Some would have us believe that we are purely rational beings, but that’s quite simply not true. If we were, we’d all eat healthy, get enough sleep, and be rich and happy! Money seems to be an area where we are particularly irrational, although most of us are completely unaware of this and think their way of dealing with money is universal. This belief is at the root of many a marital row!
There are many different systems of “money mindsets” or personalities, with as many as 8 or 10 distinct personalities identified in each. Personally, I’m always in favour of simpler, clearer systems, so here’s what I’ve found in my studies and my work with clients. I’m outlining them below; you’ll probably recognise yourself in at least one of them, as many people are blends between at least two types.
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If you are a saver, you like to hoard your money. The thought of the proverbial Rainy Day keeps you from taking financial risks. Investing in yourself or taking out a loan to finance something you really want, or an education or course (or Coaching), seems reckless and frivolous to you.
The advantage of being a saver is that you’re unlikely to ever get into financial trouble. The downside is that you may deny yourself and those around you the joy of adventure and risk-taking.
In order to challenge yourself to become more daring, make a finance plan allocating percentages of your monthly income to things like fun and personal development, as well as gifts for others. Commit to spending that money every month (or the accumulated amounts every three months or so). Money makes you safe, yes, but it can also provide the means for you to grow and evolve, and enjoy life.
Money never stays with you for long. As soon as you come into any amount of money, you find ways to spend it. No matter how much money you make, you never have anything left in your account at the end of each month.
This money type knows how to enjoy themselves. They are generous and love treating others as well as themselves. However, larger financial goals which require saving up, tend to elude them, and if anything untoward happens, they are woefully unprepared and may find themselves penniless.
Perhaps you’re saying that you only buy what’s necessary, but that’s not really true, is it? Most spenders tend to “leak money” as I call it, by buying impulsively. You’ll think you can’t afford going after your passion(s) or sign up for that course (or for Coaching), but the harsh truth is: As long as you have money for a TV license, for buying clothes or for any number of subscriptions from Netflix to the gym, you actually have money. It’s just a matter of allocating it differently.
Like the Saver, you need to make a budget and stick to it. Be sure to allocate plenty of cash to fun, so you’ll actually stick to it, but also include saving.
This is the type who will tell you that money isn’t important. They dislike dealing with money, never so much as glance at their bank statements, and leave bills unopened for weeks. Spending isn’t a problem for them, until they find to their surprise that they’ve exhausted their bank account including the overdraft because they had no idea how much they had in the first place.
Avoiders are free of worries and easy-going when it comes to money. Sooner or later, though, they will run into trouble because flying blind only works as long as there are no obstacles.
In order to come to grips with being an Avoider, you will have to force yourself to actually deal with your finances. Set a date every month to review your finances, or if you’re in a relationship, involve your partner so you can hold each other accountable. Then, make a monthly budget and stick to it. This isn’t stuffy and unadventurous, it’s the key to the adventures you most want in life, as you’ll be able to actually afford them when the opportunity comes along.
Money habits are hard to change, as they are very deeply rooted in our personalities and our perception of ourselves. It’s worth doing the work, though, as it will put you in control of your life like no other change of habits will. Get your finances sorted (if you want to turn around your situation fast and with dramatic results, contact me about money Coaching), and then do exactly what you want in life! If you start today, you won’t know yourself a year from now.