What’s Your Money Persona

You may ask, “What motivates me with my money decisions and habits?”  To find out, take the Money $marts Persona Quiz below.  Instructions for scoring and determining your style follow. 

Money $marts Persona Quiz

1.         Your Aunt Martha dies, leaving you her prized pearls and stocks that have a current market value of $50,000. You—

A.  Immediately take the stocks to a broker and sell them so that you can buy the things you really want, especially a new wardrobe to go with the pearls. 

B.  Get the stock certificates and place them and the pearls in a safe deposit box. 

            C.  Do nothing. 

D.  Sell the stocks and buy shares in companies that you think will double in value within the next few years.

E.  Donate the shares to the Girl Scouts, your favorite non-profit organization. 

2.         Your best friend has just filed for bankruptcy.  You—

A.  Advised your friend to charge everything she could on her credit cards before she filed for the bankruptcy. 

B.  Know that you don’t want it to ever happen to you, that’s why you save a lot of everything you get. 

            C.  Know that no money problem will ever force you to do that

            D.  Worry that it could someday happen to you. 

E.  Decide that you don’t want to be around her as much as you have in the past. 

3.         The bonus you were counting on is only half what you expected.  You—

            A.  Decide that a shopping spree is in order. 

            B.  Take back the new outfit you purchased the previous week. 

            C.  Can’t tell your spouse how much it is. 

D.  Call and see if you can get the deposit back on the new car you wanted. 

            E.  Withdraw, from yourself, and your friends. 

4.         To be financially comfortable, you—

A.  Have enough money coming in, therefore comfort is just a matter of going to work and doing what you love. 

B.  Need to increase your salary and have at least a million dollars in savings. 

            C.  Are not really sure what you need. 

            D.  Need to pay for everything in cash, including a new car and house. 

            E.  Want to increase your donations to charity. 

5.         You’ve just got a credit card offer in the mail. You—

A.  Apply for anything that comes along, knowing that you can meet your monthly payments. 

            B.  Consider it only if it has no annual fee. 

            C. Toss it in the trash. 

            D.  Put it in a pile of mail to be looked at a later time. 

E.  Would only consider applying for it if it supports one of your causes. 

6.         The stock market keeps going up.  You—

            A.  Borrow money to invest. 

            B.  Call your broker to cash out. 

            C.  Don’t have a clue what “up” means. 

            D.  Sell half of your holdings. 

E.  You endow a chair at your alma mater with the increased value of your investments. 

7.         You are one of the winners in a Power Ball lottery.  Your share of the prize is $10,000,000.  You—

A.  Quit your job, order a great new chair to watch your new 60-inch flat screen TV, invite 20 of your friends for two weeks in Hawaii on your nickel, and order your dream car. 

            B.  Select the annuity option for the rest of your life. 

C.  Are shell-shocked and eventually decide to hire a money manager to take over. 

D.  Tell each member of your immediate family that they can select a special “something,” then invest the rest. 

            E.  Change your name so no one will know of your good fortune. 

8.         Your accountant has advised you to get your financial records in order.  You—

A.  Have always used the shoebox approach and can think of no reason to take the time to transfer everything onto a software program for your computer. 

B.  Are in your glory.  The challenge of the new computer program fits you to a tee! 

C.  Know you will get to it, that’s why you save everything in a box somewhere in the basement. 

D.  Like to keep track of all the guarantees you have received over the years, including the tags you tear off merchandise you buy. 

            E.  Ignore your accountant . . . that’s his job to keep track of stuff. 

9.         When I think about a budget, my response is—

            A.  Budget, what’s a budget? 

            B.  It’s a good thing. 

            C.  It’s never been a topic of conversation in my household.  

            D.  I like to tinker with them, especially on the computer. 

            E.  I take great pride in always living within my means. 

10.       I worry about money when—

            A.  I don’t, I’d rather think of ways to spend it. 

            B.  I’m awake, it’s constantly on my mind. 

            C.  Ever I read or hear about financial bad news or I’m in a crisis.

            D.  I’m not involved in other things that take my mind off of it. 

            E.  Not often, there are other, more important things to worry about. 

Scoring:  The greatest number of a given letter will indicate your money persona.  There are pros and cons to each style. 

Who You Are

A         Spender       If you have mostly A’s, your attitude is “what I have, I will spend.”  Budgets aren’t in your vocabulary; you freely spend money on your friends and you’re likely to have credit card debt, which can get you into trouble.  The plus is that you aren’t held back by money worries and that you are generous, sometimes overly generous.  A Spender is likely to be the one that reaches for the   tab when dining out with friends, much to the chagrin of a partner or spouse. 

B         Keeper B’s indicate that you fit the common perception of a hoarder.  It’s very difficult for you to spend anything on anybody, from yourself to the ones you love.  The plus is that when money chaos hits the general population, you don’t have to worry about taking care of your family.  The negative is that Keepers often hold back more if times look tough, even when they have what most would view as, plenty of money. 

C         Dodger         A preference for C statements means that you will do just about anything to avoid a discussion about money, even if it is good news.  Deep inside, you feel that you just don’t have the skills to handle it.  The plus is that you are not obsessed about what money is doing. 

D         Postponer       When it comes to money, anyone with mostly D statements

is inclined to put off spending money whenever possible, no matter how small the amount.  Money concerns envelop your thoughts to the point that you can be obsessed with what you perceive as the lack of money even when you have substantial savings.  A Postponer is not necessarily a Keeper, although there are similarities.  Postponers are willing to spend money, as long as there is backup in savings and investments.  Keepers don’t want to spend, period. 

E          Atoner A high number of E responses indicates that you may be embarrassed about the money you have, you make or that you come from.  Most Atoners live fairly uncomplicated and luxury-free lives.  If unexpected money is received, it is not uncommon for an Atoner to pass it on to a cause.  A common attitude is that “I didn’t have it before and all was fine, I don’t need it now.” Atoners will rarely replace household items and cars with newer models until they absolutely have to be replaced.  Money is rarely wasted.

No matter what your Money $marts Persona is, it doesn’t mean that one style is any better than any other, although each impacts what you do with money now and what you will do with it in the future.  In reality, a little bit of each makes sense at different times of your money life.

Your Final Money $mart Tip: Abraham Lincoln wrote, “Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Part of your money journey will be to discover what you really need for your foundation.  When I was a Certified Financial Planner Professional, I consistently observed that my most successful clients were not the high earners—they made average incomes.  They created plans that fit their life styles and goals.  Those who made significant amounts of money usually kept a money banana dangling in front of them—always needing and wanting more. 

In the end, it was my school teacher and nurse clients who really did sock money away for their future.  A little bit every month—that’s how they got started, and it paid off big.  By creating a habit that extended over many years, many of them have investments and savings exceeding $1,000,000!