Who's Got the Button?

How do you make your choices when shopping for clothes? Are you lured by certain colors or patterns? Do some brands have the power to make you reach for your credit card? Or are you an inveterate bargain hunter who can't resist the chance to save 40 percent, even if it's something you don't really want or need? Think of the clothes that are already in your closet. You may see patterns other than paisley, tartan, and flower print begin to emerge. Specifically, think of your favorite blouse or shirt. Now visualize the number of buttons on the front. How many buttons are there, and how do you keep them buttoned when you have the shirt on? (Choose the nearest answer from the choice below.)

1. It has more than five buttons down the front, and I button them all.

2. There are two or three buttons on the front, and I button them all.

3. There is a row of buttons on the shirt, and I leave one or two at the top unbuttoned.


4. There are no buttons on the shirt.

Key to Who's Got the Button?

Few people consciously make button count a deciding factor when choosing their wardrobes. But as in most matters of taste, the subconscious plays an important role. There are many things in life that are uncontrollable, but there are also some in which we have the power of final say. Buttoning is one. Deciding how we spend our money is another. Both behaviors are ways of expressing one's sense of freedom or control, and your buttoning habits actually reflect the way you handle your finances.

1. It has more than five buttons down the front, and I button them all.

You are very conscientious with your money, never splurging or spending recklessly. Regardless of your income, you set a budget, follow it, and somehow manage to put something away as well. Some might call you tight, but you're on the straight-and-narrow path to financial security.

2. There are two or three buttons on the front, and I button them all.

You take a middle-of-the-road approach in managing your personal finances. You aren't afraid to spend on the things you want, but you don't like to throw money away frivolously, either. You are one of those rare people in control of, and not controlled by, their money.

3. There is a row of buttons on the shirt, and I leave one or two at the top unbuttoned.

You have specific goals and invest every spare penny in them. On the other hand, you're a moderate spender in areas not directly related to realizing your dreams. That single-minded sense of purpose makes you a prime candidate for conversion one day to the buttoned-down look adopted by people who are used to getting what they want from the world.

4. There are no buttons on the shirt.

Your fiscal motto is "A penny saved is a penny wasted." You charge like a wounded bull, and don't look back to survey the damage. Get used to the jeans and T-shirt look. If you keep up the pace, that might be all you're able to afford.

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