Money personalities that hurt you

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Believe it or not, you were probably still in pig-tails or playing with Tonka truck when you picked up your so-called money personality.

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

And a lot of people we talked to said that's spot on.

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

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

The first is called Money Vigilance, and that's when a person 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...like someday, [their money's] just going to go away," O'Keefe says.

Others have the opposite problem - Money Worship. They believe more money will solve all their problems, and the study says they're likely to carry deep debt.

"I was married to a fellow who was the opposite," recalls O'Keefe, "who ran up his credit cards..."

The study calls the third type Money Status. That's when you tie your self-worth to your net worth, and the study finds these people unhappy.

Kimberly King operates a hot dog stand on Tryon Street, and she says she sees a lot of that.

"They think the world revolves around money, and luxury, and they don't think about the little things in life," King says.

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

"My grandmother!" King says. "She would pick up pennies and put them in a savings account and never spend a dime."

The study says to break your bad habits, focus on flexibility.