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Understand Your Money Personality: The Key To Changing Your Money Mindset
The messages that we hear about money come from a variety of sources including our family, friends and the media. As we go through life, the experiences we encounter play a key part in the development of automatic habits (reactions) and attitudes (feelings and thoughts) towards money, and how our inner voice – our subconscious – talks to us about money.
Bundle up all of these attitudes, habits, behaviors, feelings and ideas around money and you have your money personality.
When I started writing content for The Money Whisperer, I thought that providing simple to understand financial education was going to help people become better at managing their finances. However, even with knowledge, a lot of people still have deep rooted money blocks which are preventing them from moving forward.
As I have grown as an educator and coach, I have come to understand that the issues run much deeper. In order to break bad habits and make positive changes, you need to understand your individual underlying money personality. With this knowledge comes the ability to work on specific blocks which are holding you back from change.
I’m excited to have added standalone ‘Money Personality Power Hour’ sessions to my offering, where we will unlock the information which can help you really drive the changes you want in relation to your financial future. Read through to the end to find out more.
Money Habits and Mindset
Habits are actions we take automatically. Once they are formed, habits operate unconsciously in a part of the primitive brain.
This part of our brain is programmed to avoid things that cause fear. So our inner voice, our subconscious, keeps telling us to do what we’ve always done. It keeps us in our comfort zone.
Which explains why it is so difficult to break habits even though you become aware that they aren’t good for you.
- Are you an emotional spender with a wardrobe full of clothes still with tags on?
- Do you find it impossible to save money or stick to a budget?
- Is ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ a constant stress?
- Does your salary or your fees, if you are self employed, reflect your true worth?
- Do you obsess about saving for the future at the expense of enjoying today?
- Maybe you can’t differentiate between risky behaviour and a calculated risk which leaves you in action paralysis and not investing for the future
Your Money Story
Studies have concluded that our money story is defined by the time that we are seven. If, as an adult, you have bad habits or negative values and attitudes to do with money, these can typically be traced back to the experiences you had around money in your formative years.
Imagine a child who is encouraged to save their pocket money by their parents who comes to spend their money and finds the piggy bank empty. Mum explains that she needed the money for groceries but in the eyes of this child, they see money as something which could be taken away from them easily. As an adult, we may see them never saving money but instead spending all their money as soon it is paid to them out of fear that if they don’t spend it, someone else will.
Interestingly, the example above highlights why two siblings growing up in the same family can end up with entirely different money stories, and may view money in different ways as adults. Our money personality is truly unique.
Unlocking the root cause of your attitude towards money and why you behave in a certain way is the key to being able to move forward.
Then you need to re-write a new money story.
There is no ‘perfect’ money personality. All traits of behaviours have both advantages and challenges associated with them.
Importantly, different people perceive traits in very different ways.
Take for example someone who values generosity and as a result, thinks nothing of treating their sister to an expensive meal. Whilst your partner may think it is a generous gesture, your sister may feel that you are letting her know that you are more successful than she is.
Finding Balance and Alignment
One of the first exercises I do with my clients involves them taking an assessment which allows us to position their money personality. It helps them to think about money in new ways and allows us a framework to talk about the way they approach money and the changes they want to make.
The assessment defines the strength of the habits and attitudes they have around money in the following areas:
- Security – money helps you feel safe, secure and in control
- Planning – money helps you to achieve your goals
- Spontaneity – money encourages you to enjoy the moment
- Status – money helps you present a positive image
- Giving – money helps you feel good by giving to others
- Carefree – money is not a priority, you just let life happen
It is then possible to easily identify where they are potentially over or under using a particular trait. With this knowledge, we then work on tailoring a plan to change those areas which aren’t in alignment. Here are a few examples:
- Overusing Giving: we would explore if they are giving away too much of their time? This could involve exploring the value of their work and negotiating their salary to reflect their true worth
- Underusing Planning: if someone is not a habitual planner, we may work on developing a short and long term plan together
- Underusing Security : we may look through their current spending plan/budget (or draw one up) to identify opportunities to automate savings for an emergency fund or towards a pension/investment fund.
- Overusing Spontaneity : people in this category often have emotional reasons for their spontaneity so we look at alternative ways to get the emotional kick that spending gives them.
‘Money Personality Power Hour’
If you already know you have money blocks or you’ve read this article and had an ‘aha’ moment in terms of understanding why you can never make the changes you desire, this is for you; the Money Personality Power Hour with me.
You will complete an online assessment which will generate a detailed (20+ page) report of your money personality. We will then delve in to the details of the assessment together on a Zoom call and power through some actionable steps for you to take away.
Click here to find out more about my Money Personality Power Hour
If you want to find out more about financial coaching with me, you can book a FREE 20 minute discovery call here: http://www.calendly.com/emmamaslin