saver-vs-spender

What is Your Financial Personality?

There are basically two kinds of people: spenders and savers.  Of course, within those two simple groups are hundreds of variations.  The extremes are those who either:

  • believe it’s wrong to spend money on any indulgences or
  • believe that they deserve to have whatever they want, right now!

Both attitudes can be very dangerous to your financial security.  As with everything in life, balance is the key.

There are a lot of things that can impact the way we think about – and deal with – our own money issues.  The most common things influencing our money personality are:

Our Culture

The world screams more, while our bank account screams less.  Don’t let today’s culture and society bamboozle you into a life of debt and destruction.  Now’s the time to stand up and say “NO!”  to the things you don’t really need, or even want. Only then will you find yourself able to say yes to the things that really matter to you and your family.

Our Emotions

Money can be an emotional trigger for many of us.  It can help us feel better about ourselves, and the things going on in our lives; it can make us feel loved, and get the attention of those we want to love us; and it can show the world how successful we really are, or wish we could be.   All-too-often, people overspend to:

  • Decrease their feelings of insecurity and fill an emotional void of anger, rejection and even depression
  • Feel loved.
  • Buy the affections of others
  • Showcase Their Success. 

In addition to the ones listed above, envy and greed may be two of the strongest emotions linked to our money woes.  Sure, it feels good to have nice things – and newer things.  But keep yourself in check.  Ask yourself why it’s so important for you to have everything the neighbors or your friends have.  Do you really want it, or do you somehow feel like less if you don’t have it?  Be sure you understand the feelings and emotions behind your spending, in order to curb it and keep your own debt under control.

Your Financial Family Tree

Maybe the biggest influence on our own financial identity is how our parents viewed money and how it may have affected our upbringing.

There are a lot of things that influence how family financial issues affect the way we handle our own money as adults.  Some of the most common include:

  • The family’s overall financial status
  • Money messages that were heard over and over again as children
  • How you are viewed by others
  • The life you want for your children

So, What Your Financial Personality?

Look at all of these outer influences carefully to determine your own financial personality.  It’ll help you better understand why you think of money in a certain way and how your attitudes may be affecting your family – both negatively and positively.

No one’s financial personality is all right, or all wrong, but a mixture of good attributes and not so good ones.  So, why not take the best you have to offer, and create a brand new financial personality that fits what you really want out of life?

Financial_IQ

What is Your Financial IQ?

It’s time to get serious about your finances. But, first, you have to figure out how much do you really know about your money?  Take this short quiz to find out:

When it comes to spending I

    1. Overspend
    2. Am Frugal
    3. Spend Just the Right Amount

When it comes to spending, my spouse

    1. Is An Over spender
    2.  Is Too Frugal
    3. Spends Just The Right Amount

Our biggest area of financial deficiency is our

    1. Retirement Planning
    2. Education Saving
    3. Emergency Savings
    4. Ability to Balance the Budget
    5. All of the Above (and more)

Our family budget is done by

    1. Me
    2. My Spouse
    3. Both of Us
    4. What Budget?

Our checkbooks are held

    1. Individually
    2. Jointly
    3. A Combination of Joint and Separate Accounts

The final decision over important financial matters are handled by

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. Whoever Makes More Money
    4. Together as a Couple

Our day-to-day expenses are managed by

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. We Alternate
    4. No One Really

Our Investments and Savings Are Handled By

    1. The Husband
    2. The Wife
    3. Both of Us

Our Bills Are Due On

    1. The First of The Month
    2. The End of the Month
    3. Whenever a Second Notice Arrives

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Before we can begin to discuss the importance of budgeting and helping you establish a more satisfying wealth management plan for your family, you have to come to terms with your own responsibility for your family’s financial success.   If, after answering these few questions you realize that one person in the household is taking the brunt of the responsibility for taking care of your family’s money and bills, it’s time the other gets involved.  No one can follow a plan they have no control in creating in the first place.

Before working on a  financial plan, go over your financial situation.  Get to know the bills you owe (and when they’re due); what accounts you have open; what goals you have for the future; and anything else you deem important for your financial future.  If you have a partner, here are a few money habits to discuss:

  1. where you stand financially (how much you owe; what assets you have; whether or not you are behind in any payments, etc.).
  2. what you own free and clear (if anything)
  3. what bank accounts you have open (are they balanced?)
  4. what your credit report looks like (we’ll talk more about that soon)
  5. your savings habits (if any)
  6. your spending habits (be honest now)
  7. your attitudes and values about money

Once you have established a solid knowledge base about your whole financial picture, then (and only then) will you be able to successfully develop a plan for your financial future.