Sunday, August 09, 2015

What is your money personality ?

Of late, some blogs have written some articles on a Money Personalities.

I thought I wanted to throw my hat into the ring and highlight some interesting findings from psychological research. When social scientists conduct surveys, statistical models are used to cluster answers together so that we will have a better idea of what kind of money personalities exist. The downside is that you will not have very comprehensive personality frameworks like the MBTI or DISC models.

This is based on  a paper called The Love of Money, Satisfaction and the Protestant Work Ethic : Money Profiles Among University Professors in the USA and Spain by Roberto Luna-Arocas and Thomas Tang. Even though this survey was done on academics, I think it defines 4 money archetypes quite well and I expect future studies to result in similar findings.

The four personalities, in the words of the original paper,  are :

a) Achieving Money Worshipper

Most financial bloggers fall into this category and it is less negative than it actually sounds.

Achieving Money Worshippers generally consider money as a a good thing. They are motivated by money and see it as a sign of success. At work, they value equity over equality and believe in merit-based pay. They also budget their money carefully.

Achieving Money Worshippers have generally quite high life satisfaction, feel a strong sense of control over their destinies and have a good work ethic.  They tend to be older and at the peak of their earning potential.

b) Careless Money Admirer

The careless money admirer is an achieving money worshipper who does not have the ability to budget their money. This leads to a dire outcome. Careless money admirer's have a love-hate relationship with money and see money as moderately evil but have no qualms stretching the boundaries of ethical behaviour at work. They also tend to be younger.

Careless Money Admirer's love money but are ultimately controlled by their lack of it. They are very prone to corruption and have the lowest life satisfaction.

c) Apathetic Money Manager

A number of readers may want to aspire to be an Apathetic money manager. Apathetic money see money as a good thing and budget themselves, but generally do not see money as a sign of success and are not motivated by earning money at all. At work Apathetic Money Managers still lean towards merit-base pay.

Apathetic Money Managers have the highest life satisfaction among the four categories and have a deep sense of control over their lives.

d) Money Repellent Individual

I doubt that a Money Repellent Individual would be reading this blog. These individuals consider money evil, are not motivated to earn it and do not see it as a form of success. At work, they are typically freelancers and are attracted to jobs which have a fixed and equal pay for everyone.

In a competitive society like Singapore, MRIs may be despised as underachieving losers. The lack of interest in money results in a life of stress and MRIs have a low satisfaction as a result of this.

The study on these four personality clusters sheds some light on the notion of life satisfaction and personal happiness.

Regardless of what your current personality or view on money is, you may become more satisfied with your lives when you :

  • Make peace with money and start seeing it as a tool, and not as something inherently evil. Christians need to be reminded that the actual phrase from the Bible is "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Timothy 8:10.
  • You need to budget your spending. Being in control gives you more life satisfaction and you need not live in fear of what your credit card statement will say at the end of the month. 


  1. I'm (a) when my income is below my budgeted expenses + minimum projected savings. I'm your money bitch and will work hard for money.

    I'm (c) when I earn above my expenses and also have more than my minimum stains target. That's where I work for something other than money.

    So if u ask me at different season, I'll be having different personality.

  2. Sounds like the more you accumulate the more you tend towards (c).

  3. I usually hover between a & c most of the times. I feel most of us who are reading this will be around there.

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