Your money personality

Jun 17, 2020

Understanding your approach to money can help you make a plan that works for you. Experts have identified four common money personality types; you may be a mix of these.

1. The spender

Also known as the 'risk-taker' or 'giver', you like the act of spending money and often do it impulsively. You’re the person who often makes impulse purchases at the checkout, showers gifts on your loved ones or takes risks with your investments. You’re also likely to have credit card debt and not much saved for emergencies or retirement.

If you’re a spender:

  1. Set limits
  2. Before you buy something, give yourself a 24-hour cooling-off period
  3. Reflect on your emotions before, during and after you have splurged, and ask yourself what were you hoping to achieve from this purchase

Next steps:

  1. Build up an emergency fund
  2. Avoid using your credit card for impulse purchases
  3. Find low cost ways to express your generosity
  4. Start to pay off debt

2. The Saver

Also known as the 'hoarder', you are the opposite of the spender. You are watchful about your money and love finding bargains. You probably have an emergency fund just in case something goes wrong. You may feel uncomfortable talking to others about money, and feel that financial matters are very private things.

If you’re a saver, the good news is you’re already careful with your money and likely have solid financial habits. But allow yourself to enjoy what money can buy once in a while.

If you are a saver:

  1. Find a neutral third party to bounce ideas off if you can’t talk easily to your loved one.
  2. Don’t let your reticence about money hold you back from improving your income by asking for a raise.
  3. Check other hoarding tendencies – are they holding you back from moving forward?

3. The Security Seeker

Careful with your finances you may derive a sense of security from money, especially if you didn’t have a lot of money earlier in life. You may also worry too much about financial decisions that involve spending.

If you’re a security seeker:

  1. Set financial goals to avoid the anxiety around big decisions
  2. Try talking to a fee-only financial planner or credit counselor to set financial goals.
  3. Look at the strategies for Saver – they're likely to apply to you, too.

4. The Avoider

When was the last time you touched that stack of bills lying on the counter? Thinking about money just makes you anxious and depressed so its better not to think about it, right?

You know there are things you should be doing with your money, but are too overwhelmed to begin. You might not have an emergency fund and you haven’t thought about your financial outlook.

If you’re an avoider:

  1. Take small steps toward understanding your finances
  2. Pick a day of the month when you open all your bills and check your account balances
  3. Ask family or friends to hold you accountable to those habits.
  4. Start an emergency fund. Set up an automatic deposit for part of every pay so you don't have to think about it.

Understand your money personality so you can work on a budget, and get a housing plan in order. Start your plan to secure housing.