I’m sure you could tell me which of your children are introverts or extroverts, or which are morning people or night owls. Those traits reflect their personality.
It’s how they perceive the world around them and interact with it.
Well, in the same way, financial experts Scott and Bethany Palmer say children have a money personality. It’s essentially the same idea. Their money personality affects how they see money, interact with it, and deal with others who see money differently.
Maybe most importantly for you, the parent, understanding your children’s money personality could prevent conflict with them over their spending habits.
Each child has a primary and a secondary money personality.
One personality is the “saver.”
Whether it’s cash or collecting rocks, savers hold on to stuff. That can be positive. But it can also mean they struggle to let go of their money. They may even talk siblings and friends into spending their money, so they don’t have to. If your child is a saver, you’ll probably have to encourage them to loosen their grip on their piggy bank every once in a while.
Next is the “spender.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap pack of gum or an expensive video game, they like to buy. Spenders also enjoy instant gratification, so it’s easy to blow all of their money. That means parents have to be patient. Teach them to balance saving and spending, but understand they’ll still probably make bad money choices from time to time.
Third is the “security seeker.”
Security seekers plan for the future. They save money for a rainy day and refuse to touch a penny until that day comes. Your challenge as a parent will be to teach them how to find balance. Applaud them for their careful planning, but help them learn to feel comfortable using their money for other things.
The fourth personality is the “risk taker.”
As these children grow older, they’ll have big dreams and make money decisions easily. Maybe too easily. Risk takers aren’t emotionally attached to their stuff, so they won’t hesitate to jump at opportunities that come along. So watch out! Risk takers can make great things happen in their school or neighborhood. But they’re just as likely to buy their friend’s motorcycle on a whim.
The fifth is the “flyer.”
Flyers rarely make money their primary consideration in decisions because relationships come first. So whereas spenders will always spend whatever they have, flyers will use money however they need to if it creates the opportunity to engage someone and build a relationship.
But here’s an important thing to remember. There’s no “right” or “wrong” in personalities. Each has its strengths.
Risk takers start companies, for example. But flyers build the relationships that make the company run. Security seekers and savers plan for the company’s future while the spender is willing to invest to make the company grow. In balance, they each bring important dynamics to a given situation.
But each personality also has weaknesses that need to be balanced with training and discipline. The idea isn’t to change our kids’ money personalities. They’re pretty much born with a particular bent. Instead, learn to encourage who God made your children to be and teach them how to use their personality to benefit their lives and others.
There’s so much more that could be said. That’s why on today’s program, “Talking with Your Kids About Money,” we’ve invited Scott and Bethany Palmer back to our studio. The authors of numerous books, they’re well-known as “The Money Couple.” I hope you’ll join us on your local radio station, online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app, and discover how learning your child’s money personality can make navigating money issues a lot easier.