What’s Your Money Style?
Everyone has a story to tell about their history with money, but we also have a money style that may stem from this history. Our money style reflects how we view money. A money style or money personality can be described in a number of different ways, including: big spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors, or investors.
Do we believe that God owns it all and it’s our duty to be good stewards of it? Whether you hide it in a mattress, spend it like crazy, obsess over every purchase, or simply stick your head in the sand, money tends to bring out the emotions in all of us. Only when we begin to understand what drives our money behavior when it comes to decisions can we begin to make changes.
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®
Mentioned In This Episode
CIS Wealth Management Group
Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®
Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.
Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.
Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?
Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.
Bob: Ecclesiastes 5:10-15 – I love this scripture before I get to it, cause you know it was written by Solomon, one of the wealthiest men to ever live in the history of the world. So here we go. Here’s what it says, “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness. The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers. People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much, but the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep. There is another serious problem I’ve seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the savior. Money is put into risky investments that turns sour and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children. We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty handed as on the day we were born, we can’t take our riches with us.” So ends the scripture today from Ecclesiastes 5:10-15. What a great scripture to start today off with as we talk about our money style.
Mary Jo: Thanks for sharing that one, Bob. It is a great scripture. And if you’re a regular listener to Christian Financial Perspectives and we hope you are, you may have listened to a recent podcast episode, “What Is Your Money History?” We all have a story to tell about our history with money. We also have a money style that stems from this money history and it’s about who we are and how we view our money. As we discussed many times on the podcast, money has the potential to be an emotional minefield. Hmm…I think that’s so true.
Bob: It does. It can get very emotional.
Mary Jo: It does. Whether you squirrel it away, spend it like crazy, obsess over every purchase, or simply sticking your head in the sand, money brings out the emotion in all of us.
Bob: So if we can begin to understand what drives our behavior about money when it comes to it and those decisions, then we can begin to make changes. We need to understand a couple of things. That money is just a tool. For some, they never have enough of it, no matter how much. It is not something to be feared – you gotta be careful – it can consume you if you let it. It’s best viewed from a perspective of gratitude when you have it. So as we dig deeper and explore our feelings today about money, we need to ask ourselves, what does it mean to me? How does it make me feel when I spend money or save it? What does it say about me and do we believe that God owns it all and it’s our duty to be good stewards of it?
Mary Jo: Are you in the camp that believes money means love, security, control, power, or even self esteem? My intellectual self knows this is nothing but a myth, but my emotional self understands this also drives my behavior when it comes to money. Your money style or money personality can be described in a number of different ways. One resource points out that our money style or money personality is big spender, savers, shoppers, debtors, or investors. Another resource identifies money styles as order, saver, spender, spend thrift, or steward.
Bob: No matter where you fall, it’s safe to say that much in life like moderation and self-awareness are the keys when it comes to money, and small changes can deliver some really big results. Today we’re going to explore four of the money styles which are spender, saver, debtor, and steward, and we’re going to look at what the differences are in these four money styles, personality types, and how they impact your money choices.
Mary Jo: And while you may not be able to change your money personality, you can acknowledge it and address the financial challenges that it presents. Managing your money involves self awareness. Knowing where you stand will allow you to modify your behavior to better achieve your financial goals. For saver, this is particularly good advice. Don’t let all the fun parts of life pass you by just to save a few more dollars. For some, they need to ask the questions themselves. How much is enough? A spender is just the opposite, and it’s all about the fun, never thinking about the future of the longterm consequences. However you view yourself when it comes to money, you need to understand how your money style impacts your financial life as well as your personal life. It can also impact your relationships, especially a marriage. When you’re not in spousal unity, money decisions can interfere with marital harmony. Couples who have opposite money styles could be in for a tumultuous relationship. Their money lives will most certainly be a source of conflict, unless they can perfect the art of communication and establish boundaries that work for both parties. You may want to listen to our podcast number 25 and 26 titled “All In The Family”. In those podcasts, we share insight on how to have those tough money conversations with the ones you love the most.
Bob: Now let’s dig a little deeper into these four different money styles. We’re going to start again first with the spenders. And spenders, they love to spend money freely as well as foolishly many times. They enjoy spending money on themselves for goods and services that can give them that immediate gratification. But you know it’s interesting, spenders, they also like to get satisfaction from spending money on others and buying gifts for others. I think this might stem from, “Look at how much I have.” They have a hard time saving money and putting anything aside for emergencies and longterm financial goals. They seem to spend most, or all, of the money they earn. They could even be, and most likely are, in debt. The last thing about a spender, they hate living by a budget.
Mary Jo: The second money style we want to share is the saver. Savers are the opposite of spenders. Just like hoarders hoard stuff, a saver can be guilty of hoarding cash. So Bob, do you know anybody like that?
Bob: Yes, I do. Most definitely, and they don’t have any fun.
Mary Jo: They have fun hoarding their cash, and they carry it around in a wheelbarrow. I just had that vision. This is especially true after difficult time with money, a period of scarcity or market crash, or even just a volatile market. Savers are money accumulators. They like to see their piles of money grow. They are happiest when they have large amounts of money at their disposal to spend, to save, and to invest. Savers tend to equate their net worth with their self-worth. A lack of money may lead to feelings of failure and even depression. Savers can be overly detailed as to where every single cent goes. They enjoy making their own financial decisions. They may have a tendency to be controlling and they can become overly obsessed with how much money they have, and it’s never enough. Just a little bit more, they’ll say.
