How knowing your money personality can help you save, spend, and live a better life!
How well do you know yourself? Yes, you know your favorite snack, your know that you need to write stuff on your to-do list, or it doesn’t get done, and you know that you’re a hugger.
Maybe you’re a closet comedian or a natural giver. Perhaps your personality radiates from your astrological sign. You know these things about yourself, but do your know your money personality type?
Yes, there is such a thing as a money personality, and you have one! The question remains, what is yours, and why you should care. Let’s dig into the ___ types of money personalities and what it says about you, and how you can use this information to your advantage!
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What is a personality?
Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that make a person “who they are.” It establishes uniqueness from others, where your personality traits meld together to create you as a person.
You’ve probably heard the terms Type-A personality or that someone’s shy. These are describers that we use to identify ourselves and others.
According to verywellmind, “Today, many researchers believe that there are five core personality traits.”
Or others describe your personality as being framed as a “type.” (source)
- Type A: perfectionist, impatient, competitive, work-obsessed, achievement-oriented, aggressive, stressed
- Type B: low stress, even-tempered, flexible, creative, adaptable to change, patient, tendency to procrastinate
- Type C: highly conscientious, perfectionists, struggle to reveal emotions (positive and negative)
- Type D: feelings of worry, sadness, irritability, pessimistic outlook, negative self-talk, avoidance of social situations, lack of self-confidence, fear of rejection, appearing gloomy, hopelessness
The point is that there are many ways to describe yourself and others. There are also personality subsets, and what we’re talking about today is our money personality.
What is a money personality?
Your money personality consists of how you feel and act with money. So there are money archetypes ( aka typical examples), and you are slotted into that archetype.
Now, it’s interesting to note that there isn’t a set upon agreed list of money archetypes. People use different words and labels, which makes it a bit confusing. We’ll dig into those different money personalities in a bit. But first, we need to know why knowing our money personality is important.
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Why knowing your money personality is important
When you can dig into why you are the way that you are, you can shape your actions around those already established and deeply held beliefs and traits (and even begin to change them if you want).
For example, if you knew that you were allergic to peaches, you would avoid eating peaches. The same applies to your money; how you “are” should guide how you approach and manage things.
Knowing your personality traits is important because you can then begin to recognize your patterns, and if they aren’t healthy, you can start to shift those thought patterns and then your actions.
For example, if you’re an accumulator/saver, you can try to recognize when you’re being overly frugal, stingy, or cheap even. Then you work to identify why you feel this way, figure out if it’s healthy for you, or even warranted in this situation. If you find yourself balking at spending money on extra’s, and you have the money to spend, then it’s time to analyze and potentially take action.
How do you develop your money personality?
You develop your personality over time, yet it’s usually based on your upbringing and individual traits. Siblings share specific characteristics due to their home life, yet they have distinct traits.
Your money story is how you grew up around money, and it influences your financial personality. Now, these can be specific lessons and teachings your parents delivered to you. And they are the simple, everyday lessons that you naturally pick up from your parent’s actions and interactions with each other. These can be both beneficial and harmful lessons.
These lessons create your general attitudes towards money. These are also known as money scripts, which we delve into in understanding your money story.
People’s feelings about money, along with scarcity & abundance, usually fall into four primary attitude buckets. These scripts were developed in a 2011 research study by Brad Klontz and his research team. The four belief systems are…
- Money avoidance – If you are a money avoider you believe that you do not deserve money. They may believe that wealthy people are greedy or corrupt. They often think that there is virtue in living with less money. Money avoidance can be associated with trying not to think about money. These kinds of thinkers may ignore financial statements. Money avoiders may sabotage their financial success, by being bad with credit, or making poor financial decisions.
- Money worship – A money worshipper feels that money is the key to all happiness and can solve any problem. “This mindset leads people to believe that money is the end goal. They are left with an empty void in the quest for accumulating wealth as rapidly as possible since there will never be “enough” money to meet their ever-changing wants. Money worship takes retail therapy to heart by seeking to buy new things to bring a sense of happiness, purpose, and meaning. The problem is money can’t buy happiness, and their large spending habits end up leaving people miserable and in debt.” (source)
- Money status – Closely linked to money worship, money status confuses net worth and self-worth. A perfect example is the big spender who believes in the “Keeping Up with the Joneses” mentality. People overspend to maintain a lifestyle they can’t afford to impress others. They often end up with credit card debt.
- Money vigilance – This script involves people approaching their financial lives with swift practicality, logic, and thoughtfulness. Money vigilance means people view money as a byproduct of hard work, discipline, safe investing, and frugality. This script is considered the most financially stable and healthy of the four. Yet, money vigilance can sometimes lead to fear over one’s financial future, leading to anxiety and a lack of balance between spending and saving. (source) They are in essence a security seeker, always wanting to keep track of things to know they’re on the right path, such as their emergency fund, or retirement savings.
These scripts influence your money mindset and help to shape your money personality and how you use money.
It’s important to note that you aren’t 100% one script, there are instances where you could be two scripts, but usually, one is more prominent.
While these money scripts are a good place to start when uncovering your money personality, there is some confusion as the scripts overlap, and even what’s in one script seems to contradict another point in that same script.
That’s why I like breaking these down even more into money behavior segments, as all people don’t fit into just four categories.
