Have you ever sat down to think about your money habits? Would you consider yourself to be more of a spender or a saver? What motivates you to spend or save money? It’s helpful to keep track of your own spending or saving behaviors and think about what factors influence your habits.
We all grew up in our own unique environments where a range of influences from personal family experiences to the media can shape our views of the world, including the money habits we put into practice each day.
Whether you have patterns of spending, saving, investing, or even budgeting, these habits are usually shaped by your own past personal experiences.
There are three key influences when it comes to money habits:
How you relate to finances is most likely very much related to what you’ve experienced within your family, and the money lessons people experience across generations.
Perhaps your parents were not comfortable spending money and had a distrust when it comes to taking on debt. Or maybe you witnessed a family member where there was a high tolerance for spending and taking on loans for purchases both big and small. Whether you come from a family of big spenders or big savers, or somewhere along the spectrum, many people can identify with the role their family has played in their money habits.
Movies, television shows, and social media often romanticize the appeal of beautiful homes, expensive cars, new gadgets, and brand-name clothing and jewelry. The media plays a huge role in emphasizing the desire to have the latest and greatest of everything—despite the realities of our personal financial situations.
While the entertainment industry is a big part of our “media diets,” our social media feeds serve up a never-ending stream of photos and updates showing off expensive vacations, cars, elaborate events, and more. As a result, many of us are tempted to “Keep up with Joneses” and by ramping up our spending, which has a significant influence on our money habits.
Attitudes and perceptions about how we handle our money are also influenced by the larger culture as a whole. For those living in a culture of consumption, the “buy now, pay later” philosophy is everywhere. For those in a culture that puts an emphasis on economic restraint, that philosophy and influence is likely quite different.
While cultural influences may affect how you view money, you also have the power to choose how to interpret cultural exceptions. Many Many people turn the “conspicuous consumption” influence into a positive effect to encourage good money habits. They might see the cultural behaviors as life lessons on what not to do.
Know Your Money Habits
It’s important to ask yourself the following questions: Where do you stack up when it comes to money habits? Do you keep (and stick to) a budget? What are your financial savings goals? Answer them honestly; they will help you to truly understand your money habits.
All told, knowing where you stand with your money habits is a good step toward financial health and wellness. If you feel like your spending is getting out of hand, for instance, due to the pressures of keeping up with a friend’s social posts, it might be time to slow down and take a hard look at spending.
Not only are all of us at GOLD on your side and here to help you, our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness are, too. Need a one-on-one financial consultation to help you move forward? Give them a call: 877-377-3399.