Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Managing Your Finances

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Managing Your Finances

Article excerpt

Byline: Martha Cox

When many of us hear the word "budget," it feels like we're going on a diet. And for many of us, going on a diet is equated with denial - and nobody likes that.

But the diet experts tell us that there are lots of types of diets and to experiment with what works for you. So just like there are lots of diets - Weight Watchers, Low-Carb, Mediterranean diet, the Fast Diet - there are lots of styles of managing money. What's important is to recognize your personal style and then adopt habits that work with your style so that you can find solutions that work for you.

The Avoider is someone who puts off making decisions, or someone who lives for today without thinking or planning for the future. They may pay late because they hate the tasks associated with paying their bills. Automating money management is a great strategy for avoiders because it takes away temptation. If you are an Avoider, set up automatic bill pay and have money deposited directly into your savings account out of your paycheck.

The Shop 'til you Drop person has a thrill associated with the experience of shopping. They often equate spending and accumulating possessions with their personal self-worth. It's not to say that shopping is bad, but if you find yourself consistently spending more than you can afford when you go to the mall or a particular store, it may be time to re-evaluate. Set up a set amount that you can spend each week or each month, take that allowance in cash and leave your credit cards at home when you go to shop. That way there is no temptation to go over your budget "just this one time."

The Hoarder may think they are focused on saving for the future. Saving money is a great thing, but like anything, can go too far. The person who is so consumed with the future that they are not having any enjoyment out of the present is not well balanced. …

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