I’m a Gemini.

I’m a Giver - ENFJ personality (Myers-Briggs theory).

My personality is the same as Hermione Granger.

Now don’t argue with me, but there has certainly been a time or two where you’ve revealed your star sign, personality type, or Harry Potter character to someone. To your friends, family, partner, maybe even your first date (kudos to those who have). As human beings, we love talking about the different types of ‘categories’ we fit into.

But have you given much thought to how you behave in regard to your finances?

Think about it. Why is it that some of us will shout our friends drinks from the bar the entire night and others will scurry away quietly at the thought of doing so? Or why the friend with a $70,000 income can save far better than the one with $150,000?

The answer? We all have our own money personality - our own gateway into how we save, spend, and invest.

It’s not often talked about for a number of possible reasons:

  • Discussing money is taboo
  • Most of us don’t actually know what money personality we are
  • Maybe some of us don’t want to admit to ourselves which category we fall into

Regardless of the reason, understanding your money personality can help you in all sorts of ways. Think of yourself as your own personal accountant or financial advisor who needs to evaluate your attitude towards money.

If you don’t know the different types or the category you fall into, you’ve come to the right place.

No, sorry. We don’t have a cool ‘Buzzfeed’ type quiz you can answer that’ll display your money personality at the end.

We do, however, have a breakdown of the five financial habits that could describe you.

What is a money personality?

Inner Money Journey Founder and Financial Coach Betsy Westcott told Savings.com.au a money personality describes the way you interact with money.

“A money personality refers to the combination of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about money that characterises how you behave with it,” Ms Westcott said.

“While all of us are unique, our patterns of behaviour relative to money can often be represented in one or a combination of money personalities.” 

Essentially, it determines our comfort level when it comes to making financial decisions and how we go about spending, saving, budgeting, investing, and everything in between.

Why should you ‘get to know’ your money personality?

It’s important to take charge of your money habits because it can establish a deeper sense of control in your life - and one way to help you do this is…discover your money personality.

“Having awareness about your money personality is helpful because it allows you to identify things you do that support your financial wellbeing and work on the things that undermine your financial wellbeing,” Ms Westcott said.

“For example, if you know you're impulsive when it comes to making decisions [shopping for example], then you can implement strategies to slow down your decision making so that you have time to make a mindful decision. For instance, you could apply a 24 hour wait on purchases or unsave your credit card or paypal details from online stores.”

Maybe it’s time to get comfy with a beverage (hot or cold, your choice), and sit down with yourself to work through your financial habits and where they fit in…

What are the 5 money personalities?

There are five major money profiles - spender, saver, shopper, debtor, and investor. Most people don’t fit neatly into one - instead, they may have a primary and secondary money personality.

You may feel that the ‘shopper’ type fits you well, but you may also be a careful ‘investor’ when it comes to trading and investment portfolios.

While there are various schools of thought out there, Ms Westcott has her own set of ideal money personality characteristics.

“They are a positive mindset, being goal oriented, possessing a desire to learn about money, discipline to spend wisely, the balance of enjoying today whilst nurturing your future prospects, a healthy relationship with risk, confidence in your ability to overcome any challenge, the patience to let investments grow, and a desire to help others,” she said.

And remember, every personality can do with a little improvement. No one is perfect. Not even the goody two shoe ‘savers.’

@savings.com.au Want to find out your money personality? Savings.com.au breaks down the 5 categories for you!! Let us know which one you are! #savingscomau #money #moneytok #finance #ausfinance #moneypersonality #fintokaustralia #fintok ♬ original sound - Savings.com.au

1. Big spenders

Big spenders tend to make a statement with their purchases. While they aren’t necessarily materialistic - they will purchase anything no matter how cheap or expensive - they do often want the latest and greatest e.g. cars, brand-name clothing, gadgets (the first to jump on the new iPhone release).

But they don’t only spend money on themselves. They often enjoy buying gifts for their loved ones or close friends.

Big spenders are proud of the hard work they put in to earn their money, which is why they have no shame in impressing those around them.

How to improve as a big spender: find the right balance

Set yourself some spending limits - make a shopping list, find a bargain, establish a budget, set a goal - and try not to make too many impulse decisions on a temporary emotion.

Ask yourself whether you really need to buy a particular item and what it will really mean to you in a year's time. In other words, buy things you’ll actually use.

2. Savers

Hands down this is me (if you were curious).

Savers are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum compared to big spenders. Spending heaps of money (especially impulsively) makes them uncomfortable.

