Understanding Your Money Personality is the Key to Being in Control of Your Finances

Your money personality is a combination of your money beliefs and your values. The way in which you think and act with your money are behaviours that you have developed in response to key events or circumstances that happened during your upbringing. Your personality has been influenced by the things you have learned about money from other people, mainly your family. Your personal experiences with money in the past and the stage of life that you are at are also part of these influences.

Understanding these behaviours is the key to controlling your finances and being comfortable with money. There are many labels given to money personality types such as spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors and investors. Others have called the personalities hoarders, achievers, entrepreneurs, thrill seekers. Author, Brent Kessel, identifies eight personality types with a more spiritual connection.

Members of one family can have very different money personalities from one another. Take the four member family whose parents never had a lot of money but saw that the family were all provided for and were loved. There was nothing special or grand but they were well fed and never wanted for clothing, even if it wasn’t top draw. There may have been an influence of the Depression in the way they brought the children up making sure that if money was not available the item had to be saved for. Debt was out.

This family sounds the ideal for teaching money skills but son number one became someone who was influenced by the number of gadgets a person has, the smart car, the latest LCD TV and so on. He became convinced that people with these things had money so became the opposite of his parents and borrowed to have the latest must be seen gadget. He was also generous to a fault.

Number two son was more like his parents but the third son became somewhat miserly. The daughter was the baby of the family and had been doted on by her brothers. She became a bit snobbish not wanting to live in a house in the ‘wrong’ area, or one that didn’t have certain features (to be blunt – like the one she was brought up in).

Why are they all so different? What were their influences that made them such different money personalities? Each child will have had their own experiences and outside influences that made them the type of people they were as adults. Subtle changes in family finances over time may also have been an influence.

We are all a mix of different personalities but there is likely to be a dominant trait that makes you treat money the way you do. Taking the step of understanding your own money personality will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and could help explain how you manage your money.