This post is sponsored by Aviva. Do read it though – it’s fun!
A Fun Way to Save Smarter
I always seem to have just enough money in the bank; never any spare, but even on a bad month, we always seem to be able to scrape something from somewhere to pay for what we need – usually involving some activity of the kids! We’re lucky. That said, I live in fear of something happening to the house that requires expense. It’s a bit of a dinosaur, our house, and something seems to fall apart at least once a year, sending me into a panic over how we’re going to pay for it. You see, we just don’t have sleeve. We don’t do saving for a rainy day in this house, and it worries me.
I used to save, before I was married (not that I’m blaming all this on my husband, you understand…). I would put a set amount in a savings account on the day I was paid. It stayed there, untouched, until either Christmas came along, or a holiday needed to be paid for. I couldn’t stand the big hole in my current account in January and July, so I put the money somewhere else, ready to pay for these big expenses. But you evolve when you become a couple; things get lumped in together, and your financial personalities morph into something else. He’s wasn’t a saver, I was; he was spontaneous, I was more of a planner. Somewhere along the line, we’ve probably both benefitted from each other’s approaches, but as we get older I do wonder if we’re on the right track.
My husband is forever quoting personality profiles at me. We’ve both done Myers Briggs in the past, and wouldn’t you know it – we’re exact opposites of each other. It makes for an interesting marriage. So when Aviva sent over their Financial Personality Tool, I was fascinated to see how we’d compare.
My Financial Personality
Understanding your personality in relation to how you spend and save money is probably key to figuring out how to save smarter without it feeling too painful. The Financial Personality Tool takes you through a series of simple questions about your attitudes to life and money, then presents you with one of nine ‘Superheroes’ most fitting to your answers. Anyone who knows me, will tell you how apt this descriptor is:
I’m not one for an easy life. I’ve never quite figured out why, but in my quest for perfection I will refuse to cut all corners, dismissing those who do as shirkers, and making it to the finish line exhausted, well after everyone else has their feet up with a glass of wine. But ask me to do it again, and I’ll never change a thing. In school, I was described unfailingly on my reports as ‘conscientious.’ Dogged might have been a better word, determined probably does me more flattering justice, but I’ve heard ‘terrier-like’ muttered in my wake more than once.
My financial icon appeals to me. But what does it really mean? The tool goes on to provide you with the key points of your personality, what you have in your favour when it comes to improving your saving habits, and what pitfalls you might come across:
Once again, it’s uncannily accurate. Determined, tick. Nemesis – totally, or even more likely end-of-week lethargy after a week of prepping and serving meals for everyone at different times to fit their schedules catapults me into takeaway mode by Friday night, and I don’t emerge until Monday morning, when an almond croissant from the garage has to suffice because I’ve run out of milk. And Aviva are totally right that I then waste a lot of energy worrying about how poor my spending habits are! At least they sugar the pill with the news that at least a quarter of the population have the same difficulties trying to save, and they offer me a first step piece of advice for making an improvement:
I love this tip. I find it a bit like dieting to lose weight. A loss is a loss, no matter how small, and it motivates you to do more the following week. Except in this case you gain.
And my husband? I have to confess, I filled in the tool for him, giving the answers I thought he’d give. I suspect I’m right though. As usual, we’re total opposites. Wish me luck.