Knowing Your Money Personality
Part 6 of 6
The Intuitive Spender
Our last and final financial personality we will explore is The Intuitive Spender. In comparison to The Worrier, The Addictive Spender, The Procrastinator, and The Saver/Hoarder, this may be the personality with the healthiest relationship with money. By diving into all the personality types we’re really trying to introduce you to your own relationship with money. Most people don’t even put money and relationship in the same sentence. Someone who is an Intuitive Spender often knows where their money has come from and where it is going and generally speaking has a good relationship with their money.
Skills like James Bond
Imagine the opening chase scene of a James Bond film—Bond in pursuit of a villain, maneuvering his way through a busy city. Is this ability to dodge danger pure talent? Or does his experience and intuition enable him to take risks and walk away unscathed?
We would all like to say we have Bond-like intuition in all areas of our lives but for most it probably isn’t with our money. Whether it’s small investments, paying off our credit cards, or saving money, we may take what’s worked in the past and call it our intuition. However, this may just be luck. It’s important to discern between wishful thinking and real knowledge on a subject.
Understanding your relationship with money helps you identify what gaps you may have with your money. This is an easy way to know what skills you need to learn or brush up on.
Intuition vs Informed Decision Making
Intuition is often described as that intense gut feeling that helps us decide what is right and wrong. It seems unfounded, like walking into a dark room and knowing something is near you.
In Psychology Today, Francis Cholle describes intuition as “a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.”
Often these feelings are important to address—they may lead us to something subconscious that is protecting us from harm. However, when we let our unfounded feelings of intuition guide our every move it may lead to impulsive decisions.
We saw with The Worrier personality that their relationship with money usually causes them to make impulsive financial decisions that they will later regret. Instead, we must use our subconscious knowledge to find deductive reasoning.
When Intuition Leads to Impulse
Thinking without reason and relying on gut feelings don’t often do damage on their own. Intuition crosses the line when it turns into impulsive buying or spending. Dr. Orloff, the creator of the five financial personalities, describes the intuitive spender as a problem when there is no distinguishable difference between fear, desires, and intuition.
Intuitive spenders can misinterpret financial situations and make devastating financial decisions with the best of intentions. How can we stop ourselves and recognize the difference? Dr. Orloff gives the following questions to ask:
- Do I check in with my gut about financial matters? Do the smell test. If something smells fishy or to good to be true, you may want to do more research. Impulsive buys without checking the facts, checking your finances and how it could positively or negatively affect them is asking for trouble.
- Do I look beyond logic for answers? Kind of like looking to the stars for answers.
- Do you feel like something needs to happen so you just do it?
- If a decision feels right, can I act on it or if it doesn’t, can I let it go? If your horoscope says to buy a car, do you just do it, regardless of the stakes?
- Do I trust my gut when it says “beware” of an investment? Intuition and feelings can negatively impact our finances more than just buying impulsively. It can keep us from an excellent investment just because it doesn’t “feel” right.
- Will I take reasonable financial risk based on intuition? Calculated risks of playing the stock market with research are one thing; opening a book and reading until something “pops up” and feels right is another.
- Do I consult my intuition about how to creatively make money and where to invest or donate?
Be honest, we all love to feel good about the decisions we are making. Often times we’ll find things to support our reasoning for our decisions. But don’t let the feelings get in the way of careful reasoning. Your relationship with money deserves a careful eye.
How often do you find yourself making decisions without taking the time to look first? Maybe it’s not big things like investing or house buying, maybe its things that make you feel good like charitable giving. Have you looked into that charity before donating for this year’s taxes?
Let’s return to our Bond character. He has just captured the villain and gets into his Aston Martin. Bond taps the steering wheel to discretely call his trusted support system—C. It’s evident in many superhero storylines that intuitive superheroes do not act alone; most have a trusted side-kick or support-system that helps them along.
Think about what systems or people you can use to help you get your financial life on track and to help you avoid common mistakes. You’ll save a lot of headaches, reduce your stress if you work within a framework or with someone to make sure your relationship with your money is good.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss
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