Everyone handles their finances, and the stresses that go with them, differently. Understanding your financial personality can help you overcome disadvantages.
Money can bring out the worst in people and ruin relationships, but it can also bring out the best in others. Everyone handles their finances, and the stresses that go with them, differently. But knowing this about yourself will help you effectively battle the cons and optimize the pros of your personality.
Judith Orloff, MD, recently wrote in Psychology Today about 5 types of financial personalities, how to determine which one you are, and what it means for you.
So what is your financial personality, and what barriers do you have to overcome as a result?
Do you worry about money every day? Even during comfortable times? Yes, worriers tend to be diligent with their finances and avoid making errors, and they’re typically thrifty. However, Orloff pointed out that worriers increase their stress, and impair their health and sleep.
Physicians don’t need any more stress in their lives once they’re done worrying about work.
These people jump right to the next financial worry after they solve one. Orloff recommends overcoming this financial personality by staying focused in the present, instead of making up worst-case scenarios.
While parts of a worrier’s personality may be beneficial when saving money, this type can sabotage themselves when they panic about finances unduly.
Most people are procrastinators, and it’s especially appealing to procrastinate when it comes to money. These personality types push off the stress of dealing with their financial pressure until reality catches up.
Typically, procrastinators live paycheck to paycheck, but they aren’t stressed because they are in denial as they ignore financial problems, according to Orloff. Procrastinators put off financial decisions, let bills pile up, and have difficulty making money decisions.
Wealthy individuals who are under the misconception that having money means not needing a financial plan can find themselves in just as much trouble as low-income earners.
According to Orloff, procrastinators have to work hard to overcome their denial and train themselves to address financial issues rather than letting them pile up. However, there should still be time to unwind, otherwise you might become a worrier.
Do you get a thrill from spending money or gambling? Do you overspend to escape worry, anger, or loneliness?
“Addictive spenders prefer the thrill of spending to the security of saving money,” Orloff wrote. “They spend on impulse whether they can afford it or not.”
The behaviors of an addictive spender are temporary fixes, at best, and will likely have long-term consequences. These people typically have a bad credit record and have so much debt that it begins to affect their lives.
Overcoming this personality types means getting help. According to Orloff, addictive spending is an emotional and spiritual issue, not a financial one. Consider counseling or 12-step programs, and learn money management skills.
Addictive spenders will likely need to address the cause of the emotional troubles leading to their compulsive spending.
Planning for the future and saving money are both good ideas, but they can be taken too far. People who go overboard find it difficult to enjoy their money by taking vacations or spending money on themselves or others.
Are you forgoing riskier investments in favor of the most conservative? This is okay in moderation, but too little risk can actually hurt you in the long run as inflation outpaces your savings.
There are plenty of good characteristics of savers, such as spending less than they earn. However, remember to spend money on the things you can afford.
“When savers turn into misers or hoarders, it may suggest obsessive compulsive disorder which makes them clutch onto money and things to ward off anxiety, the opposite of surrender,” Orloff wrote.
She recommended spreading your abundance by leaving small amounts of money for people to find and experience the happiness of this giving.
“At their best, intuitive spenders are finely tuned instruments, balancing logic with gut instincts in money management, hiring, and investments,” according to Orloff.
When these people go on impulse and disregard logic, they start to run into trouble. This type of personality can backfire if someone cannot distinguish intuition from wishful thinking or fear. Your finances will suffer.
Intuitive spenders may look beyond logic for answers and check in with their gut about finances. They make reasonably risky financial decisions because of their intuition.
“Smart intuitive spenders also have good common sense,” Orloff concludes. “Intuitive spenders can be brilliant money managers if they’re clear about what messages they’re surrendering to.”
See Orloff's quizzes and find out which financial personality type you are.