Four financial mistakes -

Top four financial mistakes

Believe it or not, you were probably still in pig-tails or playing with Tonka trucks when you picked up your so-called money personality.

According to a new study from The Journal of Financial Therapy, it's in their formative years that children learn to have a certain attitude toward cash, and that attitude ends up driving their financial decisions in adulthood.

"I know I learned what I feel about money from my parents," says Charlotte, N. C. resident Daphne O'Keefe.

The study says there are four basic but harmful money personalities.

The first is called Money Vigilance, which describes a person who is overly wary about spending. They don't let themselves enjoy life, and it can even lead to hoarding or under-spending.

"A lot of people whose childhood was marred by shortage, they just will never feel safe," says O'Keefe. "Like someday, [their money's] just going to go away."

Others have the opposite problem - Money Worship. They believe more money will solve all their problems, and the study shows that these people are likely to carry deep debt.

The third personality type is Money Status. That's when a person ties his or her self-worth to net worth, and is usually very unhappy as a result.

Kimberly King, who operates a hot dog stand, says that she sees a lot of that type in her customers. "They think the world revolves around money and luxury, and they don't think about the little things in life," she says.

Lastly, there's Money Avoidance, when money invokes feelings of fear and anxiety, even disgust. The study says that those who grew up in low-income households are most at risk for this kind of personality type.

"My grandmother [was like that]," King says. "She would pick up pennies and put them in a savings account and never spend a dime."

Balance is key, especially when it comes to personal finance. The study recommends that people focus on flexibility in order to break their bad habits and become more fiscally successful.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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