Harris: Recognizing your money personality
By Charlestien Harris
This is a time of the year that can get quite busy, and a time when most people ignore their budgeting principles.
Some personalities begin by trying to live by the slogan, “You only live once.” In the spirit of the holiday shopping season, I have decided to talk about the characteristics of the many different types of money personalities you could be. You probably have never thought about casting yourself as a certain type of spender, but there are characteristics you may or may not recognize that will become clear to you as you read this article and start the shopping season.
Here are four basic types of money personalities:
Frugal people are those people who prefer to save money rather than spend it. Rather than spending their money, they love to keep it safe in a savings account. They have a conservative attitude toward money and believe their spending must be in line with their budget. Savers don’t spend money on unnecessary items, and are great budgeters and planners.
The signs you might be a compulsive saver include putting away money endlessly and at times with no actual financial end goal in mind. Just like a hoarder, a compulsive saver derives security from the belief that saving money is the only way to feel more secure in life.
Some of the common characteristics of a frugal spender include:
- They often shop second-hand items, and in thrift stores.
- They are constantly learning about money in order to improve their financial lives.
- They live within their means and sometimes below their means.
- The compulsive saver gets security from the belief that saving money is the only way to feel more secure in life.
A compulsive spender’s solution is to spend, spend, and spend more, especially for immediate gratification. Even if they have large amounts of debt, compulsive spenders will often continue going on shopping sprees. They may even try to hide large purchases from friends and family.
Big spenders love nice cars, new gadgets, and brand-name clothing. This often means a desire to have the latest and greatest mobile phone, the biggest television set, and a large, beautiful home.
Some of the common characteristics of a compulsive spender include:
- They tend to spend money on things they do not necessarily need.
- They love treating people to something special, sometimes for no particular reason.
- They don’t try to stick to a budget, and they are less likely to have any money saved for a rainy day.
This type of spender is the most unaware of their spending habits and does not take the time to keep an eye on where their money is going. These personalities generally spend more than they earn and subsequently find themselves deeply in debt. They do not put much thought toward saving and can miss opportunities to increase their net worth. Such a person is easy going but lacks the needed discipline to secure their finances.
Some of the common characteristics of a debt accumulator include:
- They do not seem to have emotional ties to their finances.
- They don’t spend to feel better or feel low when they see a low bank balance.
- They simply don’t spend much time thinking about their financial situation at all.
This type of money personality loves the thrill of the purchase. They enjoy hunting for good deals and can’t resist the satisfaction of buying something new. If they see a good sale, they will shop with no occasion in mind, and not for the necessity of the purchase. They don’t know when the right point to stop spending money is and when to start saving.
People with a “spending” personality type aren’t typically bargain shoppers; they are fashionable and always looking to make a statement. The compulsive shopper may also lack financial security without an emergency savings fund or long-term financial plans.
Some of the common characteristics of a compulsive shopper include:
- They are constantly finding ways to spend more money, whether they can afford to shop or not.
- They do not have to have a reason to make purchases.
- They usually lack the financial discipline to stop spending money.
How you feel about money plays a big part in how you handle your personal finances. Whether you are a spender, a saver, a debt accumulator, or a compulsive shopper, the goal in discovering your money personality is not to emphasize your flaws but to help you understand the way that you think and handle your money. Knowing this information will, hopefully, help you develop sound financial principles for yourself and begin to make some changes that will help you become more financially secure.
For more information on this and other financial topics, call me at 662-624-5776 or email me at Charlestien.Harris@southernpartners.org. Until next week – stay financially fit!
Charlestien Harris is a financial contributor to DeSoto County News. She is a financial expert with Southern Bancorp Community Partners whose articles are seen in a number of publications around the region. You’ll be seeing her columns weekly on the DeSoto County News website and our social media channels.