Play to Your Financial Strengths
It’s easy to forget that financial advice isn’t always one-size-fits-all. While the advice may be solid, it still needs to take into account not only your personal goals, life stage, individual circumstances and priorities, but also your attitude toward money and your spending and saving habits.
Think of it like dieting, if you’re a night owl, couch potato who loves wine and takeout, trying to instantly transition to an all-vegan diet and 6am boot camp sessions is probably not going to last long! It’s far better to find an approach that’s sustainable.
I recently read an article about the psychology of “money personality types” that got me thinking about the different approaches to money I often see with my clients. Do any of these resonate with you? If so, perhaps you can change up some of your financial habits in ways that play to your strengths.
You regularly spend money on things you don’t necessarily need and find it hard to stick to a budget. Maybe you just don’t see the need, or you find budgeting too difficult. With these clients, I find we often need to step back and look at the larger life picture and make sure that their current spending isn’t getting in the way of achieving future goals.
Consider tracking where your money is going for a month – or even a week if that sounds too hard! – because seeing where your money is actually going can be truly eye-opening if you tend to spend without thinking. You may find there are areas where you can cut back without feeling it, creating some extra wealth that you can direct toward longer-term goals.
You save money regularly and often, both for your goals and ‘just in case’. Saving money gives you a sense of security, so you watch where your dollars go closely, and are quite frugal.
My Dad always says, ‘Save first, spend later’. Being in the habit of regular saving is great for many reasons so keep it up! However, make sure you’re enjoying your hard-earned cash too. These clients sometimes need encouragement to budget for some frivolous, fun things that make them happy. This could be anything from a weekend away to that new car you want but don’t strictly need.
Other people seem to cycle through periods of careful saving and budgeting only to throw in the towel and over-spend impulsively. This is where the dieting analogy comes in: Perhaps you are setting yourself unrealistic goals and then rebelling against them?
The solution: Reassess your budget and ask yourself whether it’s sustainable long-term or if you’d be better off to try and save at more of a slow and steady pace. Perhaps you’re happy to cut back on some discretionary spending, such as new clothes, but you really value weekly meals out with friends. Prioritise what you find really hard to forgo and think creatively about where you can save without feeling it.
Rather Not Know
Then there are those people who prefer not to think too much about money. These clients tend to spend what’s coming in but fail to budget or plan for the long haul. If you’re a high earner this may be working ok for you now but are you properly set up for retirement, for example?
I find these types can benefit the most from seeing a financial advisor like myself. Why not let someone else do the hard work for you? Knowing that you have a plan in place and accountability to stick to it gives great peace of mind, in my experience.
Consider financial coaching
If you would like some help figuring out your unique money personality and how you can use it to your advantage, we offer our Financial Focus Program through our coaching business, Coach4You.
Our coaching programs blend life and business coaching strategies with expert financial coaching to help our clients transform the way that they manage their money. Whether you are trying to overcome a difficult financial history, are focused on building your wealth, have a family, are single, or are planning for retirement – we can help.
Call us anytime on (02) 8268 2900 for an obligation-free chat about your financial plans and goals.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.