We coach people on improving their relationship to money and their finances in general. Over time, we have noticed that there are several ways people do this and thought it would be helpful to know your money type so you can make specific changes to how you view money and how you use money. We’ve also discovered that most people don’t fit into just one category, but may be one type regarding small items and necessities and another type regarding big ticket items or one type in their personal finances and another type in their business finances. See which one is most like you:
Boom and Bust – Money in your life tends to come in spurts. You get a big payout every so often, and because you haven’t had money in while, you spend a lot and keep a little behind. But usually what you’ve saved runs out before the next big payout, and you’re living off of ramen noodles and credit cards until that happens. You’re flush for a few days and broke all the rest.
Poverty Mentality – You have money, maybe not a lot, but plenty. You simply don’t like to spend it because you never know when something bad will happen and you’ll need that reserve. You buy everything on clearance and keep everything for as long as you can. You don’t know what it is to treat yourself to something nice. When a friend suggests going out to dinner you tell her that you can make that at home for half the price that restaurant is charging.
Ostrich – You would rather not know how much money there is – or isn’t – in your account. You’d rather the money fairy just came and made sure there was enough for you to get what you need and not worry about the rest. You haven’t looked at a bank statement in years and have no idea that accounts need to be balanced on occasion. Leave that money stuff to everyone else – budgets are for sissies anyway.
Comes and Goes – All your money seems to be spoken for as soon as it arrives. You have budgeted out the last penny, and you know where it all goes. But when you get an unexpected amount of money, your car breaks down or the furnace needs to be repaired, so you never seem to get ahead, even if you want to. You may have a savings account, but it’s at the very lowest limit that would allow you not to be penalized.
Living the High Life – You never have enough money. There are so many things you want to see and do! You take lavish vacations and buy the newest gadgets and always wear the latest style. You like to go out for drinks and dinner any night of the week. You have to drive a specific car and have all the right accessories. You’ve got some credit card debt, but who doesn’t?! And it’s worth it because you’re living the dream.
Over Abundance – You know there’s plenty to go around. You want everyone to feel happy and to get what they want. Your friends rely on you to buy their drinks and dinner when you go out because that’s just what you do. You like to buy little gifts for everyone you know, and you’ve never seen a charity that didn’t deserve your support. You want to be remembered for your generosity.
Guilty – You have money to do the things you need to do. You live within your means, but you feel bad anytime you buy anything that you don’t consider essential. You know other people don’t have it as good as you do, and you feel responsible for them. Maybe you donate a lot of money to charity or are always bailing out family members who are in financial trouble – so much that you feel resentful (which isn’t better than feeling guilty, really). And you don’t really take care of you.
Copasetic – You know how to use money. You have a savings account for emergencies and rainy days. You’re putting in the highest match for your retirement account. You have a budget with a little wiggle room for those unexpected purchases and fun weekend getaways. You don’t spend extravagantly, and you know that big ticket items happen on occasion, and you don’t stress about them too much. You live within your means, and you’re proud of it.
Most of these money types, of course, have positive and negative aspects. Knowing where you stand allows you to learn how to use your money instead of allowing it to use you. Changing your relationship to money is more about recognizing your natural tendencies and working with them instead of making a complete change to something you’ve never done before. Lasting change usually comes in small, incremental steps. And if you’re really going to change your relationship to your finances, you may have to work on some of your underlying beliefs about how money works. Ask us how we can empower you to have a better relationship to money today!