Guest author: Kate Browne is Personal Finance Editor at Finder
Do you know your spending personality? Do you love to splash your cash around and have a backlog of credit card purchases longer than your arm? Or are you a frugal saver who is a budgeting mastermind? Or perhaps you would rather jump in a croc-infested river than open your phone bill. But no matter whether you’re a spender, a saver or somewhere in between, there’s always a better way to manage your money.
Below, we take a look at some of the classic spending personalities, and where they need to make it rain, or rein it in.
#1 The Cash Splasher
Cash splashers love to be spontaneous – especially when it comes to their money! Saving is not a priority for this type of spender, and they often live pay cheque to pay cheque. They’re the type of person to shout brunch on a Sunday or tap-and-go another round at the bar. They also can’t resist the siren song of an impulse buy. After all, an outfit is a good investment if it makes you look good on a night out, right? This tap-happy mentality means that cash splashers can sometimes run into credit card debt, especially if they’re using multiple cards at a time.
While there’s nothing wrong with treating loved ones (and yourself) from time to time, you should try to balance the books a bit more. It’s ok to go out to lunch or buy yourself that new pair of jeans, but make sure you’ve transferred a decent amount into your savings account first. You should try and save around 20% of your pay if possible.
A balance transfer can also be one option of tackling card debt. It basically means you can move your existing debt from one card (or multiple cards) onto a new card with a new provider. The new card may offer a 0% interest rate or low introductory offer for a certain period of time, which means you’ll be able to save on interest and pay off your debt faster. If you have debts from multiple sources a debt consolidation loan may also be an option to help you get back on top of your debts by consolidating bills, credit cards and loans into a single manageable loan facility and payment.
#2 The Avoider
The avoider’s approach to money is simple: just put your head in the sand. We all know an avoider, money can be a touchy topic. They find it uncomfortable, uninteresting or unimportant – and sometimes all three!
Avoiders often have no idea how much money is sitting in their account either. Their finances tend to be a shemozzle, with funds scattered all over the place across multiple bank accounts. The idea of opening a bill or statement fills them with dread, and they’ll let their life admin pile up until it towers over them and becomes even harder to face.
While there’s nothing worse than having to face a pile of unopened bills and credit card statements, you’ll be amazed at how good you feel after tackling it. This might start by finding out your credit score but, it is important to take a day to sit down, roll up your sleeves and have a good look over your finances.
If you have multiple accounts open, close down the ones you rarely use, and try to stick to one bank if possible. This will really help to simplify where your money sits, which in turn will help you keep track of your spending more easily. It can also be a great idea to set up some direct debits or automatic payments to make sure your bills are paid on time. That way you can feel secure in the knowledge that your pesky bills will take care of themselves! See, avoider, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
#3 The Go-Getter
Go-getters dream big and aim high, but they also have the discipline and drive to get there. Whether it’s starting their own business, buying a house or travelling the world, they recognise the importance of saving to help them get where they want to go.
Go-getters tend to be financially comfortable and are switched on when it comes to their money. If you go out for lunch with a go-getter, they’ll probably suggest you split the bill using a payment method like Osko and have their PayID ready to go. But that’s not to say they’re perfect! This spending type can sometimes slip up as well, especially when it comes to small luxuries like ridesharing and eating out.
Go-Getters are sometimes prone to having a ‘set and forget’ mentality, and this means their money doesn’t always work as hard as it could. If this rings a bell, it’s time to put your determined attitude to good use. Take a look at all the services you currently pay for, and see if there’s a better deal elsewhere. Switching up your health insurance, telco or energy provider can easily save you a couple of hundred dollars. No one wants to pay the lazy tax - especially you, Go-Getter!
#4 The Frugal Saver
If you’re a budgeting mastermind and actually enjoy putting your pennies away, chances are you’re a frugal saver. Frugal savers thrive on keeping their finances in order and feel secure knowing they have money set aside for a rainy day. Frugal savers rarely – if ever – give in to impulse buying. Instead, they like to hunt around for discounts and purchase items on special. They generally avoid credit cards, preferring to pay off the amount in full.
While it’s great to have a handle on your savings, don’t be afraid to live a little either. Buying a new couch or going on holidays isn’t going to impact your nest egg too much if you only do it occasionally. It’s what makes life worth living! If you still feel uncomfortable with the idea of splurging on luxury items, set up a ‘treat yourself’ fund and gradually add to it over time. That way when you just have to have that new pair of shoes, you can fork out for it, guilt-free.
When it comes to money, no one’s perfect. Whether you sometimes forget to pay your friends back, can’t resist a sale, hide from your gas bill or avoid spending money at all, we can all learn a financial lesson here and there. But the satisfaction that comes from sorting out your finances and achieving a long-term savings goal – be it paying off your debt in full or taking a holiday – is priceless.
This article does not constitute formal advice from Regional Australia Bank Ltd and this information has been provided for general information purposes only.