Thank you to everybody who has taken the online Financial Personality Test over the past few days, and shared their results. I’d like to look at some of the 10 different Financial Personality Types in a little more detail.
The free online test has been launched by Aviva as part of the insurer’s new #SaveSmarter web resource, which aims to improve the nation’s saving habits. The Financial Personality Types have been shaped from a research sample of more than 5,000 UK adults.
It would seem that of the 10 Financial Personality Types, three are particularly common amongst Miss Thrifty readers: The Turbo Saver, The Enlightened One and The Dark Striver. Here is the lowdown on each – along with my top tips on how these Financial Personality Types can become smarter savers.
The Turbo Saver
“Inhale confidence! Exhale doubt!”
You really are very good indeed at this money thing, but your sheer audacity could mean you’re missing out on opportunities.
Saving money – not to mention the world – comes easily to you. Whip on the costume, pull on the mask, fire up the rockets and deliver your cheesy punch line. You zoom around the internet loading up with secret knowledge and your high-tech organisational gadgets are your weapons of efficiency. When it comes to launching your savings into the stratosphere there’s one way only and that’s your way. Right?
As I mentioned in my previous post, this is my Financial Personality Type – so my advice here comes from the heart!
This is a budget-focused personality type and you look to the future, rather than the here and now. If you are this type, however, you are likely to score low for peer influence. This has its advantages – some of our peers are terrible influences! – but also means that you can be blinkered and inflexible when it comes to making over your savings strategy, or embracing new or unfamiliar ideas.
My solution? It’s simple and (of course) it’s free. Expand your blog reading list! Get out of your comfort zone and explore new ideas and areas – in particular, those you have yet to master. If you haven’t yet found a suitable side hustle – an additional source of income – to boost your savings, don’t write off the idea. Instead, scour Aldi to Harrods for inspiration.
If you are a whizz at frugal living but the words “investing” and “stocks” give you palpitations, add Monevator to your list. And if you are a woman, you might also want to check out this excellent book by uber-investor Nancy Tengler, which tackles some of the reasons why women are the more reluctant investors, even though they tend to be better at it. (I’m currently ploughing my way through.)
The Enlightened One
“Rule your mind or it will rule you!”
You are naturally gifted at this savings thing – you don’t even have to try to work at your powers – but beware complacency.
Other superheroes may have master plans, futuristic weaponry and seriously awesome outfits to battle the financial fight. But you? You have mind control. You show impressive self-discipline – treating yourself without ever needing to consult a spreadsheet. But what if something goes wrong? Will you know how to escape the evil clutches of a financial fix?
This is an interesting Financial Personality Type: extraordinarily debt-adverse, but hopeless (or reckless!) when it comes to making a budget and planning ahead. If you are this Financial Personality Type, it may be that you are so awesome, you have superlative savings habits and your future financial stability is assured. In other words, you simply don’t need to plan ahead in detail and have everything budgeted down to the last pound.
Clearly a humdrum, time-consuming Excel spreadsheet isn’t going to cut it for you. If you have even a kernel of concern or uncertainty about your financial future-proofing, however, may I make a suggestion? It’s 2016: there are so many online budgeting tools and apps out there, one of them is sure to help you make your money work harder. Most are free or available for a nominal monthly subscription, following a free trial – so you have very little to lose, if you give one a whirl. You Need A Budget, Money Dashboard and OnTrees all come highly recommended by UK users; if you are interested you can read more details on all these tools, and others, here.
The Dark Striver
“I will survive. I WILL survive!”
You really try your hardest to stay on top of your bills, but your quest is often thwarted by spending on extras you didn’t allow for.
Your hard-working hologram shimmers with good intentions. But, secretly, you’re wracked by doubts that everyone has this savings malarkey taken care of (they don’t, by the way). Worrying makes it hard to fight your evil foe – the cost of living. It’s an epic battle but you are desperate to survive.
Apparently the “nemesis” for this superhero is month-end shopping: splashing out on takeaways, because the fridge is empty, is the example given by the tool.
One solution is a no-brainer: better meal planning. There are a couple of routes in: for meal planning novices, the LoveFoodHateWaste website has an excellent resource section. It includes two-week meal plans, with weekly shopping lists to help manage the fridge and freezer. The plans are intended to use up leftovers and reduce the amount of food waste your household produces – but work just as well for budgeters who need to keep the fridge full.
A more sophisticated option is a free website and app called PepperPlate, which has earned rave reviews such as this one:
“One of the best apps to help you plan, stock up and prepare healthful meals is Pepperplate.
“Be warned: It requires a bit of set-up. Users choose and import recipes from more than two dozen major food sites on Pepperplate.com. Alternatively, you can enter them manually on the site or app. If you download its “bookmarklet,” you can import recipes with one click.
“Once you have uploaded your repertoire of dishes, you can add those to a monthly planner and quickly export the items you need to a shopping list. The mobile app syncs with the site to capture the recipes and lists.
“It’s a great way to avoid overshopping. It’s best if you set a separate calendar alert for yourself to buy your planned groceries once every week or two, as nothing will pop up to make sure you are actually stocked up for next week’s dinners. (L.A. Times)”
By the way, if you are a Dark Striver who cannot kick the takeaway habit because you love takeaway food, you can always try the homemade versions: Skint Dad’s Fakeaways!
If you have taken the test and are one of the Financial Personality Types listed above, do the description and tips ring true? Or has your result come back as a different Financial Personality Type altogether? Do you have any recommendations or ideas for other Thrifties with your type?
If you haven’t yet taken the test, you can find it here:
This post has been sponsored by Aviva. At present I pay a monthly subscription to Mailchimp, to keep the Thrifties mail-out up and running and looking respectable, and I’ll be putting this sponsorship fee towards that.