There are a number of articles out there on “money personalities”. They usually break people into groups such as “savers” and “spenders”, but I would argue that they shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. Honestly, being able to say “I’m just such a spender,” simply provides an excuse for people to mismanage their money.
So, instead of finding your money personality, why don’t we look at saving personalities?
These are the people for whom saving comes as easily as breathing. They never have to convince themselves that saving is worth it or force themselves to stick to a budget because they never overspend in the first place. They tend to be naturally frugal but don’t see it as a big accomplishment. It’s just how they are. Their savings accounts are usually well-stocked and they rarely run into money trouble. Natural savers get a thrill from saving money. They can be a little afraid of taking risks, though.
These savers may not find it as easy to save money as the natural savers do, but they get it done anyway by setting themselves a goal. Maybe they want to save up enough to quit their jobs and travel the world for a year, or maybe they just want to purchase a new game console or car. The point is, they need a goal to motivate them to put away money. These savers get their thrills from spending the money they’ve worked so hard to save and would probably be called spenders in normal money personality lists. However, they are still savers, and with the right motivation, can be just as successful at putting away money as natural savers.
People who save because they expect the apocalypse any day now are fearful savers. These savers get excited about being prepared when the worst happens. They’re a little like goal-driven savers, but instead of saving to get something they want in the future, they save to avoid something they fear. For these people, the idea that they could lose their jobs or get sick is enough to make them sock away money. They may not love saving, but they know that if the worst does happen, they’ll be able to deal with it without the added stress of being broke.
People who save money only because they know they have to are reluctant savers. They tend to live in the moment, so neither positive nor negative consequences in the future will motivate them and they get no real thrill from saving. Of the types of savers, they are the most prone to being affected by peer pressure, which can be bad if people around them overspend all the time. However, if they hang out with people who are part of the other saver types, this quality can work in their favor. Even without awesome saver friends, reluctant savers can be successful by setting up systems that save for them so they don’t have to think about it. Apps like Digit and Acorns are made for reluctant savers.
Notice that “Non-savers” is not on that list. That’s because not saving is not an option, folks. Everyone can and must save at least some money to have a healthy financial future.
What’s your saving style? Do you have any tricks you use to help you stash those pennies?