Which of These 5 Money Personality Types Are You?

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Personality types don't stop at "shy" vs. "outgoing" or "laid-back" vs. "worrier." People's money-management habits tend to fit into five financial personality categories, according to "The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language" by Bethany and Scott Palmer.

According to this book, there are five major personality types. If halves of a couple have opposing personality types, they might argue about money -- but handled the right way, these divergent types can also help them balance each other out and lead to a successful financial life together.

The key lies in knowing which major money personality type you and your mate fall under, and learning how can you live in harmony. Let's take a look.

The 5 Financial Personality Types
  1. Spenders believe money is meant for spending and have no trouble parting with their dollars. Sometimes they spend more money than they should or live above their means because they get caught up in the moment or see something they "have" to have. They usually spend first, think later. On the plus side, though, spenders tend to be generous with their friends and support charitable causes with ease.
  2. Savers love to get a good deal. These fervent bargain-hunters clip coupons, compare prices and hate to pay full price for anything. As easy as it is to get Spenders to part with their money, it's equally hard to get Savers to part with theirs. At their worst, Savers can be viewed as cheapskates who don't tip servers well or skip out on their portion of a shared bill. They can sometimes undervalue their time, as well. At best, however, Savers can be resourceful and creative, and they role-model a lifestyle that's not focused on material possessions.
  3. Risk-Averse personalities place security and planning as their No. 1 concerns. They prefer proven, safe investments and like to plan and research before making any big purchases. They view money as a tool that generates security. Their hesitation to part with money or seek out investment opportunities comes from their high priority on feeling financially stable. At best, Risk-Averse personalities can help a family maintain solid financial footing. At worst, they may forgo opportunities for growth due to risk concerns.
  4. Gamblers think money is all about the thrill of the chase. They'll take big risks if it means a potentially big payoff, and they're driven more by optimism and gut feeling than by details and analysis. At best, Gamblers may dramatically increase their wealth with a winning investment. At worst, however, Gamblers may lose it all.
  5. Flyers are best described as the "doesn't pay attention" personality type. These people simply don't think about money at all. They don't view money as a tool that creates security, status symbols or anything else. They'd be equally happy with a tiny or massive bank balance, and they believe that people who think too hard about money (like Savers and the Risk-Averse) are a bit obsessive.
Most people have a dominant and secondary personality type. If you felt drawn toward two categories, this could be the case for you.

How to Get Along With a Different Personality Type

Let's say that you and your mate have identified your personality types, and they're wildly different. Don't worry; you can leverage this into strength in your relationship, rather than a trigger for fights. Here are some ways to find common ground.
  • Understand. Talk to each other about your personalities and your short- and long-term goals. Don't judge each other; simply listen and try to understand where your partner is coming from.
  • Communicate and compromise. Whenever your financial personalities clash, talk out what underlying concerns a financial decision is raising. If you're Risk-Averse and worried about a huge upcoming expense, perhaps you could build a stronger emergency fund first. If you're trying to put together a joint budget but one of you is a Saver and the other is a Spender, maybe you could compromise that you'll save X dollars a month but also allow for X dollars a month in guilt-free spending money.
  • Work as a team. Your differences can actually complement and keep each other in check, making you stronger in the long run as a couple, but only if you work together. Learn to approach money decisions as a united front, not as a "me vs. you" argument, and you can find that sweet spot where you make the perfect team.
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