Did you grow up in a household where money was always tight and you constantly heard the message, “we can’t afford it”? Or, did you experience a household of abundance where money was spent without thought but never discussed?
Do you remember how your parents talked about money when you were a kid? Or, perhaps money was a topic that was not to be discussed openly.
The messages we hear about money and the behaviors we witness during childhood often form our core beliefs about money and drive our financial behaviors in adulthood.
There’s value in understanding your money personality so you can identify potential issues and make improvements. By fixing your own money problems, you can model healthy financial behaviors and messages to your kids.
If you’re curious to know your money personality and your teenager’s money personality, read on to see which traits you identify with the most.
The Money Personalities
Do you love to spend money? Do you love to spend extravagantly? Do you buy whatever you want without considering the price?
While there’s nothing wrong with spending money, a spendthrift spends in a way that is often reckless and wasteful. For instance, someone who gets paid on Friday and is flat broke by Monday or spends all of their money on expensive shoes.
Spendthrifts often find themselves in a large amount of debt due to their inability to stop overspending. Their money behaviors can also lead to fighting with their partner who doesn’t agree with their poor financial decisions.
Tips for the Spendthrift
- Track your spending. Seeing the actual numbers on paper might be the wake-up call that you need.
- Automate your savings. Have your savings automatically come off of your paycheck. This way, you take care of your responsibilities (saving and investing) before you even see that money. Whatever is left can go towards spending.
- Choose cash over credit cards. While it’s important to build your credit, it’s essential to avoid large sums of debt. Credit cards make impulse purchases too easy. Switch to cash so you can physically see the dollars leaving your wallet.
- Try a “no-spend challenge.” Choose one week each month and do a “no-spend challenge.” The name is pretty self-explanatory, you simply spend no money for an allotted time frame. If a week sounds impossible, try one weekend or even one day a week.
Do you only shop for name brands? Do you always need the newest and best quality things? Is your sense of self-worth linked to your net-worth? Well, then you might identify as a Gucci Girl.
It’s okay to like nice things and, if you can afford to buy name brands, then that’s your prerogative. The problem with the Gucci Girl personality type is when you begin to link your feelings of self-worth to the amount of money in your bank account or the type of car you drive.
This personality type can be exhausting because you’re always trying to keep up with the Joneses and continually comparing yourself to those who have more than you. Often Gucci Girls find themselves in a great deal of debt because they make purchases they can’t afford to look successful or wealthy.
Tips for the Gucci Girl
- Spend some time on introspection. Whether this comes in the form of journaling, deep thinking, or even professional counseling, it’s critical to get to the bottom of why you are tying your self worth to your net worth.
- Give to others. You will see that giving to others, whether it’s time or money, will make you feel better than buying a new pair of shoes that you can’t afford.
Do you feel like you never have enough money? Are you always worried that you could lose it all? Do you find it challenging to spend money? Are you always looking for ways to save a buck?
Often people who grow up in an environment of scarcity develop fear-based relationships with money.
While a fear-based money personality can be good for your bank account, because you are continually saving, it can prevent you from spending on anything fun. Those who are always afraid of losing it all are often incapable of spending on fun experiences and end up missing out.
Tips for the Fear-Based
- Determine the root of your fear: Try to understand why you are so afraid of losing it all? Is there a particular experience that has made you fearful of a lack of money? Consider counseling if your feelings of fear are getting out of control.
- Find balance: Continue to save for a rainy day, but also remember to enjoy some of your money. Make it a goal to spend on a fun experience each month. Also, ensure you’re investing your money so it can grow and aren’t just stuffing it all in a bank account or under your mattress.
Wise-Beyond-Years Wealth Builder
Are you good with money? Do you have emergency savings? Do you only make purchases that you can genuinely afford (meaning you have the necessary amount of cash in your bank)? Well, good on you. You have a healthy relationship with your money.
The only issue to look out for with wise-beyond-years wealth builders, is that you don’t become overly anxious about saving every cent. Remember, it’s important to save for the future, but you also need to have some fun in the present.
Tips for the Wise-Beyond-Years Wealth Builder
- Allocate fun money. If you find it difficult to spend, then create a “fun money” account and make sure you spend it on something that you enjoy each month.
I Don’t Give a Fu*& (IDGAF)
Do you avoid looking at your bank statement each month? Do you pretend that your money issues don’t exist? Do you have a negative opinion of money? Do you think “rich” people are greedy or selfish? Do you spend without much thought or concern or give sums of money to charity or friends when you actually can’t afford it.
The IDGAF personality can get into trouble financially because they simply aren’t aware of their financial situation. They avoid looking at their bills and statements and choose to disregard any money issues.
Tips for the IDGAF
- Increase your awareness. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by sticking your head in the sand and pretending your money issues don’t exist. The first step to fixing your money issues is to become aware of where you are financially, so it’s time to make a budget.
- Give your time instead of your money. If you can’t afford to donate money, give your time to the causes you care about.
- Remember, money is a tool. Money is not inherently good or bad, it’s a tool. Remind yourself that having money doesn’t make you a bad person, you get to choose what you do with your money.
What personality do you identify with?
So, what is your money personality? Did you find one that you identify with the most? Or, are your money habits spread across a few of the different personalities? Perhaps you identified with different money personalities at different points of your life.
Do you see your teenagers taking on similar money personalities to you or your partner? Or, are they adopting certain traits from each of you?
Now that you’ve identified your money personality, you can see where you might have financial challenges and how you can improve. Just because you identify as a “spendthrift” or you see your teenager as a “Gucci Girl,” this doesn’t mean that you are each stuck in your ways forever. You can make healthy changes to your money personality so that you can model the money behaviors that you really want to pass down to your teen.