There are so many tests that claim to tell us a little bit more about our personality and how we deal with issues in the world: horoscopes, Myers Briggs Personality Tests, Love Languages. The list goes on. So why would we not have one related to our relationship with money?
I recently posted on Instagram asking people to think about the money personality they identify with. This stemmed from a conversation I had with my flatmate about dealing with money in relationships. Talking about money with your significant other is often easier said than done. Especially if you just don’t understand their relationship with money.
You think money should be used to make your lives easier but your partner wants to put all his money in the next big idea because he believes it will make you rich…
Conflict over money in relationships not only causes tension, but in many cases, causes the relationship to break down. In order to have open, honest and transparent conversations with your partner, the first step is to understand how you both view money. Are you an avoider? Are they spenders? Are you both risk-takers?
By understanding your relationship with money, you can start to appreciate how you and your partner make financial decisions and use that to improve your money management in the future.
To get you started, here are the five popular money personalities:
Money is for saving. Also known as The Hoarder. As their name suggests, they love to save. Budgeting is life. Saving is king. No expenditure goes untracked. They are not even comfortable with the idea of losing money. Large purchases seem frivolous and unnecessary and your unwilling to entertain any risky investment ideas. Cash is your favourite way to keep your money safe. However, savers can be overly focused on saving and can be seen to be stingy and cheap. An unwillingness to spend can be difficult for other personalities to deal with.
What’s the point in making money if you’re not enjoying it? The spenders are all about using their money to live their best life. Care-free and generous. They enjoy spending money for pleasure and are happy to buy things for other too. You only live once – that’s the motto. However, this can be impractical, especially as they find it difficult to prioritise saving. Other personalities will find it difficult to understand why spenders are so comfortable splashing the cash, even when it’s not necessary.
Where’s the fun without a little bit of risk? Risk-takers are all about betting big, for an even bigger pay off. They love the thrill and are not afraid of losing money in the process. They are not caught up on their losses, they focus on potential gains. They understand that without risk, there is no reward so are more than comfortable taking risks with their money in order to potentially make more money. However, this can be seen by the other personalities as reckless. Their willingness to risk their money can make others uncomfortable.
Always prepare for the worst. Security Seekers are all about ‘playing it safe’. They are most comfortable when they know all their financial matters are settled. It’s always better to be safe than sorry so they always think about stocking up for emergencies, having insurance and thinking about their pension. In contrast to a saver, a security seeker would be willing to invest to increase their income. Unlike the risk taker, they will never invest unless they were completely comfortable with the investment and risks involved. However, security seekers can be seen as cynical and overly analytical by other personalities because of their willingness to say no and risk losing out on opportunities.
If you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist. The avoider, avoids! They are content living their life not thinking about money. They don’t want to think about saving, budgeting, investments – why stress? Money is just something that comes in and out and they hate being confronted with money decisions. However, this can make them reactionary when making decisions related to money as they refuse to think / plan ahead. It can also mean they lack the skills to deal with money because they never really thought about it. Other personalities may find it difficult to engage avoiders because they don’t want to deal with money-related issues. Avoidance doesn’t make financial obligations go away.
Which one do you identify with the most? Note that there is no ‘perfect’ personality. By understanding which one fits you best, you can work on improving your own relationship with money and understanding how others view you. Let us know in the comments, on twitter or on the ‘gram which one you are.