The crisp feel of a newfound dollar, the smooth and rounded edges of a new debit card, the smell of ink on a freshly signed check. No matter the form, money elicits a strong sense of freedom. The freedom to spend, save or invest in any way you see fit.
There are several ways in which each of us handles our own money, and although many may have varying approaches, we might find that our financial habits relate to one of four types of money personalities: big spender, saver, shopper and debtor.
The Big Spender
Big spenders are often labeled as flashy, on-brand or up-to-date. Their financial decisions are intended to make an immediate impact on themselves or the world around them. Such purchases include, but are not limited to, designer clothes, fancy watches, the latest and greatest smartphone or a large and lavish house. Big spenders are more than comfortable spending money, do not fear debt and are often risk-takers when investing.
WORKING ON IT: Challenge yourself to shop less and save a little more along the way. Before spending money on something, question its true worth to you. Will you still find value in this one year from now?
The money savers are the exact opposite of the big spenders. These individuals shop only when necessary, seeking to avoid debt and risky investments at all costs. The habits of a saver often include turning off every light when leaving a room, driving the same car for over a decade, clipping coupons for a trip to the grocery store and rarely making purchases with a credit card.
WORKING ON IT: Saving money is a healthy habit to, but it is important to not let this behavior cost you your livelihood along the way. Our time on this planet is limited, so it is more than appropriate to (responsibly and occasionally) splurge on yourself.
We have all likely met a shopper in our lifetimes, with many people likely to self-identify as one. Shoppers are those who develop emotional satisfaction through purchases. Even spending on seemingly useless or unnecessary items can elicit feelings of excitement for the shopper. Such people are usually aware of their habits and might even be concerned with the debt they can generate, but they are regularly swayed by the lure of a new discount or bargain.
WORKING ON IT: Do not spend money that you do not have. Excessive shopping can become a risky business, especially when consumers start playing with the bank’s money via credit card. An unchecked credit card interest can spell disaster for years to come.
Perhaps the least favorable money personality, debtors do not make purchases hoping to entertain or fulfill themselves. Rather, they simply ignore thinking about their expenses and how it affects their lifestyles. In general, debtors spend more than they earn and typically find themselves in the red. Debtors typically do not put much thought into investing and often miss out on worthwhile financial opportunities.
WORKING ON IT: The best advice for debtors, and many other individuals looking to sharpen their financial literacy, is to
start planning income and expenses ahead of time to help budget finances. Budgeting your everyday life can often feel like a long and arduous undertaking, but the long-term benefits will far outweigh the temporary struggles. Your wallet (and future self) will thank you!