Monday, March 11, 2013


Voices in the Family (which I generally don't listen to) on NPR was talking about money and our relationship to it.  I only heard a bit but it was is an interesting topic.  I'm a bit of a geek and one of my personal infatuations relating to money has to do with numbers and math. 

I tend to assume there are three basic personality types: spenders, savers, and planners.  The type doesn't relate to whether someone is responsible.  Spenders can stay within their means, while savers can fail to take care of necessary expenses, and planners...well, they plan, which in and of itself is a dangerous activity.

A spender is someone who sees the value of money as being the things they can get for it, often right away.  Maybe they like clothing, maybe it's going out, maybe it is motorcycles or outdoor activities.  Whatever it is, money in the bank doesn't provide it, only money spent does.

A saver sees the value of money in more security terms: something they can keep for a rainy day, but needn't spend much of otherwise.  Savers may or may not be overly frugal.

Planners look a lot like savers at first blush, but they can blow through their entire account and then some once the time is right. 

Most people have a little of everything in them.  We have fun.  We save for a rainy day.  And we plan for large expenses like houses/vacations/cars.  Most people are also, however a bit more drawn to one of these things over the other.  People who fear using their savings account for anything.  People who spend hours or days deliberating a purchase, but then make it very quickly, surprising others.  People who will buy something spur of the moment, and then later scramble to get money in an account or pay a larger than expected credit card bill.

Again, it is possible to be either responsible or irresponsible and to also be any of these three, but it is good to know which of the three someone is before trying to set goals, or plan for them.  A spender will always have a harder time saving than a saver.

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