It's hard to believe that spring is well underway and we'll soon be embarking on all the fun that summer in Kentucky brings. I'm looking forward to spending time at the lake with my family, and generally getting outdoors as my boys continue to grow and enjoy new activities.
Spring is also a good time to review your finances and see if you're on track, but I also want you to think about what type of money personality you are - and what type your spouse is - as you think about any vacations or other expenses coming up, and how you'll approach them, financially speaking.
We see a few common money personalities in our Family Financial Partners office, so pick the one that best fits you and start thinking - there's no right or wrong and there's no judgment. Again, it's always a good idea to involve your spouse too, and talk about your differing perspectives, personalities and priorities when it comes to money.
First: The Spender. Don't worry, there's no need to cut up your credit cards and live life without any activities or fun. But, if you are the spender of the family, we simply recommend that you take some time to think about what's coming up for the rest of this year, and what you'd like to spend money on. If a summer vacation is your priority, start thinking and planning now (if you haven't already). Research good travel deals and start a budget, especially if your travel companion is less inclined to big purchases. Planning ahead of time could help ease any tension. If daily luxuries such as nice dinners or home décor updates are where you'd like your money to go, start a list of what you'd like to acquire this year and plan out when to buy what. Planning is key to keep from overspending and blowing your budget.
Second: The Money Hoarder. These are the clients we see who are very reluctant to spend anything at all. If this is you, take some time to think about what you want all that saved-up money to do for you. How and where is it invested? Could it be working harder for you? Are there a few things you'd like to add into your budget this year? Look at your savings balance and plan purchases well in advance. This could reduce any stress you feel about letting go of money, especially if your spouse is a spender.
Third: The Avoider. We often see clients where one spouse does most of the money planning and daily budgeting, while the other ignores the family finances. If you're the avoider who doesn't like to think about money, well, I encourage you to think about money a little while you have some free time. Ask your spouse to go over the family budget with you, or give us a call and we can go over it here in the office with both of you. We always try to see couples together, as we truly believe that it's best to keep everyone well informed of the financial picture. You can remain hands-off if you want to, but knowing what's going on with your money is always a good idea.
Fourth: Risk-takers/Risk-averse. We see some clients who are willing to take any financial risk that comes along, and on the flip side, there are those who are completely averse to anything risky when it comes to their money. If either of these describes you, take some time to think about what makes you feel that way about money. If you are a risk-taker, what types of risks do you go for, and what are you hoping to accomplish? If you're fearful of financial risks, what is worrying you?
When you come in for your next planning meeting, let us know your thoughts about your money personality, so we can better help you reach your goals - and help you sleep at night.