There are 5 different financial personalities. Which one are you?

What does your money personality say about how you save (and spend) money?

Photo by Julia Sudnitskaya on Shutterstock
  • There are 5 major financial personality types: big spenders, savers, shoppers, debtors, and investors.
  • Your money personality explains why you spend (and save) money the way you do in your day-to-day life.
  • Knowing your money personality can help you understand how to make your money work for you, how to save more, and overall how to make smarter financial choices.

    The 5 Money Personalities

    concept of different money personalities

    Which money personality are you?

    Image by Sira Anamwong on Shutterstock

    As human beings, we have a lot of things in common. You don't have to look further than your family or friend group to know that how we spend (or save) money is not one of them. According to Investopedia, there are generally 5 money personality types, each with its own outlook on finances and way of doing things. Because of these differences, there is no real one-size-fits-all approach for making better financial decisions. Luckily the experts have shared tips for each of the unique group. But first, here are the classifications:

    The Big Spender

    Big Spenders like to make a statement with their purchases. They are not necessarily materialistic, but they do place a high value in their possessions, often wanting the latest and greatest releases - the latest smartphone, brand-name clothing, high-end vehicles.

    Big Spenders are comfortable spending money and would take a big risk on investment if there was a chance it could make them more money. In fact, the act of spending the money that they work hard to earn is one of the things that they enjoy doing the most, even if it adds to their debt.

    The Saver

    Savers are the exact opposite of Big Spenders. Spending money makes them feel uncomfortable, they always shop for bargains, and they try to save money wherever they can. Savers may very rarely use credit cards to make purchases (or they may not even have a credit card).

    Savers are often viewed as "cheap", but this isn't always the case. Savers are generally conservative with the things they purchase and don't tend to take big risks on investments just in case they don't pan out.

    The Shopper

    Shoppers often develop emotional ties to spending and receiving money. Their mood often dips and increases with their bank account. Shoppers find it particularly difficult to resist spending their money, even if they are buying items they don't need.

    Shoppers aren't totally clueless about their debt, they may even be aware of the debt they are incurring but can't seem to separate their emotions from their spending habits.

    The Debtor

    Debtors don't seem to have emotional ties to their finances. They don't spend to feel better or feel low when they see a low bank balance, they simply don't spend much time thinking about their financial situation.

    Debtors may be aware they have debt but may not keep track of what/who they owe. Debtors usually spend more than they earn on a consistent basis, meaning they are constantly at a level of debt even when they feel they are "cutting back."

    The Investor

    Investors are extremely future-orientated and are consciously aware of their finances, often taking advantage of investment opportunities after carefully weighing their options. Investors typically pay their bills on time, and their spending actions are driven by choices they have given quite a bit of thought to.

    Any investment the Investor takes is with the end-goal in mind of earning more money, having better credit, or some other future goal.

    How to save more money, according to your financial personality

    money personalities concept of saving money white notepad with piggy bank and coffee cup

    With every money personality comes a different way you can save!

    Photo by Myimagine on Shutterstock

    Big Spenders: Some of the best things in life are (close to) free.

    If you enjoy spending money and have an income that can support your spending habits, you may be missing out on some of the finer things in life by constantly chasing the finer things in life.

    Consider some fun alternatives to the high-end purchases or splurges you typically make every month. Find a balance between a spending a lot on things you may not need and spending a little on something that will bring real quality and happiness into your life.

    An example of this would be choosing to spend $2000 on a jacuzzi for your back yard instead of spending $300 per month visiting a spa where you use their jacuzzi. It doesn't necessarily have to be about saving money, but it can be about spending less where you can. You may be surprised just how much savings this will lead to in the future.

    Savers: Consider quality of life compared to your savings accounts.

    Savers are unlikely to fall into financial ruin because they are usually prepared for the unexpected. However, savers tend to put off purchasing things that can make their lives easier (or, in the long run, save them money) because of the price tag.

    An example of this could be splurging on a new dishwasher, replacing the old one (which you had to run multiple times to get the dishes clean) with a new one that can save you money on your electric and water bills.

    Shoppers: Attach emotion to saving money instead of spending it.

    People who consider themselves as shoppers should consider trying to find a balance between the things they enjoy doing and things that will serve their best interests in the future.

    Your emotions drive your spending habits, but they can also motivate you to save money.

    Consider what emotional value you're able to place on saving money for the future. Saving money for your children's education, your dream home, a nice vacation with your spouse – use the positive emotions that come from these future goals to channel your energy into saving money instead of spending money.

    Debtors: Make saving your money as simple as possible.

    The tricky thing about having this financial personality is that, if you have a good income and steady work, you may be "fine" for a long time. Your debt may not catch up with you for years, but when it does, it can create a financial crisis. Not to mention any big unexpected expense can put you in financial crisis mode because you haven't prepared for it.

