If you cannot save money, it may actually be a personality trait that is causing you trouble. Although you cannot use this as an excuse, it is definitely good to identify problems like this so that they can be targeted and eliminated. Here are some of the reasons that your personality may make it harder to save.
Are you insecure?
Most of the first world lives in a consumer economy. Advertisers have all of the power, and they use it to make you believe that you do not have any balance in your own life. You are constantly barraged with messages of not being good enough, and the brands that you purchase do not only reflect the quality of service that you get, they reflect who you are.
Insecure people may have a much more difficult time separating the true performance of a product from the branding effort that is going on behind the scenes. In order to create a more balanced viewpoint and save more, it may be necessary to away from media as a whole.
You must learn not to let your ego make your purchases for you. Delve into the true nature of product quality, and you the biggest brands are not necessarily the best buys. You should also take a look at the financial life of secure and wealthy people. Many of them live a very understated lifestyle. However, the freedom that they have to do anything they want is more than a reward – it is a luxury.
Are you impulsive?
Just like advertisers have graphic designers to make their brands look incredibly good on television and on the Internet, they also have merchandisers negotiate placement deals with retail outlets. This is the reason that you have relatively cheap candy bars right by the cashier checkout desk in your grocery store. This is not the place to put a $10 health drink and no one would buy it there. Rest assured that you are being pulled in many directions on purpose by the professionals in the advertising industry.
One of the ways to get away from impulse buying is to have a schedule for yourself every time you go shopping. For instance, if you have a grocery list with just enough money to get the things on that list, you will be much less likely to make any impulse buys when you actually go to the grocery store.
You can also create a goal for yourself that will encourage you to save money. This goal should be out of reach of your current financial situation – you should have to actively change your spending habits in order to reach this goal. The goal should also be incredibly attractive to you. Perhaps it is a vacation that you have been looking to take for years. Maybe it is starting your own business or paying for a wedding. Maybe you are looking to have some assets to pass down to your children. Whatever the goal, be sure that it is high enough and attractive enough that you have to stretch in order to reach it. Only then will you be able to change your behavior and save over the long-term.
Are you impatient?
From games to vacations, advertisers have always been able to place a premium on being a first mover. If you make a pre-purchase before a product has actually hit retail or you are the first to try a new brand, you get some offer that is simply too good to be true. The companies that are behind these efforts understand that certain people have a need to be first. They simply want to show off for their friends, and they will do anything to be at the head of the line.
If you are trying to save money and still be on the cutting edge of your social circle, there are ways to do it without cutting your budget. You can become a focus group tester for corporations and receive free products that have not yet hit retail. This has the advantage of actually paying you to test products rather than you paying the company to do so. Many companies also have mail in coupons that they place in inconspicuous locations, knowing that no customer will actually take the time to use them. You need to use them.
Are you fearful?
It can be quite difficult to put off the pleasure of today for a promise of better living tomorrow. Advertisers definitely play off of this fear, uplifting the “you only live once” lifestyle even as every balanced financial advisor on the planet says to save more than you spend.
Some people are even afraid of money. This is a mindset that has come out of the cultures of many working-class and lower-class people. Many of them do not understand the notion of investing for the future. They may have never owned their own businesses, and they may have always relied on someone else to take all of the risk in return for a so-called secure paycheck. When these people get money, they actually want to spend it as fast as possible. They have never had it before, and they do not know what to do with it when they get it.
Learning about money is best way to get over the fear of money. There are more resources than ever for learning about money. If you do not have any ideas about what to do with your expendable income the next time you get some, a class about finances would solve both of your problems at the same time. You would then see how the opportunities for people with just a little bit of money can free you from a lifestyle of thinking in a fearful way.
If you have any of the personality traits above, you should definitely look into a master class about finances. Learning just how truly difficult it is to hold on to money may change your perspective on the way that you use in your daily life. Make sure that you do not do things with money just because your neighbor is doing them – he or she may not understand anything more than you do. Education is the key; positive changes in behavior are usually the result. Take the chance to free yourself financially, and the self-imposed limits on your life will soon disappear.
- The Four Stages of Your Finances
- Interview with Sarah Foss from SmartyPig.com
- Unsecured Credit Cards
- Reach Visa Credit Card
- Is learning how to pay off credit cards important?
- How to Stop Out of Control Spending
- Are You Constantly Buying Things?