financial types

Is It Time to Change Your Money Mindset?

Are you a dreamer, procrastinator, perfectionist or a wanderer?

What is your financial mindset?

The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey and Index, recently released by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and the Consumer Federation of America, divides American consumers into four categories when it comes to their financial behavior.

"90% of Wanderers have no plan in place for specific savings goals."
[Tweet This]

Four Categories of Financial Behavior

The four categories are defined by specific financial behaviors: comprehensive financial planning, basic financial planning and credit card debt management. The four categories are:

  1. Basic Planners—The Dreamers: 38% of Americans
  2. Limited Planners—The Procrastinators: 33% of Americans
  3. Comprehensive Planners—The Perfectionists: 19% of Americans
  4. Non-Planners—The Wanderers: 10% of Americans

The Dreamers are the largest category. They have some clear goals, but they just haven't worked out all the details. Two-thirds have a household budget but less than half of them write down their budget or store it electronically.

The Procrastinators are the second largest category. They put forth the bare minimum of effort and might get to the rest of planning later. While 31% of them plan for retirement, only 7% save for emergencies. Just 7% save for other goals.

The Perfectionists know the exact route to their financial goals. Two-thirds work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional or Registered Investment Advisor. More than half have a household income greater than $100,000.

The Wanderers basically float from bill to bill without any strategic approach to money management. The report reveals that 90% of people in this group have no plan in place for specific savings goals. About 40% have significant credit card debt, but half of them have no plan to pay down that debt.

Planners Save More

Most important, the report concluded that planners exhibit more confidence in financial decision-making and save more money. Their confidence comes from understanding their financial situation. Regardless of income, planners achieved better financial outcomes than non-planners.

What is your financial mindset? While there may be little hope if you are a Wanderer, if you are a Procrastinator or Dreamer, now would be a great time to step up to the next level.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.