Rent, bills, birthdays, hen ‘dos, after-work drinks, tapping in the tube - the amount we have to pay on a monthly, weekly and sometimes even daily, basis can sometimes feel overwhelming and lead to financial anxiety.
How you deal with your finances is largely down to your personality and psychological makeup; some of us will budget meticulously, planning out every last financial detail, others are frivolous spenders who love the thrill of a special delivery, while generous gifters spend more money on others than they do themselves.
With the cost-of-living crisis dominating headlines, energy and food prices rising and all of us tightening our belts ahead of summer, money is most certainly on our minds. Recent figures from the Office For National Statistics found that around 24 million people in Great Britain were reducing energy use in their homes between March and June 2022, and around 16 million cut back on food and essentials - as a nation, we’re hyper-aware of how we’re spending our cash.
“Many are having to make large cutbacks and reduce their outgoings; even paying for essentials can cause anxiety,” financial advisor Rebecca Roberton told us. “Especially if they are seeing a reduction in income. We’re rethinking what we need to prioritise when it comes to money.”
Knowing your own money personality can help you be more mindful about spending, whether that means wasting less on needless purchases, getting more organised with budgets and planning, or learning to relax about budgets enough that it curbs financial anxiety. Being mindful of how you approach your finances will help you make better decisions for the future.
“I have always fundamentally noticed that a person’s money is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves,” explains performance coach Polly Bateman. “Someone with tidy finances generally has a good sense of self-worth and someone who doesn’t often has feelings of unworthiness and therefore huge fear is attached to money. The good news is that even if you identify with one of the money personalities that’s not working so well for you, you can change it and I often see my clients lighten up when they see the connection because they begin to see their money differently.”
We asked financial experts Rebecca Roberton, host of How To Accelerate Your Wealth, and Polly Bateman, performance coach and resident advisor at financial app Maslife, as well as psychologist Barbara Santini, about the most common money personality types, and how being mindful of your approach to your finances can empower you to have a healthier relationship with money.
7 common money personality types
1. The compulsive moneymaker
Compulsive moneymakers prioritise making money above all else, often to their detriment. While drive and ambition are positive traits, if the work/life balance is off this can lead to personal problems. “Moneymakers will often focus on making money at the expense of everything else - then sadly use it to buy in what they think they want,” Bateman explains. “I have seen many wealthy clients who flash their cash about to make themselves feel better but their homelife and relationships are a mess.
“They bury their heads in the sand and go out partying hard to impress people with their financial power - like ordering tables in clubs, fancy dinners, cars and clothes. This is exactly the same issue a big spender has - they look externally to validate themselves.”
Be mindful of: The compulsive moneymaker associates money with financial freedom, security and happiness, but this can come at a price when it comes to overall wellbeing. “For a compulsive moneymaker, almost all their effort goes into making money, but they may not realise how dangerous it can be when looking to achieve financial freedom,” psychologist Barbara Santini explains.
”I always tell my clients to learn that life has more meaningful things than money.” It’s important to find a balance between work and play - consulting our wellness tips or investing in a wellness planner will help you prioritise rest and downtime.
2. The sensible saver
The sensible saver likes to play it safe. “They tend to save their money in their normal bank accounts very well, but won’t take the next step to invest money, for example in the stock market. They won’t cover commit themselves and want to create security around them.
“A big saver would tend to hoard money, prefer low risk and will want to take the safest option, always.” These people also tend to be meticulous planners, with very clear boundaries.
Be mindful of: Someone that’s always saving is unlikely to take many risks, like investing. While saving is undoubtedly a good thing, it’s worth attributing a small amount of those savings to investments that could multiply your money.
“Always being in the place of 'save, save, save' can sometimes create tax issues - and there’s also the challenge of keeping that money secure. Saving is a great place to be, but have a plan to make the most out of your money,” Roberton advises.
Santini also argues that saving to the extreme can take the joy out of earning money. “Big savers may keep money, even when there is no goal to it. I usually advise people to spend in moderation because there’s no point in working hard and not finding happiness in your earnings, especially those who skip recreational activities or hobbies in the name of saving.
3. The giver
People pleasers, this one’s for you! A giver is a generous person who is always paying for drinks, picking up the dinner bill and bestowing lavish gifts on friends - but it’s important to be wary of the motivation behind this.
“Givers are generous at heart, but could be using gift giving to replace genuine affection,” Roberton explains. “This type of money personality is also someone who often puts other people’s needs above their own.”