Identifying your money personality
Interestingly enough, many money coaches and personal finance people have developed their own categories for money personalities. I’ll mention them super quick as they are interesting, and if they give you any insight, then great!
8 sacred money archetypes
This is based on Kendall Summerhawk’s work, and the archetypes are called your emotional DNA when it comes to money, and they speak directly to your subconscious. This method of identifying your money personality is more for my new age, alternative medicine loving friends. But for my more traditional and practical Type A readers, you can skip to the next section.
- The Ruler – The Ruler uses money as a way of measuring achievement and accomplishment. They’re up to big things and want to build an empire. They are a risk-taker.
- The Romantic – They love to live life fully. They love to be spoiled and spoil others. They buy in the moment because it feels good, without really any thought of the financial situation.
- The Alchemist – Alchemists have a love/hate relationship with money. They attract money in unusual ways and are very creative. They can transform their ideas into financial success.
- The Accumulator – They have a strong connection to money and an appreciation and respect for money. But their financial behavior is driven by a deep-seated fear that they will be bankrupt, destitute, on the street, or a bag lady.
- The Nurturer – The Nurturer is quick to give away what they have, generously rescuing others, particularly with family and whomever they care about. They need to create boundaries and not deplete their own cup.
- The Connector – It’s all about relationships and people, and they don’t relate to money naturally as it’s not important to them. They can be taken advantage of financially because of their lack of concern about money. A smart move for a connector would be to hire a financial planner to assist them since this is their “weakness.”
- The Celebrity – The Celebrity loves to be flashy and show it off, they have flash cars, expensive jewelry, and the big house, and they’re often charismatic and radiate energy. The thing is that they can also create a lot of debt because they like to spend their money on impulse purchases no matter the cost.
- The Maverick – They also love money and are very fascinated by money and love to take risks. Financial complexity is not a big deal for them. They pay a lot of attention to numbers. They see opportunities to make money often and enjoy the financial gameplay.
The Five Money Personalities
This is where my brain tends to go to, the practical and no-nonsense terminology.
- Big Spenders – As their name implies, they like to spend money in significant ways. They don’t fear debt (which can get them into trouble), often taking risks to earn more money.
Action: The best thing that big spenders can do is to automate their savings into a separate bank account. They need to not see the money “available” because if they see they have it, they’;; spend it.
- Savers – Savers, are the exact opposite. They are naturally frugal and make mindful purchase decisions, even when it handicaps them to do so. Generally, they have no debts, are conservative, like saving money and don’t take big risks with their investments. They may have achieved financial freedom from a numbers perspective, but don’t “feel” that they have, and that they may never reach retirement.
Action: See below for putting it into practice.
- Shoppers – Shoppers often develop great emotional satisfaction from spending money. They can’t resist spending, even if it’s to buy items they don’t need (but it’s a bonus if they got it on sale)! They are similar to Big Spenders yet are aware of their addiction and are even concerned about the debt that it creates. Better money management is something they aspire to, but don’t ever get around to.
Action: The best thing for shoppers to do is to limit exposure. Unfollow influencers that showcase items to buy, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and don’t go shopping unless you’ve saved cash up beforehand. My a “shopping” sinking fund.
- Debtors – Debtors don’t spend money to impress; they just don’t spend much time thinking about their money and therefore don’t keep tabs on what they spend and where they spend it. They may even miss easy opportunities to make money as they don’t notice them.
Action: Debtors need to get in touch with their money. Spend an afternoon figuring out where you stand financially, (aka your net worth is a good place to start). Then create a plan on how to pay off debt, save money, and invest. Then automate this plan as much as possible!
- Investors – Investors are consciously aware of money. They understand their financial situation and try to put their money to work (i.e. a retirement plan). Their actions are driven by careful decision-making; they want to be smart and strategic to grow their wealth. They may have a financial advisor and consider investing key to building prosperity and reaching their financial goal.
Action: Great job! Your next step is to help others learn more about money management!
In some grouping of the personalities, there is the money monk, who thinks that money is the root of all evil. They feel that money corrupts people and those that have money are sell-outs. They identify with those of modest means and are proud that they don’t rely on money.
Putting the money personalities into practice
After reading through the different categories and types, I have identified my own, and the results come as no surprise to me. I am…
- My script: money vigilance
- My sacred archetype: accumulator
- my personality type: saver
Again, this comes as no surprise, as my husband and I often joke that my spirit animal is a squirrel. In the past, I saved money religiously for rainy days into our bank account, which came with the drawback that I was saving too much and didn’t let us use our money for fun, even when we had it to spend. I fully admit that I was fearful of being without enough money to take care of my family, poor even.
To help balance this tendency, I set up sinking funds. Sinking funds let me separate our money by responsibility. We have separate funds for home repairs, car repairs, emergency, kiddo fund, and a vacation fund. This way, I can log into our accounts and see that we have covered our responsibilities, and with the money in our vacation account, we can have fun without worry.
At the end of the day
Knowing your money personality shouldn’t be an end all be all pronouncement on how you feel about and use money. It’s just another item in your toolbox to help you understand your relationship with money, and get a little bit closer to having money harmony. When you know yourself better, you can begin to adjust your money habits and now make financial decisions based on knowledge and truth, not on feelings of scarcity or ignorance.
As a phenomenal woman once said…
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
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