Have you thought about the foundations of your approach to saving? Here’s a look at common personalities plus tips to help you avoid danger zones.
We all have our own tried-and-trusted methods of saving (and spending) – some a little more successful than others – but have you considered the psychology behind these behaviours. Many psychologists agree that our approach to saving is primarily a learned behaviour, that our attitude to money is a mirror of how our parents dealt with and talked about money while we were kids. Did they rely on credit cards or were they frugal? Were they tenacious in chasing their goals or more laid back? These are the kind of traits that influence us in adulthood and lay the foundations for our financial future. Here’s a look at a few of the common personality types. Keep in mind that if you see yourself fall into a category you’re not happy with, financial habits can be relearned!
To the hoarder, money means security, and the threat of rainy days always seems to hang in the air, even on sunny days. They will stash their money, sometimes in cash, avoiding any sort of risk. Hoarders are likely to seek out best bargains, often spending a lot of time doing this, and will limit their lifestyle to avoid parting with their money.
Of course it’s great to protect yourself financially, but it’s ok to let yourself have fun and enjoy the benefits of the money you’ve worked hard for. Create a budget that specifically sets aside money you can enjoy guilt-free, and consider speaking to a financial advisor for low-risk ways to grow your money.
The social spendster
For the social spendster, money delivers social status – think the big (branded) buy for themselves or friends or even splashing out on a shout at a restaurant or bar. For the spendster, spending money equals self worth. This means the spendster tends to splurge, save little, and overwork the credit cards, accumulating debt.
Before spending your money, take a moment to ask yourself why you’re really buying something. If you realise you’re buying something for a confidence boost, look for healthier ways to reward yourself. Spend some time assessing your transaction records, paying attention to the interest that is being added on to the original prices. Consider talking to a trustworthy friend or a financial advisor.
Avoiders operate on the see no evil hear no evil principle. They rarely look at bank statements and fail to make long-term financial plans. Avoiders actually may have a high level of anxiety around finances and frequently exist in the dark about their own financial situation. Many avoiders will hold a negative view of money, and feel they don’t deserve to be wealthy.
Take a breath and push yourself to look at your financial statements. Take a first step by setting yourself a small, achievable goal, such as setting aside time to make sure you’re getting the right advice. It helps to try to shift your thinking so you’re viewing money as a buffer or something that brings you security.
The money worshipper
The name says it all – money worshippers get a bit obsessive when it comes to money. They may track their investments every few minutes and feverishly strive to build wealth. For the worshipper, no sum of money is ever large enough. The cause could stem from fear of security and control over life, or the feeling that money will set them free. The relentless chase for money, however, can sometimes come at the cost of family and friends.
Find ways to feel calmer and more in control of life, perhaps through focusing on family or friends. Set goals that include not only finance, but overall wellbeing, setting a time budget for leisure activities.
Have you had success changing your saving habits? Feel free to share in the comments section!
This article was originally published in September 2018.