3 money mindsets for the New Year

Gaining savings is just as important as losing weight when it comes to New Year's resolutions. However, the sheer will power that motivates you to hit the gym might not be enough to get you to change your money habits, according to Stephanie Holmes-Winton, owner of the Nova Scotia-based financial planning consultancy The Money Finder and author of the book "$pent." financial-literacy

Instead, according to Holmes-Winton, personality plays a huge part in an individual's financial habits. 

"Too often, the professional advice provided to people about debt and spending misses the mark," she says. "The common theme is usually math and shame. But it's my belief that our money mindset shapes how we look at our finances."

In "$pent," Holmes-Winton describes seven money mindsets that define how we're most inclined to spend and save money. Find out if you fit one of the three most common money mindsets by reading the personality profiles below. Or, take Holmes-Winton's quiz to find out how you stack up as an investor, spender and saver.

1. If you believe anything is possible, that you can do anything, and you have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, you're most likely:

A dreamer

As an investor: You are a risk-taker and have no qualms about investing in yourself or your business.

As a spender: Your spending habits are not always terrible, but you do have a tendency to overspend.

As a saver: You struggle to save and probably haven't squirreled away very much money.

2. If you can reason your way out of just about anything, and can rationalize spending oodles of money on things you don't need, you're most likely:

A justifier

As an investor: If you've invested in your future, you probably have a managed investment portfolio. That's because you tend to be neither overly involved nor excessively removed from your investments. Your greatest challenge is coming up with the money, not deciding what to do with it.

As a spender: The more the merrier. You often encourage others around you to overspend to feel better about your poor spending habits.

As a saver: You have the potential to be a good saver and probably have an emergency fund.

3. If you're stubborn, a straight-shooter, feel comfortable in a leadership role and take money matters seriously, you're most likely:

A brick wall

As an investor: You're super smart, so chances are you're an excellent investor. But your failure to trust anyone's judgment but your own can run you into trouble.

As a spender: When times are good, you're in control of your finances. But when your money situation hits a snag, you have a tendency to go into denial and refuse to make any necessary changes to improve your financial status.

As a saver: Once you've done your due diligence into every imaginable savings account, you know how to sock away your dollars and cents. However, you're often unwilling to listen to the sound advice of a financial adviser -- a stubbornness that can run you into financial trouble.

See related: Author Q&A: How your mindset affects your spending, Tips for saving more in 2012
Published January 4, 2012

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