8 Personal Finance Tips for Introverts

By Sarah Winfrey on 23 October 2014 0 comments

So, you're an introvert. Whether you've known this forever or are just realizing it, welcome to our happy, friendly, quiet tribe.

Introversion can play a role in everything from earning power to how and when and why I make the investment decisions I do. Here are some financial tips based on the strengths and weaknesses that I've found in myself, and that other introverts tend to share. (See also: 7 Personal Finance Tips From Bruce Springsteen)

Remember, as you read these, that not all introverts have every characteristic of introversion. You may find that you have already learned to be good at something that is a weakness for many of your fellow introverts, or that you actually struggle with something that most introverts have as a strength.

Maximize Your Strengths

If you're an introvert, use the things that you're already good at to improve your financial life. Just don't let someone louder talk you out of them!

1. Save… A Lot

Introverts tend to be conscientious, and conscientious people save more for retirement than others. In a world where only 4% of the current workforce will have enough saved for retirement by age 65, that's a significant advantage.

This propensity towards saving won't just help you with retirement. If you're careful, you might be able to avoid a lot of the debt that many find themselves in. You might even be able to purchase your vehicles with cash!

Tip: Maximize this advantage by calculating how much you think you'll need for retirement and working backwards to determine how much you should be saving every month. Decide how much you want for emergency or other savings funds, too, and work towards those goals.

2. Play the Long Game

As an introvert, you're likely pretty good at delaying gratification. This means that you understand that wealth generally grows slowly, and you're ok with that. You can accept small gains with a smile, because you understand that they will add up over time.

Using this to your advantage means knowing that you can ride out a recession or other devaluation of your assets without panicking and changing everything. You will be able to see that your path to wealth will have some ups and downs — maybe even big ones — and that there are still many ways for things to work out in the end.

Tip: Plan ahead for financial difficulties — maybe make sure you have a substantial emergency fund or that you can work another 10 years if the market isn't right to retire when you're 65.

3. Stay Calm

Introverts tend to be among the calmest people out there. They are usually the best prepared and, in our extroverted world, they tend to be used to acting different from how they are feeling. This means that they're less likely to panic when something unexpected happens. Whether the market crashes, there's an unexpected medical bill, or an investment that looked sure turns south, they will be able to quell panic and make level-headed decisions.

Tip: When something bad happens financially, use your natural calm to your advantage. If the market crashes, don't sell because you're afraid. If there are unexpected bills, come up with a creative way to pay them because you won't be driven by terror. And anytime an investment goes wrong, use your clear head to decide how to get out of the situation having sustained the least damage.

4. Listen

Introverts tend to be good at listening before they speak. This makes them good leaders, but it can also make you a good investor.

Tip: It's easy to jump into investing with your own strategy, or with one you haven't really researched. So many people think they can beat the market, and so few actually do. As an introvert, you have the listening skills to hear what others do or have done, what has worked and what hasn't, and to craft your own investing strategy around the successful strategies of others.

Work Your Weaknesses

While using your strengths will take you far, learning to overcome your weaknesses can add even more to your financial health.

5. Take Risks

Introverts aren't necessarily risk-averse, but they do tend to be more calculated about the risks they take than extroverts. However, the key part of that is actually taking the risk. You must, at some point, take the leap, and that means letting go of whatever you've been holding onto, financially, and trying something new.

Tip: The tip is to let go when you know it's time, and you will know. This may mean trying new types of investments, but only after you know that they fit your overall strategy and have chosen your tactics for investing in them. It may mean being willing to spend money — even a lot of money — on something that is important to you or that will make your life better, even if you'd rather the money pad your savings account.

6. Stop Researching

While it's an overall advantage to research and ponder before you make financial decisions, you do eventually need to do something. Otherwise, you may end up crying over missed financial opportunities. Many introverts missed out on low stock prices at the end of the recession for this very reason: They weren't sure that the market had really bottomed out, so they weren't sure they should buy.

This tends to go alongside taking risks. In the end, no matter how much research you do, there's always some risk. At some point, you have to accept that so you have a chance at reaping rewards.

Tip: Ask yourself, "Do I know enough to make an educated decision?" If you aren't sure, talk to someone close to you. When you know enough, stop researching, even if there are things you haven't read yet. Instead, do what needs to be done.

7. Learn to Negotiate

Introverts tend to dislike conflict and, therefore, give in rather than negotiate because they dislike the ongoing disagreement. However, knowing how to negotiate — everything from the price of your new car to your salary — can help you come out better off financially. Most introverts are great at preparing for negotiating — they know how much they should be paid or what is a fair price for something they are buying. But the problem comes in carrying out the actual negotiation.

Tip: If you have the chance, try to negotiate via email. This can help minimize the disagreement and it gives you the chance to put your thoughts into words, which comforts many introverts. If that isn't possible, decide what you want to say and how you want to say it. It may help to write out a script, even if you have to memorize it before you go to a meeting.

8. Make Yourself Valuable

Gone are the days when you have to promote yourself loudly or you'll never get ahead. Now, many employers are looking for people with fresh ideas and those who are good at building others up. These tend to be skills that introverts already have or that it is easy for them to acquire.

This means that, finally, the playing field between introverts and extroverts is leveling when it comes to the amount of money you could potentially bring in.

Tip: Instead of being someone you're not in order to get that promotion, trying using skills that are more natural to you. Your ability to listen well and come up with creative solutions can help you get ahead, especially if you find the right company.

Are you an introvert? How has it affected you financially? Please speak up and share in comments!

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