are spending and if you really need this item. You start thinking ahead to how much your lunch is going to cost, how many more stores your friends want to go to and you start to panic a little. You have a little money to spend, but you haven’t been keeping track of your finances, you only know approximately how much you have in your accounts. You don’t want to LOOK like you don’t have money, so you know you have to buy some stuff. Your friends might be buying the newly released clothes for the season, while you desperately want to look at the Clearance section. Your friends are trying on the latest, full price clothes and accessories and making purchases. You just make excuses like, “that’s not my style” or “I am not as confident as you are to be wearing that new trend.” Your friends want to splurge for lunch, going all out to the new steak restaurant with the pricey cocktails and your mind starts to wander to what you can order that won’t make you look cheap. This fun trip is becoming a bit of a nightmare…
Or maybe you are one of the other friends. You always budget your money, so you know exactly how much you have to spend and you have been saving for this trip. Your goal is to buy the best quality items for the whole season right now, items that will last a while and be worth your money. You have your eating out budget perfectly decided so that you can splurge with the rest of your friends later on. You have no panic or guilt about spending the money you worked hard for…
Or maybe you are the friend who puts everything on a credit card to be dealt with later. You know you are in debt already, so what is a few hundred more dollars to live up the life you think the others are living. You have no problem buying what you want, when you want it and then dealing with the consequences later.
As you can see, each friend in this situation has a different outlook about money, or MONEY PERSONALITY. We all deal with and think about money in different way, and we don’t always take into account another persons money personality when we compare ourselves to them. We all get a little envious when we see people with a different lifestyle that we think is better than ours. We see it on social media all the time, but we see it within our own peer groups, too. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a saying because it is human nature to compare ourselves to our neighbors and feel like we should have what they have. The Bible even teaches us not to covet our neighbors belongings, because it is natural for us to compare ourselves to others. So how can we deal with this? And how can we use that knowledge to make ourselves be more in control of our money?
As I stated in BUDGETING BASICS, our budgets should be created to outline what is important to us. As the one example above, the friend budgeted money for her shopping trip and for her lunch out so that she didn’t feel guilty for having a good time. There is nothing wrong with using our money to do things we want to do, as long as we meet all of our other needs first. The whole point of gaining control of our money is to be able to have fun with it, after all.
But there is so much more to understand than just the basics of budgets and tracking. Just like with our diets and exercise programs, we tend to fail if we don’t understand our mindset going into it, and then learning to change that mindset to reflect the changes we want to make. The same is true with our finances. Each of us grew up with a different outlook on money, different education, and different experiences.
I grew up in a household where we didn’t talk about money. All I ever heard were excuses as to why I couldn’t have what I wanted when we went to the Mall, but never why. Was it because we couldn’t afford it? Was it because it wasn’t needed? I had no idea. I knew my parents “paid the bills” but I had no idea how or what that meant. I never saw their system and they never gave me my own money or taught me how to handle my own money when I got a job. Therefore, I just spent what I had, when I wanted with no consequence. As soon as I wanted more, I got credit cards and ran those up on unnecessary items that didn’t last. I started out my adulthood with bad credit, money problems, and in a hole I thought I would never dig myself out of. Only recently have I begun my journey into learning more about my mindset about money and how I can fix the issues that have followed me for over 20 years.
WHAT ARE MONEY PERSONALITIES?
There are several types of money personalities, and different websites gives them different names based on their financial system, but I have broken it down into 5 simple categories we can all relate to:
- SHOPPERS: Shoppers usually get pleasure from shopping and tend to make purchases when they are feeling emotional or upset by something else in their lives. Shopping gives them a boost of Serotonin, making them feel good for the moment without thinking about the consequences. Shopping for them is almost drug like, in that it is a quick fix to whatever they are feeling at the moment. Shoppers usually get a rush out of finding the best bargains and saving the most money, even when shopping for unnecessary items.
- DEBTORS: Debtors are those who put everything on their credit card and worry about paying it later. They have no sense of how much money they actually have, nor do they care. Debtors live in the moment, not thinking of the long term affects creating debt will cause. Debtors almost never invest or save money, because they usually don’t have “extra” money left over, or if they do, they probably don’t know it. Debtors are usually stressed out over their financial situation, they know it isn’t ideal, but they may feel overwhelmed and lost, with no way out.
- BIG SPENDERS: These are the ones who feel they need to purchases every new items seen on TikTok or Instagram, thinking that their lives will improve if they can just have the next big thing. They care a lot about what other people think, so they will upgrade their life, even if they can’t afford it. Big spenders will choose quality over price and prefer to buy things brand new. They don’t fear debt, but they are bigger risk takers with their money, so they may invest in areas that others wouldn’t.
- SAVERS: Savers are those that don’t spend their money much at all. They are considered “cheapskates” and are the type who will hold on to items until they are worn out. They have no desire to upgrade their lifestyle and are perfectly happy with older cars with no car payments and clothes that they have had for several years. They do not care about trends or “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Savers may be holding on to their money because of worry about future security or they may have a plan for their retirement and they are sticking to their plan. In the meantime, though, they are passing up on vacations and other fun things, waiting for the future.
- INVESTORS: Investors are those who are very aware of what they have and how they want to use it. They are well versed in investing and savings, but they also know how to budget their money for the things they want to do. They are moderate risk takers with their investments, setting them up for big wins and they are very careful with their financial decisions. Investors tend to be very balanced with their lives.
Do you see yourself in any of these basic money personalities? Maybe you see yourself in a few different categories. Maybe you see yourself in one and your partner in another. As you can see, these aren’t one size fits all, and there is plenty of information out there that will go more in depth and find even more, nuanced categories to narrow down your true psychology of money. These basic types, though, are enough to show you that every one is in a different situation because of their money personality.
Knowing your money personality can help you change your mindset and make better decisions. Use what you have learned about yourself to find a plan to help you achieve success based on your personality. If you and your partner have different types of personalities, it may lead to fights about money just because you both view it differently. Understanding that you both have different money personalities will hopefully lead you into a discussion about what is important to you both and how to compromise.
Having the self awareness of your own mindset can help you address where you are falling short. If you are an emotional spender, you might want to recognize that and then start to analyze what parts of your life need attention in ways other than shopping. If you are a saver, maybe you can use a budget to create some space for more fun and flexibility in your life. No matter what your personality, budgeting tools will help you gain control and find balance and success.
Here are some FREE PRINTABLES for you to enjoy!
Let me know in the comments if you have found this useful and what YOUR money personality is. Follow my page with your email for updates on new articles and look for Being Grown Up on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Check out Anchor.fm/kim-stamler for my podcast, as well! XOXO