Your money style, whatever it may be, can be helpful, but it can also block your progress. Oftentimes we cling to beliefs about money without even thinking about why we hold them.
They may be based on your money history. Or, if you’re on your own after a divorce or the death of your spouse, that big transition can greatly impact your money style.
Experts, including Olivia Mellan, have defined several money styles or money personality types. Below are some examples of these various styles.
Sometimes your dominant money style can cause problems. For example, Guardians may prefer ultraconservative investments such as certiﬁcates of deposit and money market funds. This tendency may block their ability to build a diversiﬁed portfolio over time.
For Avoiders, whose husbands handled most of the family ﬁnancial issues, it may feel strange to be in a decision-making role about money when this time arrives.
Some women may be fearful they won’t have enough money and can experience the Bag Lady syndrome. That was definitely me immediately after my husband died more than a decade ago.
I suddenly craved safety and security. Facing an unknown future, I felt insecure and lacked self-confidence. But that unhelpful money style dissolved soon afterward as I stabilized my life and moved forward.
Indeed, simply taking a deep breath and not embarking on a radical action may be the best move after a major life change. I re-evaluated my financial situation, calculated my numbers and knew I was going to be OK.
Ultimately, it’s not about the money. Rather, it’s about understanding your money and how you react to it. Recognize your natural inclinations toward spending, saving, giving, and investing, and what’s motivating those habits.
As you get to know yourself better, you can make important changes to create the ﬁnancial life that’s best for you. Have an honest discussion with yourself about your money style.
Are you a saver or a spender? Are you a penny pincher who clips coupons? Do you give too much money to your children? Are you carrying lots of credit card debt?
What’s your money style today? Has your money style changed as you’ve matured? If so, why do you think it’s different now? What’s a positive feature of your money style today? What, if anything, about your money style, may be problematic going forward? Please comment on your money style and how it’s helping or hurting you today. What do you want for the future?
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