Like so many other aspects of our lives, our personalities play a major role in our relationship with money and financial wellness.
Your introvert personality can be a key element of how you feel, act and react when dealing with money matters.
Understanding this interaction of your personality and money can be useful. If you are someone with an introvert personality this could be helpful in two ways:
Firstly – You can continue to benefit from your strong points. They are the natural gift of your introvert personality.
Secondly – You can identify the areas where your decisions could possibly go wrong. This would allow you to improve your money skills to face those situations in the future.
It does not mean that you need to change your introvert personality. However, being aware of your likely personality linked responses may help you avoid some common money mistakes.
Introverts and Money – Advantages and Challenges
Introverts have some natural advantages when it comes to handling money matters. As these traits are so ingrained in your introvert personality you don’t even realise their importance.
The Introvert Money Advantage
You are lucky to be an introvert. Your personality works to your great advantage when dealing with some personal finance matters.
These positive money skills come naturally to you. It is as if they are hardwired into your personality itself. Let us take a look at these introvert personality advantages.
Introvert Personality Trait – Thinking and Analysing
You love to think, don’t you? Introverts can spend long periods of time thinking and observing. Whether you are in the supermarket or at a bank – You are unlikely to easily fall for what is being sold to you as a consumer.
You like to think and analyse before taking any decision. You normally don’t do things in the spur of the moment. You have a plan and you stick to it.
Introvert Advantage – Not Being Impulsive
You are unlikely to make impulsive money decisions that you later regret. Your personality gives you this unique advantage and acts as your natural safeguard.
The world is full of people who make a living by selling you things that you might later regret buying. They hope that you act impulsively when making a buying decision.
However, a salesman will have a much tougher time trying to sell you an unsuitable product. After all you don’t act on impulse.
Introvert Personality Trait – Listener
Just like most introverts, you are probably a good listener. You are likely to spend much more time listening rather than talking in any situation. You are like a sponge – absorbing all the information and facts in every situation.
Introvert Advantage – Listening and reading about financial advice.
There is tons of valuable (and mostly free) information available on the internet about saving, investing and doing sensible things with your money.
All it takes is for someone to have the patience and willingness to read through it. Your personality will allow you to spend time researching for the right thing to do.
It also means you are much more likely to make the right decision when facing financial choice.
Introvert Personality Trait – Independent Planner
You love spending time to come up with a clear plan before starting a new project. Introverts can work long hours on their own to work out a plan without losing patience.
You are not someone who jumps into action without having a clear road-map of what you are doing.
Introvert Advantage – Taking time to develop your personal financial plan.
The financial plan forms the basis of any major financial decisions that you need to make. It allows you to set your financial goals that you want to work towards.
As an introvert you will find it easy to come up with this simple step by step financial plan that suits you. It would work as the basis for the big financial choices that you need to make.
These are just some of the many advantages that naturally come from your introvert personality.
The Introvert Money Challenge
There are also some pitfalls of an introvert personality when making money decisions. Luckily, these are things are not hard to fix once you become aware of them.
Introvert Personality Trait – Avoiding Risk Taking
Introverts are less likely to be drawn to risky situations. Although introverts do take risks, however those risks are likely to be much more measured. The mantra is to be safe than sorry.
Introvert Challenge – Playing Too Safe
In the world of money there is a common saying – Not taking any risk at all is also a risk. Yes, there is something called playing too safe when it comes to your financial decisions.
For example, you might find it hard to build a comfortable retirement kitty if you only stick to the safest financial products. The monster called “inflation” could eat away whatever savings you have built using only safe investment options.
You might be very close to your retirement by the time you realise this financial mistake.
Introvert Personality Trait – Analysis Paralysis
You love to analyse everything. You go into great detail to seek out all the pros and cons of every decision that you make.
You like to make sure that you have as much information as possible before taking any step.
