I’ve always loved reading – perhaps too much – to the extent that I would literally hide under the covers with a torch as a child in order to read past my bedtime. I think my parents must have been the only parents in my class who visited the teacher to ask how they could get their child to read less and sleep more. Recently, I have been blessed to share this love with the children at the school we are currently placed at, where I have been reading them Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – one of the stories I first fell in love with as a child.
So perhaps it comes as no surprise that I’ve read not one, but two books on the topic of money personalities – Unlock the Secrets of Your Money Personality by Greg Smith, which I picked up secondhand (but seems to have been handed out for free by the ANZ bank at some point!) and more recently, Your Money Personality by Kathleen Gurney, which was recommended to me by Ben Kingsley of Empower Wealth. The two books make an interesting pair, as Gurney focuses on the underlying traits, and Smith on the resultant behaviours (so perhaps that would have been a better order to read them in!)
Gurney describes 9 Moneymax Profiles – Entrepreneurs (people who truly thrive on work, for reasons other than money), Hunters (people for whom money is both a source of motivation and frustration), High Rollers (risk takers), Safety Players (those who play it safe), Achievers (those who view money as a score card and have a hard time trusting others with it), Perfectionists (those who agonise over perfecting every detail), Producers (those with a strong belief in work ethic), Optimists (those who always look on the bright side of finances), and Money Masters (the model profile, successful masters of their money, who feel better saving than spending). To find out which profile most closely matches you, Gurney has a test you can pay to take.
Smith has more simple categorisation of three types – Spenders (who find money going out faster than coming in), the Careful (who watch their money closely regardless of income) and the Savvy (who have a solid level of ‘money knowledge’).
Are you money savvy?
The ‘Savvy’ type is described as ‘in some ways the best of both worlds’. But for me, being savvy is more than just balancing spending and saving, but spending money on the things that you most need or most enrich your life, and saving for the things you will need in future, or that will enrich your life even more.
The first half of the book profiles these personalities, then Chapter 5 has a quiz. Here’s a small sample of the questions I have modified – the actual book is much more comprehensive (and quite fun to fill out):
1. When you’re shopping for groceries do you:
a) walk up and down the aisles, grabbing the essentials and a few treats;
b) shop regularly using a list, keeping an eye out for specials;
c) use your discount cards at the places where you get the best prices;
d) pop up to the local convenience store.
2. When it comes to work do you:
a) spend most of your day thinking about the weekend;
b) do the best you can;
c) look for ways to improve your career path through performance and networking;
d) work to live.
3. Did your parents teach you about money (that is, how to save & invest):
b) a bit;
d) can’t remember.
Mostly As&Ds = Spender, Mostly Bs = Careful, Mostly Cs = Savvy.
Of course, it is completely possible for you to have a mixture of different money types in different balances.
And, perhaps most important of all, no matter what your ‘money personality’, it is completely possible for you to grow and change.
‘Most people learn new money behaviors efficiently and effectively by modelling exemplary behaviour – watching and listening to those who have maximised their money personalities and financial traits to reach a position where their money is utilized to their best advantage, both emotionally and financially’ Gurney says.
Both books include profiles of each type, and advice on making a ‘mixed marriage’ work – a topic we’ll turn to in the next post!
So, what is your money personality?
Today’s featured image is the Fijian $50 note.