(ThyBlackMan.com) It’s probably not news to anyone that different people tend to spend their money differently from one another. Some are notoriously tightfisted, while others are more loose and casual. Some are perpetually borrowing money from — and therefore, owing money to — friends, family, and credit card companies, while others work hard to save or invest in order to reap future rewards.
Interestingly, how someone handles money reveals a lot more about him than just his relationship to cash — both in positive and in negative ways — as spending patterns have broader meaning than is typically assumed. Here is a look at a handful of different spending patterns and what they reveal about the person doing the spending.
Misers tend to have plenty of money squirreled away, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the way they live. While they may have a great credit score due to the reliable ways in which they spend and make payments, that excellent credit score won’t ever be able to do them any good, because they’ll never borrow money and utilize it. Unlike those of us who see money as a means to buying what we need and desire, the miser sees money as something that offers control, safety, and certainty.
Misers live as though money is the only true means of security in the world even though they may have plenty of family, friends, skills, and other resources at their disposal. Because they place an inordinate value on money, hoarding it can keep a miser — and his family — from living as high-quality a life as they could. More than anything, misers are dominated by fear, and they hoard money in order to feel safe from that fear in the uncertain world.
A libertine is, in many ways, the opposite of the miser. Instead of viewing money as the sole source of security in an insecure world that must be hoarded instead of spent, the libertine views money as the pathway to any and every pleasure. And because pleasure is the libertine’s overall goal in every interaction, he often spends with abandon. Where the miser is dominated by fear, the libertine is dominated by a carelessness that seeks a life without worry or discomfort of any kind.
Of course, the irony of such an outlook is that chasing pleasure and avoiding pain often yields more pain than pleasure, as the libertine is often in denial of true problems when they arise, whether due to work, relationships, failing health, environmental problems, etc., which can make solving problems difficult. The libertine also tends to run out of money in his pursuit of the good life, which can make him increasingly desperate as his bank account grows thinner.
The avoider is a complicated sort. He generally has good spending habits, but when unexpected expenses occur, he cries, “Uncle,” sticks his head in the sand, and does whatever he can to avoid facing the problem. This approach — or lack thereof — can then snowball and create a massive money problem where there was originally just a small- to medium-sized problem. The avoider tends to deal with life and relationships in the same way.
So long as unforeseen trouble doesn’t rear its head, he’s easy to work with. Throw a curveball his way, however, be it a new product line at work or a partner who has changed her mind about having children, and he’ll quail and try to find a way to avoid thinking about his problems at all, so you know he won’t also be solving them.
The ascetic is an excellent money saver, who spends on what is necessary but doesn’t mind going without. His tastes are simple, but he doesn’t need a pile of money in order to feel safe and secure.
From the outside, it can look as though the ascetic and the miser are experiencing a similar quality of life, but that isn’t true. The ascetic simply doesn’t take pleasure in material things, which is why he doesn’t tend to spend money on them. The miser, on the other hand, might take pleasure in material things, but because he’s too afraid to spend any money, he never bothers to find out.
Your approach to money then, affects a lot more than your bank account and stock portfolio, as your spending habits are generally reflected in the overall approach you take to work, love, and life.
Staff Writer; Steve Jackson