I’ve known if for as long as I can remember: I’m a saver.
Actually, in the past, at times, you could probably have called me stingy and cheap. I have never liked to spend money–even to a fault!
My parents raised me to be frugal.
Even though we had plenty when I was a child, my parents still utilized hand-me-down clothing, shopped the clearance racks, instilled in us three kids a love for Big Lots and never splurged on expensive vacations.
My mom is still a couponing queen (although I did not inherit this talent!). They have also only ever purchased one brand new car, and, even now, at 62, my dad still drives a 20-year-old vehicle to work every day! He drives them until they wear out!
The result of all this saving and frugality? They were able to send us all three of us to Christian schools from kindergarten through high school, and they also paid for our college.
(Yes, I am incredibly grateful!)
My parents say they lived frugally–even when they didn’t have to–because they were both raised poor.
When the Recession hit in my early adulthood, and our family went through several years of living on a low income, the frugality I had learned as a child was a lifesaver.
My husband, on the other hand, is the spender in our family. Both of his parents are more spendy than mine are, and although neither of us have ever racked up credit card debt (praise God!), in our newlywed days he thought nothing of spending our tax return on the latest electronic gadget.
My extreme frugalness, and his tendency to spend made for some tension in our budget the first few years of marriage.
But now, nearly 10 years in, we have both recognized that neither of us was right.
He has learned a great deal about the value of saving money, and I have learned that cheaper does not always equal better!
And my gift-giving husband has also transformed this former let’s-tithe-and-nothing-more gal into a lover of generosity when it comes to spending our money on others!
Everyone has a money personality
Did you know that everyone has a money personality?
Most people naturally lean toward either spending or saving–many times based on how they were raised. Often, spenders and savers will marry each other, which is a good thing because maybe the children will end up balanced in their views and management of money!
I recently discovered a money personality quiz that takes it a step further. You can take this free online money personality quiz here.
The quiz took just a few minutes to take, and my results were a bit surprising!
It told me that I am a problem solver and that my strengths are in being selfless. It said that people like me tend to put our loved ones first and support others.
This made me laugh considering what a scrooge I was with our money when I first married my husband!
The quiz then gave suggestions for those with the “problem solving” and “selfish” money personality.
It suggested that I look into setting up separate savings accounts for things like college savings and family vacations and that those with my personality type often want help with learning how to invest and retirement plans.
We do already have a small college savings account for our girls (although we are fine if they decide to forgo college for another pursuit like entrepreneurship or a ministry, etc.). Up until very recently, we didn’t have enough money to put aside for this (we barely had enough money to eat!), so we started very small with tucking aside the money our parents gave our girls on holidays. We figured that they have so many toys now and are young enough that they wouldn’t miss $20 here and there, but, over time, we hope this will build up to a nice little savings for them.
Looking more into investments and retirement plans are definitely on our family agenda for 2015. We have small plans in place now, but we want to step things up a bit.
What about you?
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions geared toward saving money or even just curbing your spending habits?
Want to pay off debt this year? Save more money? Eat better (which may include upping your grocery budget a bit)? Lose your mummy tummy?
We tend to use the end result as the resolution when, really, our resolutions should be changes to behaviors that will get you there.
Pay off debt?
Resolution – set up an auto payment from every paycheck the day you get paid.
The money is taken out right away before you even have a chance to realize it’s there. By setting up smaller auto payments vs. one payment on the due date, you can save on interest and actually pay off quicker.
Save more money?
Saving is hard. I get it! Over 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. (We were there not too long ago!)
Resolution – Find one thing to either eliminate or find savings in your budget.
Can you eliminate premium channels from cable and save $30 a month? Have way more data than you need on your mobile plan? Cut that down and save $25 a month?
Take whatever savings you can find, even if its $5, and set up a monthly auto transfer of that amount into your savings.
TIP: Use Mobile/Online Banking? Remove your savings account from your accounts view so you are not staring at the money sitting there…tempting you. Out of sight, out of mind.
If you do not even have $5 to save (believe me–this is where we were!), then a goal for 2015 might be finding ways to increase your income through a side job, work-at-home mom job, etc. (Try blogging!)
What is your money personality? Do you have any tips to share that can lead to resolution success?
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.
What is your money personality? Find out here
To find advice, tips, tools and motivation to start your new year click here
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.