Savers get a kick out of stashing as much of their hard-earned dollar bills into a savings account and watching it grow over time. They are organised, sensible, shop for bargains, and pay close attention to their spending habits. They’re at their happiest when they know they have enough money locked away in the case of an emergency.

To some, they may be considered ‘cheapskates.’

Speaking on my own behalf, I wouldn’t call myself a cheapskate. I’m happy to go out with friends, buy a new dress, and book a getaway. But, to a certain point - within a budget I’m comfortable with. If I were to blow over this budget (see my savings drop considerably), I would start to feel pretty anxious. I know when I spend money for, let’s say a holiday, I always look for ways to recoup those costs ASAP.

Do you feel the same way?

How to improve as a saver: keep it going, but also enjoy life

Don’t let life just pass you by to save a few extra dollars here and there, you’ll miss out on too much. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fancy the dress in the window shop or the new FIFA Xbox game - treat yourself as you’ve earned it.

And of course, keep up the hard work.

3. Shoppers

Do you walk out of the shops towing five bags in each hand? You may be a shopper.

Shoppers love the thrill of a purchase and often find it difficult to resist spending their money, even if the usefulness of the item is irrelevant.

While they aren’t totally clueless about their spending habits or debt, they can lack financial discipline.

How to improve as a shopper: focus your efforts on saving money

Attach emotion to saving money instead of constantly spending it. Find out what might motivate you to start saving e.g. your dream home, a brand new couch to replace the scratched one, an overseas holiday, or maybe even your children’s education.

Think before you spend and ask yourself whether it will benefit you in the long run. Is it reusable? Do you really need it now? Was there a cheaper option available if it was a necessary purchase?

4. Debtors

If you’re weighed down with debt, live paycheque to paycheque, have maxed out your credit card, and don’t often think your finances through, then you’re likely a debtor. Debtors tend to spend more than they earn and are usually unaware of how much, and who they owe.

A debtor is different from a spender as they continue to borrow money to continue spending.

How to improve as a debtor: get back to the basics

First things first, get some help/advice if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Whether that be from family, close friends, or a financial advisor, it’s up to you.

Stop any habits that are putting you into more debt, track your spending on a daily/weekly basis via an app, and set up a clear budget. You essentially want to start from scratch.

5. Investors

Investors are aware of their financial situation and often like to put their money to work, so to speak. They like to keep themselves updated about different markets, have high standards for all of their purchases, and seek investments that they believe will payoff over time.

Investors are generally financially successful because they have a healthy discipline with their money.

How to improve as an investor: keep the emotion out and keep on top of your investments

Don’t trade for the sake of the ‘rush’ as you could end up picking underperforming investments. Keep them in check.

Manage your daily investments and future investments to ensure they’re on the right track. And last but not least, enjoy the present moment too. Set aside a chunk of money to spend on yours truly.

See Also: Who offers micro-investing apps in Australia?

How to identify your financial personality type

Know thyself, know thy finances.

One of the easiest ways to figure out your money personality is by observing your own thoughts and actions with money. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does spending a lot of money cause you stress? Or, are you comfortable spending money on things you value?
  • Do you get a kick out of stashing away your savings?
  • Do you get a thrill out of purchasing anything, no matter how cheap or expensive it is?
  • Do you have little to no emotional attachment to your finances?
  • Are you careful about where you put your money for the long-term? Or, are you looking for short term rewards instead?

“Much of the characteristics of our money personality are unconscious and running on auto-pilot in our brain. To bring these patterns into the light requires us to spend time reflecting and observing ourselves,” Ms Westcott said.

In addition to the above, Ms Westcott suggests reflecting on the following self-conversation starters:

  • What did my parents teach me about money?
  • What did it feel like to earn money for the first time?
  • How was money discussed at home?
  • My relationship with money is best described as...
  • For me to feel financially secure, I would need...
  • Rich people are...
  • Poor people are...
  • If I had more money I would...
  • Money equals....
  • The idea of investing makes me feel....
  • If money was a person it would be…

Savings.com.au’s two cents

So there you have it, all five money personalities laid out on the table.

Have you got a suspicious inkling into which personality you fit into? Hopefully you’re all nodding your heads ‘yes.’

While you may not be able to change your money personality, you can acknowledge it face-to-face and address the financial challenges that it presents. Just because you may fall into the ‘debtor’ category doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom from here.

Managing your money involves self-awareness; knowing where you stand will help you correct your subconscious habits to achieve your financial and personal life goals. And that all starts with understanding your money personality.


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