Many factors go into the relationships that we have with money. These factors are complex and can be vastly different from person to person. Some elements that can have a larger impact on our perception of money are financial education, any amount or lack of observed financial behaviors, and society. These influencers, whether we realize it or not, affect our spending behaviors and mold our spending identities.
Unlock your spending identity
Self-awareness is key when working toward the relationship with money that you envision for yourself. Reflecting on observed financial behaviors, positive or negative, you witnessed growing up is one place to start. Through this reflection, you can begin to make connections with your perspectives around money and the habits that have been formed from learned behaviors. Below is a list of different spending identities and their characteristics. Keep in mind you may fall under multiple categories and these can change as you learn and grow in your financial journey.
Organization is a planner’s strength. Payments always are made on time and they account for every penny of income. Planners can struggle to deviate from the plan, which can make unexpected expenses stressful.
If you only spend money when you absolutely have to, you may be a hoarder. This can be great for your savings accounts, but you might miss out on all kinds of opportunities that require spending some money.
Generosity is at the heart of givers. Helping others financially whether is it friends, family, or through donations is a priority. Givers should be careful not to let this kindness come in the way of their own financial success.
“You only live once” is an impulse spender’s motto. These spenders like to have fun and worry about the consequences of spending later. Too much spending fun can lead to low savings, overdraft fees, and a lower credit score.
Look in the mirror
Once you reflect on what spending identity or identities you fall under, you can begin work towards the relationship you want to have with money. You may even understand how your past has influenced your spending identity. Taking time for honest reflection of your spending habits can help you to begin to spend intentionally and ultimately align your spending to your life goals and values.