Like almost everything else in life, our response to money is largely dictated by our personality, life experiences and beliefs.
We often stress the importance of financial literacy, such as gaining a strong understanding of how money works and having the resources to make informed decisions. But one thing most people fail to consider is their money personality type and the impact it has on their approach and mindset towards money.
Read on to learn the different money personality types, the relationship each personality has with money and how to manage the associated pitfalls.
7 Money Personality Types
The author of Happy Money, Ken Honda, is an expert in the psychology of money and happiness. Based on his theory, there are seven distinct money personality types. Most of us are a combination of various types, and not just one.
Identifying your money personality types and understanding the pitfalls can help you build a healthier relationship with money. It can help you control impulse purchases, improve your budgeting skills, invest wisely and generally enjoy your money more.
With this in mind, here are the different money personalities and how you can deal with the personality type you identify with:
1. The Compulsive Saver
The signs of a Compulsive Saver:
- You put away money endlessly, at times with no actual end goal in mind.
- You derive security from the belief that saving money is the only way to feel more secure in life.
- You’re very frugal. (Friends might often come to you to find out about the best bargains and deals.)
Pitfalls: Compulsive Savers can be so afraid of losing money that they go their entire lives spending barely any of what they worked so hard to save. For example, they might choose to skip out on meeting friends or hobbies and activities that could bring them happiness and purpose. Typically, this money personality type is also very risk-averse, avoiding investing and therefore the chance of building real wealth.
Money tip: While saving and frugal living are often good, life is all about moderation; learn to find a balance between saving money and enjoying life. Think about where you want to be in the future, and set goals and strategies to define how you can use your savings to get there.
2. The Compulsive Spender
The signs of a Compulsive Spender:
- You tend to spend money on impulse purchases and things you don’t necessarily need, regardless of your financial situation.
- You have an outgoing personality and love throwing parties or treating people to something special, even for no particular reason. You might spend your money to have others think more highly of you.
- When you’re in emotional distress, your solution is to spend, especially for instant gratification.
Pitfalls: Compulsive Spenders will often continue going on shopping sprees, even if they have large amounts of credit card or ‘Buy now, pay later’ debt. They may even try to hide large purchases from their partner, family and friends. In extreme cases, they can be at risk of going bankrupt if they keep spending above their income.
Money tip: Firstly, it’s important to understand that buying things, especially the ones you don’t actually need, isn’t going to bring you lasting happiness. When you create a budget plan, you can start seeing things from a different perspective. With a budget, buying a new pair of designer shoes will not be a priority if something else is more important in that budget.
Related: Why do lottery winners go broke?
3. The Compulsive Moneymaker
The signs of a Compulsive Moneymaker:
- You believe that earning more money is the secret to happiness.
- You spend most of your time and energy on trying to make as much money as possible. You are likely running after promotions, working on multiple side hustles or job hopping to elevate your financial status.
- You get pleasure from the approval and recognition from other people for your financial success.
Pitfalls: Compulsive Moneymakers are usually on a strong path to achieving financial freedom. However, they can enter dangerous territory if they start neglecting health or important relationships to prioritise growing their wealth. For example, they might be choosing to work late nights over spending time with family.
Money tip: Accept that there’s more to life than money. And if you do have a sizeable amount of wealth already, consider giving it purpose by helping others. That can be by donating to an important cause or treating yourself and your loved ones. Making money shouldn’t come at the expense of not enjoying the present moment.
Related: 4 ways money can buy happiness
4. The Indifferent-to-Money
The signs of an Indifferent-to-Money personality:
- You rarely think about money (and just the idea of creating a budget or investing makes you nauseous).
- In extreme cases, you believe that money is inheritably bad or evil, and that it would be corrupting to have too much of it.
- You feel strongly that money shouldn’t influence important decisions in life.
Pitfalls: Many people who are indifferent to money feel they don’t need too much money to be happy, which is a healthy mindset in principle. But things can get difficult if they’re not responsible with their finances or don’t understand how money works. Even if their partner or spouse manages the finances, it’s important to understand the basics of personal finance.
Money tip: Even if you are financially comfortable, make it a point to know things like where your money is going, what your monthly expenses are, and where you stand on debt. By doing these, you can avoid any financial stress or surprises in the future.
5. The Saver-Splurger
The signs of a Saver-Splurger:
- You share common traits between Savers and Spenders.
- You start out saving a lot of money, but then give in to spending impulses.
- When you do use your savings, you might spend on things you don’t need or will rarely use.
Pitfalls: It can be emotionally exhausting to constantly swing from compulsive saving to compulsive splurging. Saver-Spenders often end up stressed and disappointed in themselves for working so hard to save money, only to spend it so quickly. This personality type often lacks the needed discipline to secure their finances long-term.
Money tip: Similar to Compulsive Spenders, set some financial goals and create a budget to help you deal with your life priorities. Following your budget will help you improve discipline in your financial habits. Before any big purchase, think if it will give you enjoyment in the long run.
6. The Gambler
The signs of a Gambler:
- You share common traits between Moneymakers and Spenders.
- You find thrill in risking a lot because of the hope of reward and the pleasure that such a reward could bring.
- At times, you gamble away your money just to escape boredom.
Pitfalls: It’s not unusual for Gamblers to encounter big wins or devastating losses. In an extreme case, gambling gets out of control and the Gambler might dip into things like their retirement savings to make up for losses along the way.
Money tip: Do some self-reflection and be strict with the financial risks you take. Balance and security are essential to have, so start setting aside monthly savings or long-term investments before making any big financial decisions.
7. The Worrier
The signs of a Worrier:
- No matter how much money you have, you’re constantly worried about losing it.
- You lack confidence in your abilities to achieve financial freedom.
- You constantly obsess over what could happen if you run out of money.
Pitfalls: It’s smart to think about what could happen if you don’t financially prepare for your future. But letting worry and anxiety eat away your happiness in the present moment is never a good thing.
Money tip: Star by working on understanding where your financial worries are coming from, whether that means talking to a family member, a financial advisor or a therapist. In so doing, you could increase your confidence and security by having your money work for you instead of keeping it in your bank account or stashed at home (where it will depreciate value due to inflation).
Which ones of these money personality types are you? Comment below!