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Many of our money decisions are affected by our personality. The better we understand our attitudes towards money, the more sensible our spending decisions can become.

Which of the following describe you (not what you think you should do, but what you really do)?

CREDIT CARDS

1. For emergencies only. I pay the balance as soon as I get the bill.
2. I always have one with me; just in case I see something I want to buy.
3. I try not to use them, but some emergency always happens, and then I have a hard time paying them off.
4. I don't like credit cards, and I don't have one.
5. I find credit cards useful for unexpected expenses and large items. I pay them off with bigger than minimum payments.

GIFT BUYING

1. I hate gift giving events and avoid them.
2. I love to go gift shopping; and I often find something for myself, too.
3. I usually buy the gift on the way to the party.
4. I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect gift, and usually spend more than I planned.
5. I look for something that suits the person within the price range that is appropriate for the occasion and my budget.

BUDGET
1. I have a careful budget that includes all expenditures, and a mandatory amount for savings. I often rework it to find new ways to save.
2. I pay the bills (usually), then spend the rest.
3. I plan to write myself a budget when I'm making more money.
4. I spend little beyond the essentials, so I don't need a budget.
5. I have a flexible budget, that pays the bills first, a percentage for savings, and some fun money.

RETIREMENT PLAN
1. I have several plans that are taken right out of my paycheck, and enjoy finding new ways to add to my nest egg even if I have to give up my vacation.
2. I want to set up a plan, but have a hard time finding extra money.
3. Retirement is too far away to worry about.
4. I will need very little when I retire; Social Security will cover my needs.
5. I dedicate a certain percentage to a retirement fund, and review it once a year.

IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS TO...
1. immediately put it in a safe, long term investment
2. go on a shopping spree.
3. ask my friends and family for advice.
4. help out my friends and family.
5. put it in the bank until I have calmed down enough to think straight.

I WOULD CONSIDER CHANGING JOBS IF...
1. the new job paid more and had a better retirement plan.
2. gave me an expense account.
3. I had to.
4. it gave me an opportunity to do something meaningful.
5. it was something I would enjoy more than my present work, and gave me an adequate income with a chance to advance.

Answers:
1's are Over-Savers
2's are Spenders
3's are Ostriches
4's are Martyrs
5's are Balanced

Count how many you have in each category:

5-6 you definitely fit that type
3-4 you veer strongly in that direction
1-2 you have idiosyncrasies in that direction.


1. OVER-SAVERS
These are money worriers, who feel uncomfortable whenever they buy something other than the bare necessities. No amount of savings can make them feel safe as they imagine a financial disaster lurking in their future.

If you fit this category, you need to loosen up. Buy something you have always wanted, but wouldn't let yourself have. Learn to enjoy what you earn, take a few small risks, and stop reworking your budget every other day.

2. SPENDERS

Spenders use shopping as a way to make themselves feel better. Because of binge shopping, they run out of money before the bills are paid and the necessities are bought. Credit cards are a big problem.

Spenders need to make a budget. Put a certain percentage of your money in a long term savings plan each paycheck. Allow yourself an allowance for shopping trips, stick to it, and leave your credit cards at home.

3. OSTRICHES

They hate to shop; they hate to think about money. When they do have to buy something, they get it over quickly. This leads to over spending because they grab the first thing they see instead of comparison shopping. Anything financial gets put off- taxes, retirement, savings, bills and budgets

If you are an ostrich, make out a budget, with heavy emphasis on what you need to buy. Write a list, look at the sales ads, and put the shopping trip in your schedule. Then, each week, handle one more financial matter that you have been avoiding, starting with the simplest to build your confidence. Talk to bankers and financial experts. You will find that they have patience and want your business. If they don't, find those that are.

4. MONEY MARTYRS
Martyrs fear the corrupting influence of money, often setting up severe roadblocks in their ability to achieve success. They can be overly generous in giving away money, but have a hard time spending it for their own needs.

It is time to call a truce between you and money. First, go out and buy one small, frivolous thing. Then, sit down and write an honest list of what you need, and make out a budget that includes them. You can afford these things once you curb your impulse to give away your money. Start a savings plan that will take care of your future. Don't worry. If you really fear money, you will never become greedy.

5. BALANCED

Congratulations, you have discovered the secret of living both prosperously and happily, whatever your income.