What is Your Money Personality?
By Pastor Tom Anderson
Why do we stress out so much about money? Why is it so difficult to have normal conversations about money in our families? Research suggests that approximately 75% of divorces involve intractable financial conflict. But it’s not just spouses who get alienated over money, it’s also adult children, siblings and others who are lost in disagreements about money.
Bethany and Scott Palmer have written a book titled First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Conversations. Before we can make a financial plan, we need to forge a money relationship. A money relationship is in sharing how each of our hearts interact with money. We each have a money personality. Our personalities are different from each other, and this is often the source of stress between us. Each “money personality” has its upside and its downside. In understanding ourselves and our family members we can make allowances for each other’s personality and forge a workable money relationship through conversation.
Palmer asks us: which of these five types of “money personality” do you identify with?
Saver. Savers rarely spend impulsively. They will scour the internet for deals, figure out how to save money on a vacation, and make sure they have the money in hand before making a purchase. They avoid credit card debt like head lice. Savers hate paying interest and accruing debt. They want to pay off every bill, in full, right away.
Spender. Spenders are carefree with their money. They aren’t concerned about how much they spend or on whom they spend money. They aren’t necessarily rich—we know Spenders who can do some serious shopping at the dollar store. Spenders just like spending.
Risk Taker. For the Risk Taker the thrill of jumping into a financial challenge doesn’t come just from a huge payout on an investment. It comes from taking the risk in the first place. Even if they never hit it big, Risk Takers never give up on following the rush they get from trying out a new idea, even if it costs them everything. It’s just how they’re wired.
Security Seeker. Security Seekers like to know the financial future is settled and safe. They are all about low-risk investments, hefty life and property insurance, and secure retirement funds. When it comes to money, the Security Seeker’s motto is “The safer, the better.”
Flyer. The Flyer is perhaps the most unusual Money Personality in that the personality has very little to do with money. Flyers don’t think about money—at all. They’re not anxious about it, they’re not consumed by it. They have absolutely no emotional response to money.
As you reflect on your own “money personality”, share it with your family. Keep in your heart this admonition from Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Talk honestly about the strengths and weaknesses of your personality and how you can best accommodate these in your family. You are on your way to forging a “money relationship”. On this foundation you can make your financial plans.