Do You Know You Have a Money Personality?
We’ve all developed money habitudes and attitudes over the years – learned from our parents and other adults, advertising messages, our siblings, and our peers. Some of the information we absorbed about money may not be serving us so well now.
For example, if you were raised in an atmosphere of scarcity, you may spend your whole life craving things you can’t afford and you now overspend to get them. On the other hand, if you grew up in abundance, you may expect things will always come easily to you. If your mom was a spendthrift, you may become one too or, you may overcompensate by becoming a miser. If your dad procrastinated about important money decisions and took the attitude “things will work themselves out”, you may find yourself taking the same approach.
My Money Story
My mother and father were extremely frugal, especially my father. He didn’t want anything. Buying him a gift was torture because it was impossible to figure out what he would like – except peanuts, he loved peanuts. So my siblings and I would end up buying him canisters of Planter’s nuts for his birthday, Father’s Day, Christmas. His frugality rubbed off on my mom. Going out to eat with her was challenging. She’d look at a menu and always order the cheapest thing on it – or a side salad. She would do the same thing when shopping for clothes – in her mind, nothing was worth the price when you compared it to what you could make it for yourself.
We kids would only get the “necessities” – basic clothing and shoes (thankfully we wore school uniforms!) and no spending allowance. So, I learned early on that if I wanted the “extras”, I needed to find a way to buy them myself. This was probably a good thing, as I became self-sufficient at a very early age. But I also rejected the frugality of my parents and have been known to indulge myself on occasion. I’ve worked hard to find a good balance between being prudent and being extravagant.
Can you change your money personality?
I interviewed a graduate of The Money Coaching Institute based in California, about her insights about money personalities. She said, “If we don’t pay attention to our money personalities they will act out in louder and more extreme ways. For example, the shopping sprees become longer and more expensive because you can’t quite fill the emotional hole you are trying to fill or the anger towards money grows until you blame it for everything wrong in your life.”
In my financial planning practice, I find that the more I know about my client’s money type or personality, the better I can serve them. To that end, I have each client complete a money personality and financial satisfaction questionnaire which seeks answers to such questions as:
- What keeps you up at night (or at least feeling anxious) when it comes to your personal finances?
- If there is one thing you could change about your personal finances, what would it be?
- If you had more money to spend, what would your spend it on?
If you think that you may be acting in ways that sabotage your chance of financial success and it’s become a pattern – read, sign up for a workshop, talk to trusted friends or advisors, or engage a money coach. There are resources available to help you.
Below are a few books and ebooks (including one I wrote myself, called The Happiness Spreadsheet), that can help you discover your values and ideas about money.
- The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards
- The Happiness Spreadsheet: How to Create a Budget Aligned with Your Values, Beliefs and Ideals by Cathy Curtis
- Simple Money: A No-Nonsense Guide to Personal Finance by Tim Maurer
Do you want to manage your money (and life!) better?
If you want to think differently about the relationship between your spending, your values and your happiness, then sign up to get your FREE copy of The Happiness Spreadsheet.
Like this post?
If you found this blog post useful or inspirational, please share it on your favorite social media network!