Moneyalities! – Money Personalities!

When it comes to money, how do we feel about it, and therefore handle it? We each emotionally perceive and handle money differently according to our money personality – this is what psychologists and financial planners widely believe – that everyone has one of four money personalities. They say that “recognizing your money personality is the first step toward financial health. Knowing what drives your financial decisions, they say, can help you reach smart money goals, whether that’s spending less on impulse purchases or saving more for retirement.“ (USA Today)

Is this true? We all have money personalities? I agree, to the extent that you add in family habits as a big influencer on your perceptions and habits on how your handle your finances. Your ‘money personality’ is hugely formed from your own family culture and surroundings while growing up.

The thing is, if you live with someone whose money personality is different to yours, conflict will be inevitable. So, you’ll need to identify your tendencies, which strengths and weaknesses you have and put strategies into place. Also, identify habit-wise and financial-wise patterns in order to resolve common conflicts. When you do intentionally change for the better, you’ll notice that your ‘personality’ changes too.

True happiness, is of course, found in being intentional, making good, sound choices on a daily basis. Remember, nothing will change, until you want to change. It all starts with what and how you think. These moneyalities are simply the connected, total sum of all the choices we make habitually.

Ok, so, let’s look at these moneyalities.  Here I’ve made slightly different labels for each ‘personality’. So let’s look at these 4 distinct money personalities and see what inner motives drives the emotions and actions that each personality tends towards. Broadly speaking, most people would fall into one of the following personalities:

The Spender

The Spender finds their happiness in immediate/short term gratification.

You’re happiest when you can satisfy that urge!  You just want to spend what you earn (or beyond) impulsively, and without justification.  Possibly you’ll be satisfied with spending on others but really deep down, you are wanting to gratify yourself.

  • Strengths:

Risk taking – you’ll take risks where others won’t and may win out on this risk. Your risk taking may pay off in the future/longer term.  You don’t think twice about spending on anything – you are seen as generous and big at giving – it is good to be generous.

  • Weaknesses:

Debt friendly – because you’re not thinking or mindful of what it costs you before you spend, you can get into huge, overwhelming debt! Therefore there’ll be no savings or long terms goals you are setting.

The spender can cause the most stress in family relationships where there’s long term and fixed financial commitments in place such as personal loans, mortgage payments, life, health, house and car insurance premiums. The higher the spending the more money the spender seeks to earn the more debt is incurred, inviting a very vicious cycle.

The Saver

The Saver finds their happiness in staying in control.

You feel happy and peaceful, and proud of yourself for saving every penny you’ve earnt. You’re amassing riches! You only trust in what you’ve saved and what you spend you’re very careful with, being quite measured, frugal  and analytical, waiting for sales and grabbing bargains when they come up. You don’t allow much room to make mistakes and impulse spending is repulsive!

  • Strengths

You meet savings targets and goals. You pay your bills on time, every time, you’re debt is low or zero. That means you’re free to make more choices like investments, business expenditure or spending on something you think is worthwhile. Friends and family feel they can trust you because they know you won’t be wasting their money and will be making the most of their dollar.

  • Weaknesses

You tend to be low risk or risk adverse, because you enjoy the control you have over your own savings and to hand over this to someone else to spend or invest makes you feel uneasy.

You can sometimes be perceived as stingy because you’re too careful and analytical with your spending, you hold back, think twice or lower what you want to give or spend.

Conflicts can occur when a family or friend considers the spending to be worthwhile when you hold back or not release control over the money. Your partner/spouse/children may feel resentful because you “always say no”!!!  And they feel they always have to buy ‘cheap stuff’. Also, you may miss out on profitable investments or opportunities because you can’t let go of control to take a (managed) risk.

The Sharer

The Sharer finds their happiness in other people’s happiness.

You find joy and pleasure in helping out others, lending them money or giving gifts to others. You don’t think about how much money you have left over, you’re only focused on what you’ve done/given to others.

  • Strengths

You can work very hard to earn the money to spend on what you’re planning to buy or to give to someone you love or to help out a cause worthy of your affection and attention.  All your friends delight in the money and gifts you give them, you’re generous and dependable to help them out whenever they ask!

  • Weaknesses

You find it hard to say NO to anyone that means something to you, or even to strangers, so you’re always spending and never able to save. Even to the extent that you feel its ok you have nothing as long as the other person is happy! You can neglect yourself, not looking long term to save because in the short term, you’ve made someone else happy. This can be a ‘spiritual’ (wrong) belief that spending on yourself is selfish or greedy.

Stress in relationships occurs when your spouse or partner resents you spending all your money on others, while they’re having to make do with little or nothing. They think that other people are more important than them so they’re unhappy. The children may grow up with a ‘we help others but we end up poor’ mentality.

The Shunner

The Shunner finds their happiness in avoiding financial responsibility.

Because ignorance is bliss you think! As long as you don’t need to think about the bills, debt, or even income, you’re blissfully (but are deceitfully) unaware that the the pressure is building up and somethings going to explode…very suddenly. So you’re in lala land, thinking you’re fine as long as you can keep spending…

  • Strengths

You stay calm and ‘at peace’ with the world, able to adeptly avoid all those bills, bank statements, credit card bills or even debtors phone calls. Nothing seems to phrase you – at least on the surface.

  • Weaknesses

Perhaps because of feelings of incompetency, a lack of knowledge, or just general laziness, your solution to any financial issue is to avoid it as much as you can, until you’re forced to deal with it. Meanwhile a whole lot of debt has crept up and you have no means to pay it back. Then you try to put on a brave face and tell everyone all is ok, when it’s not.

The shunner in any relationship will cause constant and never ending stress mostly on themselves, fighting a bad cycle, trying to cover up their avoidance habits by making excuses or denying the reality! Unless the shunner recognises his/her avoidance and faces up to their responsibilities, there’ll be no real change in their financial situation.

Now, which personality would you say you’re most like?  I’m not going to lie, I’m more of the Saver! I could work on being more of a Sharer though haha. How about you? Want to improve on your relationships? Then start by improving on your financial situation by recognising what your money personality is.

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