When it comes to personal finances, some are born under a lucky star. For the rest of us destined to make or break our own fortunes, our choices portend what our futures will hold.
It's a sign of the times that so many people are careless in money matters. Nearly half of today's workers live paycheck to paycheck. Even many earning six-figure salaries have nothing left over at the end of each month. Living in the moment has become today's new doctrine. Whatever unexpected financial misfortunes may loom ahead go blithely ignored. Saving for retirement is considered unfashionable.
What's Your Financial Personality?
Is this form of bravado a result of nature or nurture? Is a person's level of comfort or discomfort with living on the financial edge pre-ordained by the stars? If so, what financial sign were you born under? What characteristics do you represent when it comes to handling your money?
Look up your own financial personality. Are your financial affairs in order, or are you a happy-go-lucky spender, swiping your credit card with abandon? Would you be better off overcoming your natural tendencies toward money (mis)management, or are you a model of financial stability?
Which Financial Horoscope Best Describes You?
Spendthrift: You earn decent money, but you think of every raise received as more money to spend. You have difficulty saving for the future or putting anything away in case of a possible layoff. You're unwilling to cut back on expenses in any way, and burn through everything you make.
Outlook: Born under the star sign "Reckless," symbolized by a warrior lighting a dollar bill on fire, you must dampen your urge to spend. Seek ways to cut costs -- from eliminating your landline to passing up that second glass of wine. Spendthrifts should download the app, Stash, and observe how investing even as little as $5 each month adds up over time.
Gold Digger: Your idea of a savings plan is landing a wealthy companion who's willing to take you on as an expense. Meanwhile, you spend beyond your means to rub elbows with the well-to-do in hopes of meeting such a person.
Outlook: With Jupiter in your second house (which you think of as your future country house), you have a predilection for seeing a hedge fund manager in your future. But what if he or she never arrives to whisk away your debt?
Take charge of your own financial situation now. Start by paying off the most expensive debt first. Then pay off the second-most expensive debt, and then the third. If you do meet your hedge fund manager, he or she will be impressed by your financial shrewdness; and if you never do, at least you won't have "dug" yourself into a hole from which you can't emerge.
Squanderer: Any windfall that befalls you is quickly blown on an extravagant dinner, piece of expensive clothing or impulsive outing. Why not?, you ask yourself, when things are going your way today? Don't you deserve to live it up once in awhile? You can't resist splurging on an indulgence when there's any extra cash at hand.
Outlook: You see "Rising Signs" everywhere you look. Your credibility with your boss is on the rise, and you look forward to more exalted titles in your future. But what about now?
Instead of throwing away every spare penny on frills and follies, overcome your proclivity for lavish spending. Arrive at a realistic amount that you can put away each month. Stash your accumulated savings in an investment with a good rate of return. Gradually, diversify your holdings so that you'll be covered in any contingency.
Swindler: You've maxed out multiple credit cards and borrowed from your close friends and family. But instead of putting the money toward a promising new project or worthwhile investment, it's funding your self-indulgent lifestyle.
Outlook: Beware, Big Swindler: your credit score is in Retrograde. You live under a fire sign that could easily ignite: bad karma, not to mention your creditors, will soon be on your trail.
Frittering away borrowed money is the pinnacle of irresponsibility. Immediately put yourself on a starvation diet when it comes to all but the most necessary expenses. Think of creative ways to still have fun, such as hosting a "swap the threads you no longer wear" party with your friends. It's a good way to accumulate new clothes without having to spend a dime.
Pragmatist: You approach your finances by gazing far into the future. You know that you won't reach your goals without first paying down your debt. Still, you take advantage of your company's 401(k) plan and any other opportunities for wealth building. When you finally do achieve a surplus, you steer it into an intelligent retirement plan or other savings.
Outlook: Congratulations, Pragmatist! Of all the star signs in the financial horoscope, your future shines brightest. With your down-to-earth stability, it's not in your nature to spend with abandon or squander your hard-earned savings. Even as others orbiting around treat themselves to heedless and impulsive purchases, you stay true to your practical element. Unwavering in your resolve to build a solid financial foundation, you are destined to live within your means and retire with dignity.
Book by this Author
Live Like a Millionaire (Without Having to Be One)
by Vicky Oliver.
About the Author
Vicky Oliver is a leading career development expert and the multi-best-selling author of five books, including her newest, Live Like a Millionaire (Without Having to Be One (Skyhorse, 2015). She is a sought-after speaker and seminar presenter and a popular media source, having made over 700 appearances in broadcast, print, and online outlets. For more information, visit vickyoliver.com.