What's your money personality? Nigel Latta breaks down the four financial profiles.

OPINION:  If I asked you whether you were an introvert or an extrovert, you'd probably be able to answer that one fairly easily. The idea that your personality shapes who you are and how you behave in the world is something we're all very familiar and comfortable with.

So now tell me what your money personality is?  Most of us couldn't answer that one because it's not something we've ever thought about. When you think about the central importance of money in all of our lives, it feels like it's something we really should know about ourselves. It feels like something that should come to mind as easily as knowing whether you're an introvert or an extrovert.


Is it freedom, security, generosity or the satisfaction you get from spending money on new stuff? When we developed our money personality categories we drew heavily on research that's been done in this area over the last four decades.


There are four basic money personalities. They're all quite different, and they all have strengths and weaknesses:


FREEDOM SEEKER

Freedom seekers use money to buy time. They value experiences – travel or the ability to pour their passion into something they love. It's important for young freedom seekers to be aware of their tendency to live in the moment so they don't disregard their future selves. The most successful freedom seekers have self control, and focus on achieving their goals. For some it's a lifelong focus on getting more time through generating financial freedom. And of course, old freedom seekers never change, they just find new horizons! Experience is everything for our freedom seeker. Which is a good thing for them, as research tells us that spending money on experiences makes us happier than buying possessions.



  


SECURITY SAVERS

Money is a way to feel safe for the security saver. It gives them a sense of control. They may be cautious about any investment they perceive as risky and younger security savers may be working hard to be in a position o buy their first home.  They'll probably spend more money on creating a nurturing home environment than they do on socialising away from home - because home is at the heart of the security saver's world.  Security savers need to be careful they don't miss out on experiences in the present because they are too concerned about saving for the future. Being secure isn't just about being clever with your savings - it means being clever with the way you spend your money too.


SOCIAL SHARERS  

The sociable sharer uses money as a way of showing they care about someone. These are the people you want as your best friend. Always up for a party or inviting you over for dinner - willing to lend you money if you need it. sociable sharers are likely to have a separate 'mental account' which means they can rationalise spending money on others even if it means they miss out somewhere themselves. They may splash out more than they can afford on social activities - going out to dinner or buying presents - because for them spending money on other people is a way to make and maintain relationships. Spending time with family or friends will probably be more appealing to them than a shopping expedition.

POWER SPENDERS

If you're a power spender you react to money in a very immediate way. Maybe it's the thrill of buying something new that you respond to. Maybe it's the confidence that comes from knowing you're driving the right car to make a good impression. Perhaps it's just a sense that you deserve to be able to treat yourself.


Power spenders tend to operate at the 'spender' end of the spectrum although when in 'saver' mode they may be the ones prepared to make riskier investments for higher returns. Sometimes this fearlessness about risk - and willingness to start over again if it all goes wrong - can make them wealthy.

Power spenders also need to be aware of what is known as hedonic adaptation - when the thrill wears off each new purchase as you get used to it and you want to move on to the next thing to keep your mood up. Novelty is great and makes us happy - but it doesn't always need to come with a price tag!


Understanding your money personality is hugely important if you're going to make the most of whatever money you do have, whether that's a little, or a lot.


Most of all though what I think you'll find is a whole bunch of useful things to help you make better decisions about what you do with your money.

So, what's your money personality?.






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