By Beryl Jantzi
It’s been suggested that Americans fall into one of four groups when it comes to how we manage money. Maybe as you review these four models, you can identify your own, and decide what changes, if any may, be helpful moving forward. Here’s what they are:
The Perfectionists: 19% of Americans
These consumers know the exact route to their financial goals, whether they developed the map themselves or sought a professional financial planner. Not only do they have a household budget, which includes retirement savings and insurance, but they work toward specific short and long-term savings goals.
The Dreamers: 38% of Americans
Most consumers fall in this category. They have some goals worked out and have an idea of what they’d like to achieve. Dreamers may have savings plans for retirement or education, but they haven’t pulled everything together to form an overarching plan.
The Procrastinators: 33% of Americans
These consumers put forth the bare minimum and might get to the rest of planning later. Most in this group have a budget or plan to address savings goals, but not both. Their comprehensive financial planning behaviors don’t differ much from wanderers, but some Procrastinators keep a written budget, and they tend to avoid racking up credit card debt.
The Wanderers: 10% of Americans
In this group, people float from bill to bill without any intentional plan. They tend to live in the moment without much concern for the future. They may have debt but probably couldn’t tell you the total debt they have.
Knowing our predisposition for managing money is a good start to knowing what we may need to do to get to the next step. Most of us will need to move one step at a time rather than leap from a Wanderer to a Perfectionist.
Questions to ponder:
- Where do you see yourself most closely identified
by the descriptions stated above?
- If you don’t like the label used to identify your style
what different word would you use?
Your generosity will be most fruitful when you have a clear understanding about how God is calling you to share what has been entrusted to you.
Are you a generous wanderer? Is your generosity usually based on the whim of the moment?
Are you a generous procrastinator? Do you have good intentions about giving, but never get around to it?
Are you a generous dreamer? You give, but you could be more disciplined and focused with your giving?
Are you a generous perfectionist? Do you feel confident about your giving habits now, and have plans to continue to increase it in days to come?
In the book of Philippians, Paul writes,
“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12, NRSV).
What small steps can you take today to move from one money management and generosity type to another from the examples described above?
Reprinted from a blog post on February 9, 2016.
About the Author
Beryl Jantzi serves as the stewardship education director for Everence, a faith-based financial services company of Mennonite Church USA, which serves all who are interested in integrating their faith with their finances.
This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.
Photo credits: pixabay.com