What’s your spending style?

Do you spend money to feel better after a bad day? Do you have a hard time saying no when your kids get the gimmes while shopping? We all have unique styles when it comes to spending and saving money, some for the good and some – well – that get us in financial trouble every now and then.

What’s your spending style? I recently came across this list of money styles, published by our financial counseling partner BALANCE Financial Fitness Program. Do you see yourself on this list? If so, this might be an opportunity to find out what triggers you to spend and how you can make changes for the better.

The over-giver
Uses monetary gifts to express feelings and connect with people. In some cases, this person may give gifts to others and neglect their own needs.

The soothing spender
Treats money as a tool for self-medicating through difficult times. May make a lot of rash spending decisions that lead to negative feelings later.

The status seeker
Makes money choices based on how it will appear to others and to boost their own self-esteem. Engages in “keeping up with the Joneses” behavior to their own detriment.

The bargain maven
Gets a thrill out of finding discounts, whether the product is needed or not. Derives satisfaction not from having a sound financial plan in place, but the emotional boost they get from landing a deal.

The denier
Tries to avoid difficult money issues in the hope that things will “just sort of work out.”
The risk-taker

Always on the lookout for a get-rich-quick scheme like the lottery or highly speculative investments. Lacks patience and looks for shortcuts at the expense of prolonged security.

The hedonist
Sees money as a way to maximize pleasure right now instead of planning for the future.

The controller
Uses money as a way to gain control over people or their own circumstances. Sees money as a way to gain a feeling of safety.

The striver
Constantly looks for ways to improve financial standing for self and for family. May believe that with money comes power. Goal oriented.

The victim
Financial problems are always someone else’s fault. The system is “rigged” against them.

The ultra-conservative
Is afraid of losing money and opportunities for growth are sometimes lost because of it. May be overly affected by events from their earlier life that cause them to not want any risk in their financial affairs.

The prudent manager
Actively saves money, looks to future and avoids emotional money decisions. Seeks out opportunities to expand knowledge and is realistic about strengths and weaknesses.

You recognize some of these people, don’t you. I know I do. The great news is that many of these behaviors can be corrected with simple and sound financial education. We offer this type of education in our Lunch and Learn programs. Each class is less than an hour long, includes lunch, costs nothing and covers a variety of important financial topics, such as making a budget, saving for retirement, buying a house and paying down debt. Contact me to find out more about our Lunch and Learn programs. I promise not to ask which one of these spending styles is yours!

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About Author

Maria Porto
Maria Porto

Maria Porto is Hanscom FCU's assistant vice president of partner relations. She may be reached at mporto@hfcu.org.

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