Have you ever met a rich person that hoards money or a responsible person going further into debt for no reason or someone that never lets others pay the bill at dinner? Money affects us all differently. We all have a certain attitude towards our money that affects how we interact with our finances. Some call this your "Money Personality" or "Money Habitude". A life coach named, Syble Solomon has developed a few of the most common "Money Habitudes". Here are the six personalities that most people identify with at one point in their life or another. Some people have multiple personalities that show up at different times or in different moods.
- Security: Money helps you feel safe and secure
- Spontaneous: Money encourages you to enjoy the moment
- Status: Money helps you create a positive image
- Selfless: Money helps you feel good by giving to others
- Free Spirit: Money is not a priority at this point in your life
- Targeted Goals: Money is a tool to help achieve your goals
As you try to uncover which of these personalities you identify with most often, ask yourself if you do any of these actions below. If you try to live modestly and only limit expenses to necessary purchases, your money personality may be more “Selfless”. If you are consciously spending your money on the things most important to you, you are likely using money with the “Targeted Goals” personality. If you find yourself shopping when you are upset, trying to avoid something, or even in a great mood, you are probably more “Spontaneous” with your money. If you believe that things will always work out and there is no need to worry about money or saving for the future, you would identify as a “Free Spirit”. If you always know where your money is at and are cautious to access it for reasons other than saving, you probably depend on money for a sense of “Security”. If you feel an urge to pick up the bill at dinner or try to stay current in your fashions or cars or travel, then “Status” may be most important when it comes to money.
It’s always interesting to think about what your money personality is, how it affects your spending and savings habits and even how you developed this attitude towards money. There is no right or wrong combination of these money attitudes, and all of us have different levels of each of these when interacting with our finances and the finances of others. However, too much of any personality may mean there will be some challenges and if any of these are completely missing, there may be a need for more balance.
You may know people in your life that have influenced your own use and attitude towards money. If your parents were overly concerned about security in finances, you may be overly concerned with saving as well or you may be more concerned with spending your hard-earned money rather than saving it. Look into your history and try to identify how you arrived at your current money personality and if it’s where you want to be.
By thinking through and identifying your money personality, you will be more equipped to respond rationally to a money-focused decision. If you know you strive for status, but don’t have the funds for that big vacation, you can ask yourself why you want to take the trip. Is it for likes on social media or for you and your family’s much-needed R&R?
Changes can be consciously made and balance can be achieved if you are honest with yourself and those that share your money relationship with you. We are always trying to help our clients, friends, family and anyone reading this blog to understand their relationship with their finances and how to improve the balance. All of these attitudes are valuable and can be the path to a better future if identified and understood.
Emily Biehler, CFP®, AIF®