Money Motivators: What Drives Your Spending?

Money means different things to different people. As a result, everyone has different money motivators. If you understand yours then you can get a better grip on your finances. Money motivators affect your earning, saving, and spending habits. In this article, we will look at some of the things that commonly drive people’s spending.

If Your Money Motivator is Love …

For some people, money represents love. If you feel loved when people give you money or material items, then love might be your own money motivator. As a result, you might use money to show your love to others. For example, spending motivated by love could look like:

  • Taking your loved one on an expensive vacation
  • Buying lavish gifts for everyone during the holidays
  • Always having a present on hand to give someone if the opportunity arises
  • Picking up the bill when you dine out with others
  • Throwing big parties that cost a lot of coin

It’s perfectly fine to spend money on the people that you love if you have the money to spend. However, if you want to cut back on spending, then you might want to examine your underlying beliefs. How can you show love to people without spending money? At the very least, how can you more consciously choose to spend wisely on those you love?

If Your Money Motivator is Autonomy …

I’m one of the people for whom money represents autonomy and freedom. If I have the money to support myself and my dreams, then I feel good about my finances. As a result, my spending reflects this desire for autonomy. For example, I spend more than the usual percentage of income on my rent, because I want to live alone in San Francisco. Other examples of spending motivated by autonomy include:

  • Costs of setting up your own business
  • Buying your own car instead of sharing one as a family
  • Getting your own hotel room when traveling with a group
  • Investing with the intention of setting yourself up for future financial freedom
  • Reducing your spending in order to reduce your time spent at work
  • Always paying for yourself even if a date or friend offers to pay

If your money motivator is autonomy, then it’s important to take a look at why you feel so compelled to be independent. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s good to know the underlying reasons. You may find that you don’t spend on immediate luxuries and conveniences because your spending is focused on business and living alone. You run the risk of not knowing how to ask for help when you need it.

Security, Which May or May Not Be Autonomy

Some people equate money with security. This can look similar to the money motivator of autonomy if you find security in having enough to take care of yourself. However, money can also represent security in a relationship. For example, some people spend in ways that are designed to keep a relationship stable. Whereas the autonomous spender wants independence, this individual wants the security of the family. This type of person might spend money on doomsday prepping, stocking supplies for a rainy day, or buying items that encourage family activities.

If Your Money Motivator is Power and Success ….

Some people see money as a symbol of success. This can also mean that it’s a tool for power. Those people will spend their money in ways that others can see. For example:

  • Purchasing status symbols such as luxury cars, designer clothes, and the newest gadgets
  • Paying for others to show off; if you like to throw your black card on the table, then you might be motivated by power
  • Holding money over others; for example, paying for everything in a relationship not out of generosity but out of a sense of control
  • Spending more to live in high-end neighborhoods

People who see money as a symbol of power often do a terrific job of earning money. They may work in high-powered jobs and feel knowledgable about investments. They spend high and they have the money to do so. However, sometimes people get trapped in that cycle of “keeping up with the Joneses” and spend way above their means. You don’t want to go into debt to maintain an illusion of success. Furthermore, you don’t want all of your self-esteem tied to your net worth.

What drives your spending?

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Money Motivators: What Drives Your Spending?

Money Motivators: What Drives Your Spending?