Understanding Your Financial Personality
Do you consider yourself a kind person? Honest, extroverted, or perhaps more reserved? Chances are, you have a good idea of what personality type you are. However, many people have never considered their financial personality. Your financial personality is reflected in your relationship to money.
Your spending habits, investments, attitudes to money and financial wellbeing combine to form your financial personality. Even cultural norms can play a part. For example, in the UK, we tend to avoid talking openly about money. Since many people consider discussing personal finances rude or brash, we like to keep our money issues close to our chests, sometimes at detriment to our financial wellbeing. According to one campaign, 9 in 10 people in the UK feel uncomfortable talking about money.
Like many other aspects of your character, your financial personality develops in your early years. The way your parents interact with money – their financial literacy and spending habits, for example – will likely have a profound impact on your own relationship with money. Therefore, your financial personality depends on far more than how much money you have.
It’s good to get to know your own financial personality. According to the FT, this can make you a better saver, investor and greatly improve your financial wellbeing. Different sources name different personality types, but the general consensus is that there are around five or six groups that people fall into. It’s important to remember that these categories are by no means black and white. However, they might help you find patterns in your behaviour and ways to address certain habits. These personality types include:
- The Economiser – these people tend to be prudent with their spending. They are aware of how much they have, how much things cost and dislike buying unnecessary things. Economisers are often low-risk investors, preferring to stockpile cash – and let inflation wear it down – than expose themselves to any risk.
- The Diligent Financier – 1 in 10 people fall into this category. These people never gamble with their finances. Their purchases are usually well-considered and within their budget. They tend to keep on top of finances, paying bills on time whilst gathering sufficient savings for the future.
- The Eager Spender – for some, money is there to be spent. Spenders won’t hesitate in buying something they like, revelling in the euphoria of an impulse buy in spite of negative implications on future finances.
- The Ostrich – if you prefer to stick your head in the sand, leaving bills unopened and finances ignored, then you might be an Ostrich. “Making no decision always feels easier than the possibility of making the wrong decision,” says Claudia Hammond in the FT.
- The Risk Taker – risk-friendly investors are comfortable risking large sums as they are confident of high returns. They are often very emotional investors, enjoying the feeling of making money, with an equally emotional response to loss.
The truth is it’s all about balance. It’s important to remember that there are no wholly ‘good’ or ‘bad’ financial personality types – it’s understanding them and adapting your choices accordingly that matters. When you know your financial personality, you can make better informed decisions. For example, Risk Takers might avoid ‘instant investment’ apps and Eager Spenders might try budgeting. As for Economisers, making informed investments could make their money work harder, whilst Ostriches could ask a financial planner for help managing their finances.
Understanding your financial personality starts with being honest with yourself. You might ask yourself a few questions about your relationship with money. Do you enjoy spending money on yourself or others? Do you often make risky financial decisions? Do you prefer to keep your cash in savings accounts? Speaking to a financial planner could also help you to identify patterns in your spending and investments, empowering you to make better financial decisions. If you would like to talk to a member of the team here at gpfm, please don’t hesitate to get in touch over email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992500261.
This article is for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions. Investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.
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