Many financial experts advocate knowing your financial personality.
Investopedia defines five major financial personalities: big spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors, and investors. While these financial tests can be entertaining, most people fall into a several categories or none of the categories.
What can be more beneficial than learning what broad category you fit into is to identify your spending triggers and how to deal with them.
For instance, I am generally frugal.
I hang up my clothes rather than dry them in the dryer, my car has over 100,000 miles and is 8 years old, and I barter for services that I need rather than paying for them.
My one spending weakness is food, specifically going out to eat.
Generally, my desire to dine out is motivated by stress. If I have had a busy or chaotic day, there is nothing I want more than to sit in a restaurant, relax, and have someone cook and clean up the mess. To combat this trigger, I try to find other ways to relax, but I also prepare freezer meals so food is already prepared on a crazy day. If I still want the dining out experience, I have learned to prepare ahead by buying deal certificates to our favorite restaurant so we can dine out for less.
By taking these steps, my family has curbed our dining out excursions from several times a week to once or twice a month. I recognized my spending trigger and found solutions for avoiding it or ways to dine out for less.