Common Money Beliefs
How do you relate to money? Personality can tell us how we learn best, what our strengths are and how we get along with others. But what about revealing our financial personality? As it turns out, there are four money personas that help explain some of our most common financial behaviors. To find out how you can improve your relationship with money, figure out which money persona you relate to.
1. I define financial success as:
2. My relationship with money can be summed up like this:
3. What gives you the most energy?
4. When it comes to personal finance, I wish I was more:
5. If I suddenly inherited $500,000, I would feel:
6. I believe that most personal finance problems are the result of:
7. More money, more __________________:
8. Which weakness best describes you?
9. Which strength best describes you?
10. “Treat yourself!”
11. Which statement sums up your point of view when it comes to investing?
12. When it comes to money, the most important lesson to be learned is:
How did you do? If you answered:
Mostly A = Avoiding Ostrich
Mostly B = Struttin’ Peacock
Mostly C = Stashing Crow
Mostly D = Wary Owl
(money persona: avoidance)
Avoiding Ostriches often feel guilty about having money, or undeserving of money. They sabotage themselves by minimizing their financial problems instead of facing reality. This persona is most common among young adults.
Most likely to: have piles of unopened bills, be charged with late fees
Least likely to: ask for a raise, discuss finances with others
Needs to work on: money management skills, budgeting basics
(money persona: status)
Struttin’ Peacocks believe that their self-worth comes from their lifestyle and possessions. They will overspend in order to impress others. This leads to struggles with budgeting and debt.
Most likely to: live in debt, make risky investments
Least likely to: be able to afford the lifestyle they project
Needs to work on: setting savings goals, managing debt
(money persona: worship)
Stashing Crows have a scarcity mindset when it comes to money; they believe that they will never have enough to afford the things they want in life. They get a sense of safety from stockpiling money.
Most likely to: be a workaholic, have hoarding tendencies
Least likely to: spend money on themselves or on leisure activities
Needs to work on: seeing money as a source of enjoyment
(money persona: vigilance)
The Wary Owl’s relationship with money is based in fear. A little bit of money vigilance is good, but Wary Owls can easily take it to the extreme. Fear and distrust of investing keeps them from growing their money.
Most likely to: under spend, distrust financial institutions
Least likely to: overspend, invest their money
Needs to work on: trying out new financial products
Recognizing your persona
It’s likely that you’re a combination of several money personas (as opposed to being an extreme version of just one). Identifying your money persona can help you approach financial decisions more positively, and help you spot behaviors that you want to change.
Sources: Mind Over Money by Brad Klontz, PsyD & Ted Klontz, PhD; Lifehacker.com; The New York Times