Christmas can be expensive…… it got me thinking about money.

What sort of person are you with your money ? How do you manage your money ? This is an expensive time of year and like many people, I am feeling the pinch. It got me thinking about how we all differ so much in our attitude towards cash. I hope you enjoy reading this blog. Feel free to give feedback or email me to chat about whatever may be on your mind. William.

“Take the first step……”  

We are all different with how we view and manage our cash. To an extent our attitude to money is influenced by our upbringing by our parents, our role models and our personalities. If our parents were stingy or generous, it’s likely that we will be the same, but not necessarily. It is very possible to change the relationship we have with money; strengthen what we’re good at and change what we’re not so good at.

Once this has been sorted, this huge worry about finances that a lot of us constantly worry about can be resolved. That has to be good news !

I think there are 4 main “money types” for people — The Procrastinator; The Worrier; The Saver & The Spending Addict

Which one are you ? What can you do to change your relationship with money ?

  • The Procrastinator — this individual avoids dealing with their finances. “I’ll do it later” they tell themselves. They wait until the very last moment to deal with a bill to be paid – they stick their head in the sand. There is a short term feel good factor by putting something off, but the reality is that in the long term it causes more anxiety and stress. A procrastinator doesn’t want to make the decision because they’re actually perfectionists and if a decision is made; they’re open for judgement – not where they feel comfortable at all ! The fear of failure. The reality is that ultimately, all financial situations have to be dealt with and by putting them off, you just keep yourself under constant strain an worry. Not good on all counts.
  • How to help yourself — 
  • “Be willing to change.” Admit that you put off dealing with money issues and confirm to yourself that you can change; that you will change. Be kind with yourself.
  • “Set doable tasks for yourself and stick to them.” “I promise that I will pay my mobile phone bill and that £20 back to my friend today” — then do it ! Small tasks each day – not big ones. If you set yourself too big a task list, you just won’t do it. Your head will be in the sand again quick as a flash.
  • “Set Deadlines.” Commit yourself to making strict date deadlines of when you are going to execute these tasks – put it in the diary; on the wall; on a post it note on your head if needs be — put it up, commit to it and do it. You will feel good about yourself once you have done them.
  • “Affirm your success.” Be good to yourself; tell yourself, “well done” – you did what you said you would do.
  • The Worrier — these individuals will be diligent with their money; be astute; will avoid errors; be thrifty. They are responsible and won’t shy away from money or any issues regarding money. Many of us will worry about our finances during hard times and so many of us will relate to this “type”. It’s good to not be in denial regarding money but all the worry will increase stress levels and can affect your sleep and health. Every “money moment” can become a nail biting stress level moment — they can overindulge in the “what if’s” of life regarding finance. All of a sudden, the worry is all about the future and before you know it; Armageddon is around every corner !    
  • How to help yourself — 
  • “Be in the present.” It sounds corny but just live today and stay focused on it. Do what you can today; tomorrow will come soon enough. If you’re constantly worrying about tomorrow or the day after; you are wasting the day you’re in.
  • “Give yourself a break.” — All any of us can do is our best. You are good with money; you handle situations regarding it. Accept that as a really good thing and be pleased with yourself. Everything will be fine. Relax !
  • “Give yourself a treat.” — I know this can be hard — treating yourself by spending some money on yourself. You think; “Are you crazy; spend £25 on something I don’t need?” But honestly; do it and enjoy doing it – you deserve it and perversely — you can afford it !
  • The Saver — the practical planner saving for a rainy day type. Saving for their retirement; no credit card debt; spend within their means; don’t spend unless absolutely necessary. Great traits, don’t you think ?  They value financial security. They love a bargain and a bit of coupon clipping too. Smart saving requires commitment and diligence. However; there needs to be an awareness that they don’t don’t become misers or penny pinchers. There’s nothing worse than the friend who always seems to go “missing” when it’s their turn to pay for lunch or it’s their round at the bar. In their defence, it’s hard for them to enjoy money. They cling on to it and worry about not having it. They gain no enjoyment from money; they get no fun from it. Being miserly is the dark side of savers.
  • How to help yourself —
  • “Donate to a charity.” — give some money to a good cause and start to change your relationship with money. Feel good that you are doing good.
  • “Give your loose change to someone down on their luck who may be asking for money.” — please don’t scoff at me or this suggestion. Just do it – watch their reaction. Reflect for one moment and think; you slept in a warm bed last night; where did they sleep ? In a doorway in the cold ? You honestly won’t miss the change and you will feel better in yourself. The act of kindness is a positive thing to do.
  • “Go out for that lunch or drink with work colleagues or friends.” — You know that you can afford it. You will get so much from being social and your friends/colleagues will be pleased that you are out and having some fun. To feel connected and valued in this world is probably the most important thing for all of us.
  • “You can’t take it with you.” —  Saving is good but everything in moderation. Will you really feel great when you’re old and wrinkly with a substantial amount of cash and no time to spend it. Sure; you will leave it to loved ones, and that is good. But, the worry is that there may be a sense of regret within you. Regret that you didn’t enjoy spending more of it on yourself and loved ones on enjoyable things when you were able to do so. Go on; do it. Live your life with a little more abundance.
  • The Spending Addict — this is about the thrill as opposed to the saving. This individual spends on impulse and can often make money and lose it quickly. There is no fear of risk; no worry. Life is on the edge as regards money. Chaos and drama surround their wallet or purse. Everything is maxed out. The reality is that this individual may be suffering low self-esteem, hurt, an emptiness they’re trying to fill with material things. Nothing is ever enough. It can range from a cash binge at the shops to losing the lot as a mountain of debt closes in.
  • How to help yourself — 
  • “Admit the problem.” — Be honest with yourself. You know you have a problem. Admittance is the first step.
  • “What triggers each spending spree.” — Become aware if anything has happened at work or in your personal life that seems to send you on a spree. Are their common themes at play ? Does someone or something push you to a spree ? Is there a pattern ?
  • “Take a moment.” — Stop for a moment before you go crazy with your cash or cards. Take some deep breaths and ask yourself; “Do I need to do this?” If you can stop the initial urge, it will become easier to not spend the money.
  • “Buy something else.” — If you are struggling and know you are going to spend money then buy something that is £20 as opposed to being £200. It’s a start as you are acknowledging the issue but are satisfying that particular urge with a purchase that you can afford.