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How Your Money Personality Can Help You Save Money

Here are several questions to help you determine your money personality, plus four ways your money personality can help you save money.

Your personality affects how you think about money – especially your saving and spending habits. These money tips go beyond being a “saver” or a “spender” – it’s about knowing how your personality and childhood affects your ability to invest money, save money, spend money, and create financial abundance.

Below are are a few questions to get you thinking about your money personality, plus four tips for making your self-awareness work for you.

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This is why happiness and self-improvement gurus encourage us to do what we love. Because we’ll enjoy our life more — and we’ll create more financial abundance. If you’re struggling with debt and money problems, read Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them.

Questions That Reveal Your “Money Personality”

  • When is the first time you remember money being talked about in your family when you were growing up?
  • When growing up, was money a source of tension in your household?
  • How would you like money to be treated in your household today?
  • When you hear the word “money”, what are the first three things that come to mind?
  • What are your “money absolutes” – the things you feel in your heart are vital to your financial peace of mind?
  • How do you define financial success?

Think about your answers to these questions, and discuss them with your partner if you’re married. Your answers can reveal a lot about your relationship with money – and your relationship with your spouse!

The source of these questions is the money book for couples, Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey.

How Your Money Personality Can Help You Save Money

If you aren’t sure whether you have introverted or an extroverted personality traits (which are unrelated to your money personality), read What an Introvert Really Looks Like: A Personality Test.

1. Think about how your parents’ investment style affects your money personality

Did your parents invest in real estate, mutual funds, or a secure low-interest savings account? Your saving and spending habits, investment style, attitude about money, and financial perspective is shaped in part by the way your parents treated money in your childhood. To create financial abundance and wealth, you may need to differentiate your money personality from your parents’ financial attitudes.

2. Determine your motivation for creating financial wealth

What are your short and long-term goals for investing your money? Do you want to retire early, buy a home with a view of the ocean, or pay for your kids’ college education? Before you attempt to increase your earnings, figure out your motivation and goals. Knowing where you want to be in one, three, five, or ten years will help you get there!

3. Recall and relive traumatic experiences that affect your relationship with money

money personalityIn The Investor’s Quotient, Jacob Bernstein writes, “Very often traumas during early childhood or elementary school days will have an unconscious effect during adult life.”

He suggests reliving bad experiences in an unthreatening environment to release pent-up emotions. This can free your emotional and mental energy, and allow you to more effectively focus on your financial investments – which can translate to making more money in mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.

4. Explore how your relationship affects your investment strategy

If you’re married or in a committed relationship, your perspective of money and your partner is part of your money psychology.

“Very often the married male investor with children will be operating under the weight of heavy responsibility, which may paralyze him,” writes Bernstein. “Too frequently we fear negative responses from a spouse.” To create wealth, make sure you and your partner have a common purpose.

The source of these personality, money, and investment tips is The Investor’s Quotient: The Psychology of Successful Investing in Commodities & Stocks.

What is your money personality – and how does it affect your saving and spending habits? I grew up without money and as an adult I tend to hoard my money. I don’t want to end up with no money and no financial security! Do you have a similar or different money personality?


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15 thoughts on “How Your Money Personality Can Help You Save Money”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments — I appreciate them.

    Tracking your spending habits is a great way to see how your money is being spent…and it may even reveal your money personality at the same time!

  2. Hi Laurie.

    This is a great article. I found it while I was searching for material to do a presentation on Personal Finances for my club. I can truly say that my upbringing totally influenced the way I manage my finances and how I have to analyze every aspect of my life in a monetary way. I live in Honduras and consider myself middle class. When I was young my family always struggled with debt. Now, my brothers and I work so we took a load off my parents but still the money situation hasn´t changed much.(Damn inflation!!)
    Out of the three children, I´m the most money conscious and the youngest. My older brother certainly has no financial literary and has so much trouble controlling his spending habits. I usually end up helping him and my other brother.
    My ultimate goal is to have my own business, this way I can be in control of my money and my time.

    keep up the good work!


  3. Hi Laurie,

    Thanks for this interesting article. What really gets me is how a brother and sister can grow up in the exact same household with the exact same parents, and have totally different spending habits and money personalities! My sister spends, spends, spends….and I have a hard time buying a Starbucks latte.

    I’ll send this article to her, she’ll get a kick out of it.


  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Jamie, thanks for your insights about money — it’s very wise advise, and very poetic as well.

    Mjosla, that’s so great to hear how financial bankruptcy changed your life! Wow….who would’ve thought that something so potentially devastating could be so rewarding. I bet it’s forever changed how you handle money and your personal finances — for the better. That’s great!


  5. Thanks for bringing up the link with childhood. I lately went bankrupt, it was tough and scary but it unexpectedly released me from the bad relationship I had with money and bad management of my finances. It forced me to link it with my parents having to struggle to money or having rows which were always money-related. I found security with a husband who took over completely all money-related matters but it gave him control of my life and I think it stopped me from becoming an adult. Once I divorced from my husband I made management mistakes, went into debts that led to bankruptcy but I pulled through on my own, it made me grow and made me overcome something which had been weighing on me for so many years. It is very rewarding.

  6. If you don’t count your money someone else will.
    If you don’t pay attention to your spending, it will slip through your hands.
    If you loan to a friend, you become your friend’s business partner.
    Then when you are old, your pocket is empty.


  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for being here, Chris, and taking the time to comment! I hope this article helped you think about your personality and saving and spending habits…because the more insight you have, the fewer problems you’ll have with money (probably 🙂 ).


  8. Interesting article. Laurie, I’ve just discovered your articles by accident and find your thoughts very interesting. I’ve been terrible with money throughout my life, and often regret past decisions when dealing with and thinking of financial situations. I’m beginning to realize the great impact on my life-financially and otherwise-the role that family upbringing has played.
    Thanks for your thoughts and advise.

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks for your comment! Your blog sounds great; I look forward to reading more of your views on money and psychology…

  10. Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

    Thank you for this great article. I specialize in money and wealth psychology and love hearing people’s reaction to discussion around money and its purpose in their lives. In my experience – both personally and professionally, I belive that our upbringing has a lot to do with how we think and behave around money and when we examine it we can then make conscious choices about finances in our lives. My blog is chicksmakecents (soon to be kbk wealth connection). Lets keep this dialogue going!

  11. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Great point that money is supposed to be a tool to help us — and yet it can be damaging and controlling. I think many things are that way, though: food, shopping, love. Almost any activity can change from healthy and enjoyable to unhealthy and controlling.

    Take gambling, for instance: my husband and I enjoy playing the card game “21” with our parents, and we gamble five, ten, and twenty-five cents every hand. This is a simple, fun, happy pastime — but gambling can grow into a destructive, unhealthy addiction!

    It’s just wierd, how many things can take over our lives in unhealthy ways if we let them.

    Anyway, thanks for being here, Susan!


  12. Ah, money.
    Such an interesting topic.
    Seems that so many of us have turned another tool that was designed to help us, into a something that is confusing, controlling and disempowering.

    Thank you for your thoughtful article.
    It’s always good to take a quick review of my beliefs about money and discover where those beliefs came from.


  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comment, Sally. I think our money personalities come from a variety of influences, including genetics and how our brain is wired! I know my money psychology came from my upbringing — but I’m also half Israeli (and there’s that reputation that Jewish people have, for being good with money). So, maybe our money habits come from our culture and ancestors, too.

  14. Some people who grow up without money turn become spenders, and don’t save any money at all. And some people who grew up with money are savers. I think your money psychology doesn’t just come from your parents.