The way you spend your money says so much more about you than you might think.
Financial expert Jackson Millan believes that not only do your spending habits offer insights into your personality but they can also show how well you can save too.
The average Australian is currently carrying more than $3,000 in credit card debt each, according to Finder.com.au, so it’s obvious that many of us need to curb our spending.
Whether you’re the sort to keep enjoying trips away or someone who wants to indulge in great clothes and expensive dining, Mr Millan shares the personality traits that could be stopping you from saving – and how you can overcome these.
Financial expert Jackson Millan (pictured), the way you spend your money can actually reveal a lot about your personality and your savings habits
1. The Cash Stasher
There are those who make it happen and there are those who make excuses.
‘You have nice things and live a comfortable life. You don’t really have debt but you also don’t have any assets that appreciate in value. You’re too scared to invest ‘just in case’ you need the money and you tend to stockpile cash,’ Mr Millan said.
‘Things like ‘the bubble is going to burst’ or ‘the market is flat’ are common excuses stopping people from continuing to work towards their goals.
‘If you’re a cash stasher, take action today, the expert recommends, ‘set goals, get educated and speak to an expert.’
2. The Cash Splasher
The cash splasher is the one who shouts drinks at the bar and who loves to throw money around.
‘You’re generous and always like to treat your friends and family,’ the expert said.
‘When you have your mind set on something you are great at saving specifically for that goal and will do whatever you have to in order to save for it
‘But you lack motivation unless you have the next big thing in sight,’ he added.
His advice is to stop and think about what you want and why and make sure you set realistic expectations and long-term goals.
The cash splasher is the one who shouts drinks at the bar and who loves to throw money around (stock image)
3. The Cash Makes Me Happier
Retail therapy is your mantra; shopping malls are your favourite place to be and all the major online retailers are bookmarked in your browser.
‘The feeling you have with your hands full of new shopping goodies is elation. You’re on a first name basis with all the sales assistants.
‘You have troubles delaying gratification and this can be hard when there is temptation everywhere.
His suggestion to the cash makes me happier types is to monitor where your money is going on a weekly basis.
‘It is important to have the right cash flow structure to ensure you put a cap on your discretionary spending.
The cash makes me happier is generous and always likes to treat their friends and family, the expert said (stock image)
4. The Chicken Little Investor
This type of spender enjoys investing and probably loves reading the Australian Financial Review, said the wealth mentor.
‘You spend more time than you would like buying and selling trades with every new tip you hear, however, you know deep down the market is beating you.
‘You tend to lose track of how much you have actually made and only brag about the wins.
He said the problem with the Chicken Little Investor is that they aren’t clear on what they’re are working towards and will treat the investment itself as the destination.
‘Once you define your long-term and short-term goals you will find it easier to see the path there. If you want to reach your goals don’t be afraid to ask an expert to get you on the right path.’
5. The Points Accumulator
If you love a bargain and nothing sounds better than the word ‘free’ or ‘discount’ then you will probably recognise yourself as a ‘Points Accumulator’, said Mr Millan.
‘You want to be in complete control of your finances and check every bank statement and bill for errors.
‘You’re normally quite good at saving but because you have a scarcity mind-set, this limits your potential growth and ability to thrive financially.’
His recommendation for those with this type of mind-set is to create a plan centred on what you ultimately would like to achieve:
‘You need to stop worrying so much about the points and start focusing on what you really want in life.
‘By simplifying your financial situation you can have more time to focus on crafting your dream life.’
The points accumulator is normally quite good at saving but because they have a scarcity mind-set, this limits theiry potential growth and ability to thrive financially (stock image)
6. The Ignorer
This type of spender tends to be the sort who doesn’t really take their spending problem seriously – until things spiral out of control.
‘You accumulate debt and use one credit card to pay off another or you avoid opening your bills out of fear.
‘You’re in over your head and can’t make the minimum repayments. You can’t bear to make strategic decisions to get ahead and you distract yourself to forget about the financial hole you are experiencing.’
His suggestion for those who tend to shy away from financial responsibility is to first look at where they are spending their money and what areas they can save.
The Midas doesn’t have a motivation problem more they have a vision problem, according to Mr Millan
‘Set a plan in motion and the first step is to begin paying off your debt and then set aside a nest egg for any unexpected hurdles in the future.’
7. The Midas
The Midas spender lives a lavish and abundant life and believes they are doing really well but often can’t see how quickly their money is disappearing, Mr Millan explained.
‘You want to start planning but there is always next year as you’re too busy living the dream.
‘You don’t have a motivation problem, you have a vision problem and because of this, you find it hard to defer gratification or sacrifice your day-to-day lifestyle given you haven’t worked out what you really want,’ Mr Millan said.
His advice to those with this mind-set is to spend some time thinking about what are the most fundamentally important aspects of your life:
‘Ask yourself what are your goals, dreams and aspirations and what is the significance of these goals, dreams and aspirations to you?’