Be mindful of: While it’s a wonderful thing to spoil the ones you love, ask yourself, ‘am I doing this to make myself feel better? “Financial indulgence cannot replace love and affection, Roberton continues. “You must remember that your financial needs are equally important.”
4. The flashy spender
Another financial type who’s preoccupied with what other people think and feel, the flashy spender wants to appear affluent to others. “A flashy spender tends to like status objects like gadgets, clothes, shoes and fast cars. They will buy everyone a drink because they care what people think of them. But they can get into debt easier due to these traits,” Roberton tells us.
“Spenders are unlikely to check their bank statements; they buy stuff they don’t really need and obsess about having something they think is cool. This is all a reflection of needed outside validation and a fear of looking too closely at themselves in case they see something they don’t like or can’t change,” explains Bateman.
Be mindful of: Living beyond your means can quickly escalate into debt. “Remember, no matter how many objects or objects you own it cannot bring you deep happiness. Often the joy of buying is short-lived, but the repercussions of debt will endure.
“Keep a close eye on your spending habits and think about what else your money could be spent on, or invested in, to achieve a deeper level of happiness or wealth.”
5. The experience seeker
The experience seeker is unlikely to use their money to buy material things, like clothes, gadgets or the latest designer handbag, but instead prioritises experiences like trips, expensive dinners, or perhaps massage treatments and spa days as a way to unwind. The problem is, these things can be costly on a regular basis, and with often sky-high wedding and hen ‘do costs, the bill for experiences can soon add up to a lot.
“The experience seeker has a bohemian mentality as a free-spirited individual who will use their money to break free from life and day-to-day constraints,” Roberton explains. “They will not really have a plan or be worried about how they spend their money as long as it gives them a feeling of joy and independence.
Be mindful of: The experience seeker tends to live in the moment, without much plan for the future, but this could mean that their future happiness is compromised. “Life is for living and enjoying as much as you can, but there is a reality that needs to be considered: old age,” Roberton continues. “It’s important to address: what does the future look like and can you have the best of both worlds?”
6. The avoidant
Avoidant personality types can often find themselves in difficult situations with their finances due to not staying on top of admin. This is a person who rarely checks their bank account as they may find it anxiety-inducing, and doesn’t have a clear view on when direct debits are leaving the account, or when money might be coming in. In short, their finances are chaotic.
This type of person is often disorganised, but it can also stem from general avoidance and anxiety. Getting a handle on finances will actually cause so much less anxiety in the long term, as there won’t be the shock of a large bill coming out without warning or that embarrassing card-decline moment. Budgeting apps like Emma or Money Manager can really help with allocating money to different pots for more effective budgeting.
7. The financial worrier
The worrier is the opposite of the avoidant; they compulsively check their bank account, agonising over every last detail and like to always feel in control when it comes to their finances. “The worrier is usually overthinking and very aware of what money they have. Stress levels are often high and there will be lots of stories about what could go wrong in their heads,” Bateman explains.
“Classic overthinking like this only creates tension and stress. It comes down to a lack of self-confidence and trust in themselves and this eats away at the ability to live life.” In short, it’s important to get a handle on money worry before it takes over.
Be mindful of: Becoming obsessed with your finances is a fast track to anxiety and compulsive checking only adds fuel to the fire. Instead, try setting aside a designated weekly time to check through your bank account and handle any admin.
“Using a money management app is a good way to combat worry. Learning about good money management is good practice and will increase their confidence in themselves. I also always advise that where there is a lack of self-confidence or worth that’s leading to money worries, getting a coach, or joining a club or community will always be an investment in yourself as well that can help overcome this.”
But while money apps can help, be wary of defaulting to your banking app too often. With apps so easily accessible at our fingertips, it can be tempting to be constantly flicking through. But just like scrolling for hours on Instagram, engaging too much can cause our mental health to dip. Be wary of screen time in general, and try and reduce time spent on banking apps.
5 ways to gain control of your finances
- Download an app that can help with budgeting: “ Starling Bank is a great app-based bank account which allows you to have ‘spaces’ to save and assist with money management,” Roberton advises.
- Look at your outgoings: Work out if there’s anywhere you can trim. “Manage the money you have – reduce your outgoing and give every penny a job,” says Roberton.
- Draw up a money plan: "Without a clear plan, there’s a lot of room for error,” Bateman says.
- Try investing: “Investing is a great way to multiply what you already have,” Roberton advises. Apps like Plum make investing more accessible if you’re new to it.
- Talk it through: “Talk to someone if you are worried - don’t feel alone as everyone feels the same on some level,” Bateman suggests.
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Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.
She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.
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