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Which type of money manager are you?

Personalities are complex things, whether in ordinary life or when it comes to money. Beyond saver and spender, there are several other aspects to your money personality. Sharon Durling, in her book entitled A Girl and Her Money, divides them up into eight different categories. See if any of them fits you.

The Miser
Misers are a bit like the character Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. They have an ample amount of wealth which they will spend on themselves, but they will not share their fortune with others. The example Durling uses is a person who jets around the world yet treats guests to dinner on paper plates. In order to keep resentment at bay, it’s a good idea to share the wealth at least a little bit. It almost always comes back to you in kindness.

The Saving Hoarder
Like misers, hoarders have money in the bank, or jewelry in a safe deposit box, etc. However, in contrast, they will not even spend that money on themselves. In the extreme, they can be the prototypical hiding-money-in-the-mattress type. They can sometimes appear not to have a dime to their names, but yet leave hundreds of thousands in inheritance money to their relatives. Those who fit this profile may be afraid to spend for fear something bad will happen. However, it’s important not to neglect your basic needs.

The Spending Hoarder
While these people may not be featured on the Hoarders television show, they are of similar mindset. They see something on sale and they just have to get it, just in case they might need it someday. The same goes for throwing things out or giving them away. It is just not done. If you have trouble shutting your closet door or even finding your closet, you could be headed in this direction. Often, this type of spending is a result of unsatisfying personal relationships. To avoid this type of behavior, take one of three steps: throw it away, give it away or sell it. It’s amazing how freeing it can be to de-clutter your living space.

The Greedy Accumulator
Accumulators may sometimes be seen as ideal employees, but in this case there is a darker side at work. Accumulators will often do virtually anything to get to the top of the corporate ladder, at times sacrificing health, family and even co-workers to secure that corner office. Lying, cheating and stealing are not out of the question. They may even be capable of compromising on personal values if it means making more money. The cure? A bit of soul searching. No one ever says they wish they had spent more time at the office when they're on their deathbeds.

The Avoiding Perfectionist
A common personality type (that unfortunately this writer fits into) is the perfectionist. These types of people may ask themselves, "Why put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow?" They will often throw their bank statements in a box and forget about them. They may think about investing, but in general find it difficult to actually take the risk. Instead of maintaining an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude forever, it’s better to simply jump in. Talk to a financial planner or make a small investment on your own. The best way to learn is of course by doing. Taking action will also alleviate some of the fear of the unknown which often hinders those who fall into this group.

The Love Seeker
There’s a song by a famous British foursome entitled “Money Can’t Buy Me Love.” However, love seekers are often not sure they believe this. They will either spend more than they can afford on their friends or significant others or else choose friends or romantic partners based on the size of their bank accounts. While seekers may appear to be popular, often their relationships are shallow. If you see these traits in yourself, think about who would still be there for you if you were completely bankrupt and try to cultivate those friendships over others with less depth.

The Impulse Buyer
Commercials were created largely for impulse buyers, and they are generally the reason there are so many fun but not necessarily useful items in the grocery checkout line. When impulse buyers see something they want, they buy it. It’s only later when the credit card bill arrives that the guilt starts to set in. To solve this problem, try shopping with cash. Make a list and stick to it, and stop paying attention to all the ads that make it seem as though your life is incomplete without a certain product or service.

The Peaceful Money Manager
Who we should all strive to be, these types usually have a healthy balance of saving and spending in their lives. They're not afraid to invest or even to splurge – on occasion. They usually know their account balances and have a healthy attitude about debt. All of us can become this person, no matter what our money personality is right now.

Not sure which group you fall into? In reality most people have traits from several groups. Now that you have an idea of where you’re at and how you can improve, it’s time to get started. If you need help figuring out how to get where you want to be when it comes to reaching your savings goals, talk to a representative from USC Credit Union.


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