There are 7 types of financial personality, explains a psychology expert. Which one are you?
We often stress the importance of financial literacy, such as gaining a solid understanding of how money works and having the resources to make informed decisions.
But when it comes to building financial health, one thing most people don’t take into account is their financial personality type – or their approach and emotional responses to money.
We each have our own beliefs and feelings about money, and these are mostly shaped by our individual life experiences (for example, passed down from our parents or influenced by our current situations).
In my More than 10 years of research the psychology of money and happiness, I discovered that there are seven distinct financial personality types. Usually, we fall into a combination of several types, and not just one.
Identifying the types you fall into and understanding their pitfalls can dramatically improve your relationship with money. It can help you do things like spend less on impulse buys, manage your budget better, invest wisely, and secure a good retirement nest egg.
Signs that you might be a compulsive saver:
- You put money aside endlessly, sometimes with no real end goal in mind.
- You think saving money is the only way to feel more secure in life.
- You are very thrifty. (Friends often come to you to find out which phone company is the cheapest, which points cards are worth it, or when to buy cheapest plane tickets.)
Traps: Some compulsive savers are so afraid of losing money that they spend their entire lives spending nothing of what they worked so hard to save. For example, they might choose to skip hobbies or activities that might bring them happiness and purpose.
Money advice: It’s all about moderation; learn to find a balance between saving money and enjoying life. Think about where you see yourself in the future and how you can use your savings to get there.
Signs that you might be a compulsive spender:
- You tend to spend money on things that you don’t necessarily need.
- You have an outgoing personality and like to give people something special, sometimes for no particular reason.
- When you’re in emotional distress, your solution is to spend, especially for instant gratification.
Traps: Even if they have significant debts, compulsive spenders will often continue to shop. They may even try to hide large purchases from friends and family. In extreme cases, they can run the risk of going bankrupt if they consistently spend more than they earn.
Money advice: Creating a budget plan will help you see things from a different perspective. Remember that buying a new car (when you already have one), for example, means sacrificing money for essential things like saving for retirement or paying off debt.
Signs that you might be a compulsive moneymaker:
- You believe that making more money is the secret to happiness.
- You spend most of your energy trying to make as much money as possible.
- You get approval and recognition from others for your financial success.
Traps: While Compulsive Moneymakers are generally on the right track to achieving financial freedom, they can enter dangerous territory if they begin to neglect important relationships to prioritize growing their wealth (for example, choosing to work on the job market). weekend rather than spending time with loved ones).
Money advice: Recognize that there is more to life than money. And if you have a significant fortune, give it a purpose by helping others, whether it’s donating to an important cause or giving yourself that family vacation you’ve been talking about for years.
Signs that you might be indifferent to money:
- You rarely think about money (and just the thought of creating a budget makes you nauseous).
- In extreme cases, you think that money is inherited bad or bad.
- You are convinced that money should not influence the important decisions in life.
Traps: Many people who are indifferent to money think that they only need a small amount of money to be happy, which is a healthy state of mind. But things can go wrong if they aren’t responsible for their finances (for example, depending on a partner or spouse to do the work for them).
Money advice: Even if you are financially comfortable, try to figure out where your money is going, what your monthly expenses are, and where you stand on debt. Doing all of these things can save you a lot of financial stress in the future.
Signs that you might be a saver-splurger:
- You share common traits between savers and spenders.
- You start by saving a lot of money, but then give in to spending impulses out of nowhere.
- When you use your savings, you can spend on things you don’t need or will rarely use.
Traps: It can be emotionally draining as the pendulum swings from compulsive saving to compulsive madness. Savers often end up feeling stressed and disappointed in themselves for working so hard to save money, for losing it so quickly.
Money advice: Like compulsive spenders, saver-splurgers rarely think about what they’re spending when deciding to splurge. Before any major purchase, imagine how you might feel the next week or two. Keep track of your financial goals.
Signs that you might be a gamer:
- You share common traits between Moneymakers and Spenders.
- The thrill of risk and the promise of reward is a pleasure in itself that you can quickly get lost in.
- Sometimes you gamble your money away from boredom.
Traps: It is not uncommon for players to encounter sudden windfall or devastating losses. The most obvious risk is when the game gets out of hand and they borrow against things like their retirement money or the children’s college fund to make up for losses along the way.
Money advice: The point is to be introspective and strict with the financial risks you take. Balance and security are key, so start setting aside monthly savings before making big financial decisions.
Signs you might be worried:
- No matter how much money you have, you are constantly worried about losing it at some point.
- You lack confidence in your ability to achieve financial freedom.
- You are constantly obsessed with the worst case scenario of what will happen if you run out of money.
Traps: It’s smart to be aware of what could happen if you don’t plan for your future. But letting worry and anxiety eat away at your happiness in the present moment is never a good thing.
Money Tips: Look for positivity around conversations about money. Try to understand where your financial worries are coming from, whether it’s talking to a financial advisor or a therapist.
Ken honda is an expert in the psychology of money and happiness, and the bestselling author of “Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money.” He has owned and managed businesses including an accounting firm, a consulting firm, and a venture capital firm. Ken currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.