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Overusing the Giving Habitude – charitable money personality type

Money Habitudes cards help people understand their financial habits and general money personality. Money Habitudes are the six most common money types. The activity reveals your money personality and spending habits by showing you your own unique combination of those money types. All of the Habitudes are important but overusing any one of them can be problematic. For example, let’s look at the Giving Habitude.
When it is a strong dominant pattern, people get joy by giving to others and being charitable. That can be very good, fulfilling and rewarding. They automatically donate money or give without necessarily considering the long-term consequences of their generosity. But, what is the downside to being too giving and charitable and overusing Giving?

The downside to overusing Giving

  • Giving Habitude - charitable money personalityGiving too much money may jeopardize people’s ability to take care of themselves financially. They risk becoming a financial burden on others. They may go into debt. Their own credit rating may suffer. They may not be able to afford the basics. They may forfeit having choices for education, health care and a safe, adequate lifestyle.
  • Giving with the expectation that it will be reciprocated can be unrealistic and very disappointing. Here’s a good example of someone who’s given a lot for his family, but hasn’t had it reciprocated.
  • Giving may seem caring on the surface but can actually be enabling and keep the recipient from taking responsibility and being resourceful. The difference between being supportive and enabling can be a fine line that is often difficult for a parent, friend or family member to see.
  • Sometimes givers see themselves as generous but others see them as judgmental and manipulative. This happens when the gift implies that the recipient wasn’t meeting some standard that the giver values.

Talking about money: the Giving Habitude

Talking about giving can be a rich and enlightening conversation, especially for couples. For example, after using the Money Habitudes cards, Ann had many Giving and Security cards.  She requires the recipient (whether it’s a charity or her niece) to provide data and accountability before she’ll part with a penny. Her husband, Ray, had many Giving and Carefree cards. He’s a soft touch for friends, fundraisers and family members. His money simply disappears.
Ray thinks Ann is too demanding and manipulative giving people the third degree instead of trusting them to use the money wisely. On the other hand, Ann thinks Ray is foolish, wasteful and financially irresponsible the way he gives money indiscriminately. Although they donate money differently, they balance each other so the more Ray gives without thinking, the more analytical Ann becomes.

Questions for those with a dominant Giving Habitude

If Giving is a dominant Habitude, the questions are:

  • How does Giving play out in your life?  Is it working for you?
  • Would giving less or differently be beneficial for meeting your financial, life and relationship goals?  Look on the back of the yellow interpretation card for suggestions if you are overusing the Giving Habitude.

The Guide for Professionals and My Money Habitudes workbook also include additional questions and discussion suggestions.