When it comes to money, we all have different views, values and goals. You could say that the way we manage our money is as distinct as our individual personalities! While there's no one “right" way to manage your money, there are different ways to go about it. Understanding your own approach and attitude toward spending can help you make a budget that works for you so you can focus on your financial goals.
Let's take a look at a few of the most common spending personality types:
If you're a spontaneous spender, you have a relaxed attitude toward spending. You tend to buy things on impulse, and you might find yourself overspending in certain categories in your budget, such as restaurant meals or clothes. As a financial free spirit, it can be a challenge to keep track of your spending habits and meet your savings goals each month. If this is the case, try using cash when you go out instead of a credit card. Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend on a shopping trip will help you evaluate each purchase and avoid splurging. You might also consider scheduling automatic transfers to your savings account to stay on course with your savings goals.
Bargain hunters love a great deal; they're always looking for ways to cut costs and save money. While there's nothing inherently wrong with being a bargain hunter, this attitude toward spending can become a bad habit when spending limits aren't set. For example, you might find yourself buying things you don't need, just to take advantage of an “amazing" discount. To avoid this situation, create a monthly budget and commit to stick to it. Tools such as Wright-Patt Credit Union's Money Management through Mobile and Online Banking can help you track your spending in different categories. When you know where your money is really going, it will be less tempting to buy extra items simply because they're on sale.
If you're a money avoider, you tend to resist making a budget or tracking your spending. You might also have trouble paying your bills or checking your financial statements until the last minute. This means that you're relatively unaware of how much money you have, and where it's going each month. There are many reasons people become money avoiders. They may feel that making a budget is too hard or overwhelming. Or, they may feel a sense of anxiety about money in general. If this sounds like you, the first step is to change your mindset. Stop by your local Member Center and schedule time with a Financial Coach to help you map out your goals and develop healthy money habits.
Frugal to a fault
There's nothing wrong with wanting to save money. But if your money hoarding habits are preventing you from enjoying a good quality of life, it's probably time to loosen up a little. Being overly strict with your spending can lead to frustration and bitterness, plus it can be difficult to stay disciplined in the long-term if you don't give yourself some wiggle room. Be sure to include some “fun money" in your budget to spend on small indulgences such as specialty coffee or snacks, trips to the movies or new clothes. Treating yourself every now and then will help you stay motivated without going overboard!
While this list of spending personalities isn't meant to be comprehensive, it can give you a better idea of your spending habits and beliefs. As mentioned above, everyone is different and it's possible to fit into multiple categories. What's most important is understanding how your attitudes and actions can help or hinder you as you work toward your financial goals.
No matter your spending personality or what stage of life you're in, Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help you keep more of your hard-earned money so you can live the life you want to live! Check out our Helpful Resources for more savings tips, including financial worksheets, brochures and short, interactive video modules.