Be mistress of your (money) destiny

Run out of cash halfway through every month? Haven’t got a savings plan? Time to put your mouth where your money is and make 2013 the year you get to grips with your finances

Get to grips with your finances
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Get to grips with your finances. Picture for illustrative purposes only.

While it can be easy to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to our finances, as strong, independent women – who put up our own shelves and change our own tyres – we really should be in control of our cash flow, managing our own financial future.

Janelle Malone is a Dubai-based wealth commentator who talks about the power of the she-conomy and women’s finance issues on her blog (

She says, “Money is a currency. Having money is not as important as the opportunities that it can provide us with, or the life experiences we can enjoy as a result of it. When you think of money as a currency for exchange, it becomes a lot easier to give and receive. But often that has a lot to do with your money personality.”

According to Janelle, there are five money personalities and most people can identify themselves as one, or a combination of several. Discover your money personality type and find out what financial advice Janelle gives you for the year ahead.

Penny Saver

Ms Saver lives life frugally. Although not a Scrooge, she never spends without mulling over all of her purchasing options first. She’s an organised, calm, trustworthy person who finds value in an item regardless of its price tag. Others may consider her a skinflint, as she regards most items as overpriced.

She’d rather save for unforeseen circumstances should they pop up – an untimely illness or retrenchment. As an expat, she’s level headed and needs structure to feel secure.

Her primary needs come first – security in terms of home, health and school. She has responsibilities – children, and sending money back to family – and she’d rather save today to feel financially secure in the future. She is the most conservative money type: she invests in insurance.

Goal for 2013 For the sensible Ms Saver, I recommend an account purely in the name of fun. It needn’t be a hefty amount, just enough for her to enjoy the fruits of her labour – the occasional spa visit, or weekend away. Her conservative attitude means she’ll never spend beyond her means, making this ‘me fund’ a good investment in her own happiness.

Dee Luxe

She values pleasure above all else. Whether a hedonistic sun worshipper, or a retired businesswoman, Ms Luxe wants to experience the best life has to offer. Her spending habits are motivated by wanting to enjoy life, which may lead to last-minute plans and impromptu getaways.

Money is no object, as Ms Luxe believes money is fluid – here today, gone tomorrow. She doesn’t make any solid financial plans (investments or savings) although she might have an emergency nest egg. She may not have the most savings, but she knows how to make use of the money she has.

Her social skills and zest for life have helped her make friends around the world, helping to pave the way for her affordable travels. In other circumstances, Ms Luxe may be a high-flying businesswoman with work interests around the world and a desire to experience life in different countries.

Goal for 2013 While I wouldn’t recommend a complete change of lifestyle, I would advise an automatic savings facility, like for Ms Spender. Though saving might result in fewer trips short term, it will ensure a sound financial future.

Miss Giving

Miss Giving is your typical Mother Theresa, always putting the needs of others above her own – both in life and in her finances. This selfless character enjoys nurturing and looking after others, even if it inconveniences her.

When it comes to money, Miss Giving is not too concerned about her own finances and tends to make financial decisions based on what she feels. This impulsive drive could come at a detriment to her personally as, without any forward planning in insurance and investments, she has no financial stability to lean on later in life. As a parent, Miss Giving places the needs of her children above her own, sacrificing her own pleasure for that of her offspring. Later in life, Miss Giving looks to make a contribution to society.

Goal for 2013 Miss Giving should start thinking of herself as an investment. She should be creative about thinking of low-cost experiences that she enjoys and investing in them.

Mrs Money-Maker

The typical type-A go-getter, she is goal-orientated and single-minded in her pursuit of success; she relocated to the UAE to earn a higher, tax-free salary. This personality type combines characteristics of Ms Spender and Ms Saver.

She appreciates the finer things in life and is willing to pay for quality, but she also understands the importance of putting money away. She’s very good with money, albeit to a fault. She has a keen eye for finance and may come across as shrewd and calculating.

Being an expat, she values security above all else and invests wisely in insurance, offshore accounts and stocks. She’s also an opportunist, making the most of any and all business prospects that come her way. She often takes big calculated risks that promise to pay off in the future, and she’s not afraid of hard work and making risky investments as long as the end justifies the means.

Goal for 2013 While expert in handling her finances, this money personality would do well to make long-term investments that will pay off later in life. As she is known for taking advantage of every opportunity, I would recommend she enlists the help of a financial planner who will help her make the best decisions for her financial future.

Sue Spender

To Ms Spender, money is no object. She gets a kick out of spending money and might even be a shopaholic. At the same time, Ms Spender does not value more expensive purchases above cheaper buys. For her, the thrill is in the hunt. Due to her impulsive nature, she is just as likely to spontaneously blow a fortune in the charity shop as she is in the department store.

She has difficulty differentiating between her needs and wants, and sees no problem in spending frivolously on items that will enhance her overall enjoyment. The Spender is a thrill seeker and doesn’t like to think about life in terms of money. She tends to be disorganised in her money matters, as finance is not her end goal. This personality type runs the risk of financial difficulty later on if she does not invest in any savings plans.

Goal for 2013 As money is such a fluid concept to Ms Spender, I would advise that she starts an automatic savings plan. She should look into a debit order facility, where a portion of her salary gets sent to a special savings, or investment, account every month. This will help her keep her spending in check and ensure that she stays financially solvent long after the sales have ended.