Bob: They are the life of the party, aren’t they?
Mary Jo: They are.
Bob: Okay, so we’ve gone through spenders and savers. The third money style is the debtor. This is going to be really interesting. They foolishly presume upon the future and they have a hard time balancing their checkbook, paying their bills promptly, doing their taxes on time, living on a budget and keeping up with spending, keeping up with how much money they truly have, how much they owe, and how much they really spend. They avoid investing money. They do not like talking about budgeting and they’re often overdue on their payments and end up being hounded by collection agencies. Now, that’s not a fun way to live either. So what’s really interesting is that often we see reformed debtors become savers once they’ve learned from the error of their ways. Debtors that have gotten in too deep, they decide to live the exactly the opposite and they can go to the extreme the other way, like the saver. So, we’ve seen two extremes here.
Mary Jo: You’ve been listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. You know that Bob and I often like to share insights from thought leaders in the space where financial wisdom intersects biblical wisdom. The authors John Cortines and Gregory Baumer share the following in their book “True Riches, What Jesus Really Said About Money And Your Heart” : “When our income is lower, we limit our spending to achieve margin or cushion. When our income is higher, we limit our spending to honor the principle of enough. These two principles will help us follow Christ’s plan for contentment in our lives and will slowly but surely help us break free from habits of coveting. This supports the theory that we can easily go from debtor or spender to saver. And if we’re not careful, this can verge on coveting, coveting of our stuff as a spender and coveting of money as a saver.” In chapter four in their book titled “From Anxiety To Trust”, “Therefore do not be anxious saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear, but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” And this is Jesus speaking in Matthew 6:31-33.
Bob: So I thought I would mention that book again. That’s called “True Riches”, and were you there at the Kingdom Advisors conference when they spoke?
Mary Jo: Yes. It was very powerful.
Bob: It was. It was extremely powerful. The last money style that all of us as Christians should strive to be like is that of a steward. There’s actually a money style that’s called a steward. So, Mary Jo, share some of those virtues of a steward.
Mary Jo: A steward looks at all of their resources, their time, talent, treasure, truth, and relationships and how they can be used to accomplish God’s goals and objectives, not their own. I love that they look at relationships as part of their resources.
Bob: Yeah, me too.
Mary Jo: That’s awesome.
Mary Jo: A steward gives proportionately, is not in bondage to a particular lifestyle, and pays their taxes with integrity with a spirit of Thanksgiving as part of God’s provision. A steward sets financial goals and alignment with biblical principles; feels they are accountable for all that God has given them. A steward manages everything God has entrusted to them for his glory. In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the three servants, we realize God calls us to be faithful with the management of all he has given us and that we will be held accountable in eternity. And if you’re not familiar with that scripture, I encourage you to look it up. It’s quite long, so we didn’t want to actually read the scripture, but it’s a good one to look at.
Bob: I want to say one thing that was in there too, Mary Jo, as you were talking is that a steward pays their taxes with integrity with a spirit of Thanksgiving as part of God’s provision. I remember hearing that at the “Kingdom Advisors” conference from Rob Blue, bestselling author of Christian finance, and Ron was the founder also of Kingdom Advisors, and I tell you, I used to complain so much about the taxes I used to pay and when he said it that way, “That’s part of God’s provision. Don’t complain about it.” I was convicted.
Mary Jo: Well, let me just also say, when it comes to taxes, it’s one thing to pay it with the fact of a grateful heart, but we don’t have to pay more than we have to, if that makes sense.
Bob: Exactly, yes. So a steward lastly, they choose to allow God’s financial blessings to be used for kingdom purposes and kingdom work, and they apply those principles of Matthew 6:19-21. They look at it like this. I’m not going to store for myself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal it. But I’m going to store up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves cannot break in or steal it. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Again, that’s Matthew 6:19-21. It’s a pretty well known scripture that we have heard a lot throughout my years of being involved in biblical money management.
Mary Jo: So for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Mary Jo: So there you have it. Which money style are you – the spender, just living for today; the saver, living for the future; the debtor, presuming upon the future; or the steward where you pray and seek God’s will before making major spending decisions because you believe God is the owner and you are the manager. You recognize that major financial decisions are also spiritual decisions and you ask yourself, what would God have me do before acting on those decisions?
Bob: So I’d like to leave you with a thought to end today’s podcast on. But before I do, I’d like to share this scripture with you from 2 Peter 3:8, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like one day.” So with this scripture mind, always live your life like Jesus is coming back tomorrow, but plan your life like he’s coming back in a thousand years.
Mary Jo: You’ve been listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. Join us next week as we explore more about how to apply biblical wisdom to your financial situations.
Bob: To make sure you don’t miss any of our podcasts, you can subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. To learn more about integrating your faith with your finances, visit out website at ciswealth.com or call 830-609-6986.
Mary Jo: That’s all for now until next week.
Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA CIS Wealth Management Group, a registered investment advisor.