Do you know your money personality?
Your money personality describes your attitudes and habits related to money. Some view money as a tool for security. Others look at money with a gamblers mind-set and enjoy the thrill of the chase. In her book, The Advisor’s Guide to Money Psychology, Olivia Mellan breaks down money personalities into five types: Amasser, Avoider, Hoarder, Money Monk, and Spender.
You may find that you are a blend of two or three different money personalities. To make things more interesting, the person you marry will likely have a different money personality than you. When he’s a spender and she’s a saver, disagreements can arise. He takes investment risks and she is risk-averse; where he is a dreamer, she is a planner. This is not an uncommon combination. The key is to learn to move toward the middle. This means that each party should learn to “be where they ain’t,” according to Mellan.
A Hoarder may need to go out and buy something that provides immediate gratification, while a Spender should practice saving a small amount weekly. All of us have blind spots. Mellan states, “In my couples therapy work, I’ve discovered that 99% of the time, the two partners are evenly paired in terms of nuttiness and imbalances. In other words, it’s usually a good match–for better and for worse.”
“99% of the time, the two partners are evenly paired in terms of nuttiness and imbalances.” – Olivia Mellan
A Saver may feel very right-minded being practical and resourceful. When a Saver looks at the future, he or she feels a sense of security and control. A Saver believes she will end up ahead with less stress and more financial peace in the long term.
On the flip side, Savers may actually have more stress than other money personality types. The stress of parting with hard-earned dollars can throw Savers for a loop. One analysis shows that Savers can be viewed as cheapskates, and may be prone to undervaluing their time.
In any case, the practice of seeking first to understand applies. There really is no “one size fits all” approach. As difficult as it can be to see the other point of view, it is a gift of generosity to each other to learn to understand where the other lives.
Take the Money Personality Quiz here.
About Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones is the Founder and President of Sparrow Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. Before entering the investment field, Chris was a management consultant for Deloitte Monitor. He graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in Business Management.