First Person: My Money Mindset Means I’m Wired for Wealth

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My money mindset stands out from the rest of my family because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but it's possible that some of us are just more wired for wealth. According to a recent article by, most people fall into four different categories when it comes to financial planning personalities. A recent "Household Financial Planning Survey and Index," describes the four groups of planners among American consumers. I'm the only perfectionist or "comprehensive planner, which resonates with 19 percent of likeminded Americans. My younger son, along with 38 percent of Americans, is a "dreamer" or "basic planner." My older son is a "procrastinator" or "limited planner," along with 33 percent of Americans. Meanwhile, my husband is a "wanderer" or "non-planner" like 10 percent of Americans. Even though our money habits sometimes clash, I find ways to keep the rest of the family on budget.

Comprehensive planner

My financial planning personality falls under the category of comprehensive planner. According to the household financial planning survey by the Consumer Federation of America and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, comprehensive planners have specific savings goals. We also have a household budget. Eight-eight percent have a plan for retirement, while 80 percent have a plan for emergency savings. Because my husband and children aren't as interested in personal finances, I made sure each of them opened a Roth IRA.

Basic planner

My 18-year-old son is a basic planner, which means they haven't figured out exactly how to meet their financial goals. My sons consistently saves, but hasn't figured out how much he should save for the future. He has a budget, but doesn't track his spending. To keep him on track, I encourage him to use online banking and check his purchases at least once a week.

Limited planner

My 20-year-old son also has a budget, but says he keeps it in his head instead of writing it down. He doesn't save for emergencies, but avoids getting into debt. He always has excuses for why he will save money later. I help my son by making it clear I can't afford to be his backup plan. He would have to walk to work if he didn't save money to get his car repaired or replaced.


My husband has no specific savings goals, which makes him a "wanderer." According to the study, 40 percent of non-planners have significant credit-card debt. My husband doesn't mind letting me manager the household finances. I keep our credit-card balance at zero by making payments throughout the month. I made sure my husband was having 10 percent of his income deducted from his paycheck for a 401(k) plan.

It wasn't surprising to me that more than half of the perfectionists feel confident in their financial decisions. Meanwhile, my husband the financial planning wanderer, has little confidence in the area of personal finances. The study showed 41 percent of non-planners had little or no confidence in their ability to make sound financial decisions. I've learned that not everyone in my family is naturally wired for wealth. As a backup, I make sure my loved one will be taken care of if I pass away by buying adequate life insurance.

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More from this contributor:

I'm Not Gambling with My Retirement

I'm Glad I Talked to a Bill Collector

Fighting Fair About Money


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