Knowing Your Money Personality
Part 1 of 6
Our Relationship with Money
A large percentage of our day goes towards cultivating relationships. We invest time into our relationships at work, with our friends, our significant others, and even relationships through social media. However, there is one relationship that often gets neglected—our relationship with money.
It is evident that relationships take time and energy to be considered healthy, so why do we spend such little time to understand how we feel about money? Dr. Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist and writer, worked to understand the difference in value placed on one’s relationship with money. She called this level of value your financial personality / money personality and notes how our relationship with money can impact our emotional freedom.
There are five money personalities that fall on a spectrum:
The Addictive Spender
The Intuitive Spender
Now, we may not identify with one personality our entire lives or in every situation, but they do offer us a snapshot of where we stand in our relationship with money. Let’s take a deeper dive into different money personalities. Which one do you identify with?
Five friends go to Dinner
Let’s consider five different people going for dinner Saturday night to see how the different money personalities play out: Andrew, Sara, Jacob, Raj, and Celeste. Each have been working for a few years and make the same salary with similar expenses. Now, each with a different money personality, let’s see how they behave at dinner.
Andrew, The Worrier
Andrew looks at the menu over and over; he can’t believe how much the drink prices are. Uncomfortable with making a decision, he asks for some water and starts talking to his friend. Andrew seems nervous as he checks his accounts before paying his check.
The Worrier has money on their mind every day. They worry they don’t have enough or worried they aren’t doing enough with their money. While, spending countless minutes in a day focused on your finances may lead to better choices and fewer errors, it could also lead to health problems due to stress. As well, the fear of making poor decision could prevent you from making a decision at all, or a slightly risky (but profitable) decision. The Worrier may experience the financial bias, Loss Aversion where people often feel the pain of loss more than the joy of gains
Sara, The Addictive Spender
Prior to dinner Sara went shopping to recover from a rough day. Now with her friends she orders a glass of wine and appears content. The check comes and she tries two different credit cards, both declined, before the third one works. This doesn’t seem to faze her; she believes she will get ahead eventually. Right now she is focused on removing the stress of her day. This money personality can be dangerous.
The Addictive Spender escapes worry by spending without worry. Often, when someone else tries to bring up the issue, the addictive spender becomes angry and turns to making excuses. In the long run, addictive spending can create an unhealthy and an unmanageable financial situation and can require professional help.
Jacob, The Procrastinator
While Jacob is out with friends for food and beer, his roommate asks him when he will pay his half of the rent. Jacob reassures his friend he is paid in a couple days and will do it then and proceeds to order another beer. His roommate asks about the electricity bill, which Jacob again brushes off. Turns out Jacob has missed two months of bills and is living paycheck to paycheck. He thinks, there is always tomorrow to get his finances in order.
Procrastination may seem okay for the moment but will lead to long-term financial problems, difficulties with creditors and a constant building of stress. The money personality of a procrastinator will put things off because they are uncomfortable or overwhelmed with where to begin. Understanding small steps can have huge results and seeking help is important here, starting today is better than never beginning.
Raj, The Hoarder
As Raj sits down to dinner, he is already telling his friends about the great deals he found that week. He is proud of his couponing, price matching, and ability to find sales. Raj tells his friends he drove around town to find the cheapest gas. He’s asked why they haven’t seen him out much or why he hasn’t taken a holiday and he can’t come up with a good excuse. The truth is he wants to save his money.
The Hoarder is a compulsive saver. While saving is important, this money personality has a hard time investing or feeling okay with making any types of purchases. Having such a tight grip on your money may cause more anxiety than necessary. More important is saving for today, tomorrow, and long-term goals; simply storing cash is not effective.
Celeste, The Intuitive Spender
Celeste is at the table waiting for her friends, she is happy to be at dinner. She quickly checks her Sprout App and see her fun account is well funded. She can afford to treat her friends and with an internal smile, she decides she’s going to do it. Once they arrive, she waves down the server and orders her favourite drink and an appetizer for them to share. Celeste doesn’t order another drink and surprises her friends by picking up the tab at the end of dinner. They are pleasantly surprised.
The Intuitive Spender often makes decisions balancing logic and gut instincts. With this money personality, if out of tune, they don’t evaluate facts and purchases without having a game plan for how much will be spent. Instead of taking time to evaluate, they go on their gut instinct. The issue here is that without some knowledge and research, you could be making poor spending decisions.
Which one are you?
Did you identify with any of the money personalities above? Maybe a combination of a few? Our relationship with money impacts so many areas of our lives and is so important to understand. Do you want to take a quiz to find out your money personality? Go here to see the quiz by Dr. Judith Orloff who developed the financial personalities. Let us know in the comments which personality you are.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
– Maya Angelou
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