Money… whether we like it or not, and no matter how much or little we have, plays a central role in our lives.
However, is it really a force for good or for evil? Does it corrupt or motivate us? Could it really solve our problems if we had more of it? Why do some people want everyone else to know when they have lots of it and others pretend to have more of it when they don’t?
How you manage money today and what it means to you is a direct reflection - whether you know it or not - of your inner subconscious relationship with money.
That’s a bit of a mouthful, let me explain. It has been scientifically proven that your attitude to money is a direct reflection of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, societal attitudes and even what your parents taught you about it when you were younger.
We can be programmed to have certain beliefs about money, simply by what others say; life experiences and so on.
The good news, however, is that all of these parameters that can hold us back can be changed, but before you can see the benefit of looking at how you manage and perceive money differently, you first have to recognise what money personality type you are.
There has been much written on this subject and many different commentators refer to us in terms of savers, hoarders, scroungers, givers etc. but for me these are just too bland and simplistic.
Recently, however, I came across an excellent financial writer in the states, called Deborah Price, who identified different money types or money personalities, at least one of which I have no doubt will resonate with you.
So, let’s get started and see which one best describes you.
This is the type of person who buries their head in the sand because they don’t want to know what is going on with their finances.
They feel overwhelmed when people start talking about money and they just simply switch off. As a consequence they rely heavily on the advice of others and are therefore incredibly trusting.
The result can mean they are taken advantage of by financial advisors who recognise this trait and offer advice that is more beneficial for the advisor than the poor innocent.
“Sure what could I have done?” “It’s the bank’s fault” Victims live in the past and blame everyone else but themselves.
They also have this sense of feeling powerless and they want others to solve their financial problems.
Victims have a litany of excuses why they haven’t any more in their bank account or why their credit card bill is so high.
And yes, in the past they may have over borrowed or invested in something that went south, but because they never dealt with these issues, they will always look for others to rescue them.
This type of person does more for others than they do for themselves. They tend to live in high drama, experiencing lots of highs and lows. They are the “glass is half empty” type of person and focus on negative issues i.e. what’s the point in putting money into a pension, which keeps them from getting on and achieving financial success.
The fool isn’t stupid, at least I don’t think they are. This definition refers to their relationship with money because the fool is always looking to make a “quick buck” by taking financial shortcuts.
Saving money regularly for retirement has no great appeal to them, it’s too boring. They want to buy a property, flip it after a year and the profit they hopefully will have made is more than 20 years of regular saving. So, fools could also be called gamblers or chancers.
Their judgement can be impaired because they don’t read the small print and they never had a Plan B.
And, ignorance is bliss except when it hurts. Until the fool becomes better informed and less distracted, they will continue to lose money just as quickly as they make it.
For this type of person, money really is the root of all evil. They don’t want to compromise their artistic or creative side in return for money - that would mean selling out.
But if they want to be financially secure, they need to accept the world they live in, embrace it and realise that the more attention they pay to their finances, the more creative they actually will become because they will spend less time worrying about it.
Now I have come across quite a few of these people in my time. They use money to control people, they hoard money because they want to manipulate and take advantage of others. They are only interested in one thing, themselves.
Financially successful people who openly flaunt their wealth measure their success in life by what car they drive, where they live or what clothes they wear, sad really but a fact in many cases.
Yes, they might have all the money in the world but money can’t buy you everything. As one of my favourite writers Jim Rohn once said, “I would prefer to live in a tent with my family than alone in a mansion on the hill”
This is the ideal money type and one we all should strive to be.
This type of person is financially conscious and aware of what is going on around them. They know what they want to achieve, have made peace with their past and constantly strive to improve their finances.
They listen to their trusted advisers take on board what they say, are focused, decisive and in complete control of their finances.
However much money you have or don’t have your relationship with money is vital. It can be the doorway to a better life, whatever life you want that to be, but you first need to recognise what your money type is so you can align it or change it, the decision is yours.