    Debtors should consider simple actions that allow you to save money with very little effort, such as setting up automatic deposits from your spending account to your savings account on the day you get paid.

    Investors: Balance the "right now" with the future.

    Taking risks on big investments that will pay off in the future can be a rush. It's also a good way to make your money work for you instead of simply working for your money, as most others do. Investor personalities should consider how to best balance savings that you can use to make nice purchases today, with investments that lock you in for a certain number of years.

    A still from the film "We Became Fragments" by Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller, part of the Global Oneness Project library.

    Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
    Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
    • Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
    • Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
    • Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
    Keep reading Show less

    Four philosophers who realized they were completely wrong about things

    Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?

    Sartre and Wittgenstein realize they were mistaken. (Getty Images)
    Culture & Religion

    Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways. 

    Keep reading Show less

    The history of using the Insurrection Act against Americans

    Numerous U.S. Presidents invoked the Insurrection Act to to quell race and labor riots.

    The army during riots in Washington, DC, after the assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., April 1968.

    Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • U.S. Presidents have invoked the Insurrection Act on numerous occasions.
    • The controversial law gives the President some power to bring in troops to police the American people.
    • The Act has been used mainly to restore order following race and labor riots.
    Keep reading Show less

    Experts are already predicting an 'active' 2020 hurricane season

    It looks like a busy hurricane season ahead. Probably.

    Image source: Shashank Sahay/unsplash
    Surprising Science
    • Before the hurricane season even started in 2020, Arthur and Bertha had already blown through, and Cristobal may be brewing right now.
    • Weather forecasters see signs of a rough season ahead, with just a couple of reasons why maybe not.
    • Where's an El Niño when you need one?

    Welcome to Hurricane Season 2020. 2020, of course, scoffs at this calendric event much as it has everything else that's normal — meteorologists have already used up the year's A and B storm names before we even got here. And while early storms don't necessarily mean a bruising season ahead, forecasters expect an active season this year. Maybe storms will blow away the murder hornets and 13-year locusts we had planned.

    NOAA expects a busy season

    According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, there's a 60 percent chance that we're embarking upon a season with more storms than normal. There does, however, remain a 30 percent it'll be normal. Better than usual? Unlikely: Just a 10 percent chance.

    Where a normal hurricane season has an average of 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes and 3 of which are major hurricanes, the Climate Prediction Center reckons we're on track for 13 to 29 storms, 6 to 10 of which will become hurricanes, and 3 to 6 of these will be category 3, 4, or 5, packing winds of 111 mph or higher.

    What has forecasters concerned are two factors in particular.

    This year's El Niño ("Little Boy") looks to be more of a La Niña ("Little Girl"). The two conditions are part of what's called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which describes temperature fluctuations between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific. With an El Niño, waters in the Pacific are unusually warm, whereas a La Niña means unusually cool waters. NOAA says that an El Niño can suppress hurricane formation in the Atlantic, and this year that mitigating effect is unlikely to be present.

    Second, current conditions in the Atlantic and Caribbean suggest a fertile hurricane environment:

    • The ocean there is warmer than usual.
    • There's reduced vertical wind shear.
    • Atlantic tropical trade winds are weak.
    • There have been strong West African monsoons this year.

    Here's NOAA's video laying out their forecast:

    But wait.

    ArsTechnica spoke to hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach, who agrees generally with NOAA, saying, "All in all, signs are certainly pointing towards an active season." Still, he notes a couple of signals that contradict that worrying outlook.

    First off, Klotzbach notes that the surest sign of a rough hurricane season is when its earliest storms form in the deep tropics south of 25°N and east of the Lesser Antilles. "When you get storm formations here prior to June 1, it's typically a harbinger of an extremely active season." Fortunately, this year's hurricanes Arthur and Bertha, as well as the maybe-imminent Cristobal, formed outside this region. So there's that.

    Second, Klotzbach notes that the correlation between early storm activity and a season's number of storms and intensities, is actually slightly negative. So while statistical connections aren't strongly predictive, there's at least some reason to think these early storms may augur an easy season ahead.

    Image source: NOAA

    Batten down the hatches early

    If 2020's taught us anything, it's how to juggle multiple crises at once, and layering an active hurricane season on top of SARS-CoV-2 — not to mention everything else — poses a special challenge. Warns Treasury Secretary Wilbur Ross, "As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season." If, as many medical experts expect, we're forced back into quarantine by additional coronavirus waves, the oceanic waves slamming against our shores will best be met by storm preparations put in place in a less last-minute fashion than usual.

    Ross adds, "Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe."

    Let's hope this, at least, can be counted on in this crazy year.

    Scroll down to load more…