Introvert Challenge – Moving from Intent to Action
Our professional lives rarely allow us the luxury of having all the information we need prior to making a decision. At some stage we need to stop analysing and take the decision.
As an introvert you might have difficulty putting your intent into action if you are not 100% sure about it. And what if there is a better option that comes along?
Here is the thing though – To achieve your financial goals you need to take decisive action. Sometimes imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.
Introvert Personality Trait – Fear of Making Mistakes
You are much more sensitive to criticism than your extrovert counterparts. You hold yourself to very high standards as you hate to make a mistake.
You can be your own worst critic at times, berating yourself for taking a wrong decision.
It can take you a long time to get over a mistake and move on.
Introvert Challenge – Moving On Takes Too Long
Most financial decisions involve risks. The outcome of some of your decisions will turn out to be different from what you expected.
In such a situation a practical step would be to understand what went wrong, learn from it and move on with your financial life.
An introvert risks missing out on new opportunities because of the time it takes to recover from previous setbacks.
We have now identified some of the money challenges that come from an introvert personality.
Now let us see how you can overcome these challenges.
How Introverts Can Improve Money Skills
The personality traits of introversion and extroversion are like the two opposite ends of a scale. Very few of us are truly pure introverts or pure extroverts.
Most of us fall somewhere in-between on that scale. The trick is to figure out where you lie on that scale and what it means for your personality.
As an introvert, these are some steps you can take to improve your money skills.
Find an Extrovert Money Partner
Pairing up with an extrovert partner can help you overcome some of your introvert personality challenges. This partner should be someone you are comfortable discussing your financial matters with.
It could be your friend, spouse, or a certified financial advisor. It has be someone you know is an extrovert and will help you by association.
This person can be your sounding board when you need to make a major financial decision.
Your extrovert partner can help you see a different perspective on any money decision that you need to make. Your partner will also give you the necessary push to take on some risks.
More importantly a partner can also help you convert your financial plans into action.
Automate the Decision Making
Decision making can be mentally draining for introverts. Since you analyse each decision at length it can tire you out if you have to do it very frequently. That in turn could hold you back from putting your intent into action.
You can get over this decision fatigue by automating the decision making process.
The lesser the number of times you have to decide, the lesser the mental strain you place on yourself.
Studies have shown that the best time to make financial decisions is when you are mentally fresh (not exhausted).
For example, let’s say you analysed a mutual fund and made an investment decision. Thereafter you can simply set up a monthly investment plan that goes into the same fund each month.
This amount would go out directly from your bank account without requiring any repetitive decision making from your end.
That takes away the need for you to analyse and make an investment decision every single month. You can instead review this on a yearly basis and make any changes with the required analysis at that stage.
The lesser the number of times you have to make decisions, the less mentally tiring it will be for you.
Diversify Your Investments
Spreading your investments will allow you to minimise feelings of regret if things go wrong.
Rather than making concentrated investment bets (like buying a single house or the stock of an individual company) try to spread your money over multiple investments.
This way even if one investment was to go wrong, your overall portfolio will not suffer as much. It will also allow you to avoid the emotional regret of making a poor investment choice.
Moving on from any mistake and looking forward will become much easier for you.
Our personalities define where we land on the introvert to extrovert scale. Your degree of introversion or extroversion can have an impact on the money choices you make.
Introverts have some natural advantages when it comes to making good money decisions. These include good impulse control, low risk taking and detailed analysis before decision making.
On the flip side, introverts face some challenges when making money decision. Spending too much time analysing the smallest details or being too self-critical may not be the best idea at times.
With some active planning and support these challenges can be addressed.
What are some of the other things that introverts can do to improve money skills? What has worked for you?
Dushyant Choudhary is the founder of dushyantnomics, an early retirement blog for professionals. Dushyant retired early from his 9-5 corporate life after a successful international career. He brings his knowledge and experience to his current role where he’s dedicated to helping professionals achieve a fulfilling retirement.