Understanding Your Money Type

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When Owen and I interviewed Melissa Browne, financial expert and author of Unf*ck Your FinancesMore Money For Shoes and more recently Budgets Don’t Work (But This Does), she spoke about the importance of diving deeper into your money personality in order to improve your overall financial health.

One way she proposed doing this in her book Budgets Don’t Work (But This Does), was by working out your Money Type (she’s even got a quiz in her book).

Although most people have aspects of each money type (worker, creator, discerner and relator), they typically gravitate towards one or two in particular. By understanding your own money type, you’re better able to relate to your own strengths, weaknesses and money stress points.

You can listen to the latest episode of The Australian Finance Podcast below.

If you’ve listened to the podcast and are keen to learn more, I’ve provided a summary of the four money types below.

The Four Money Types

The Worker

If you are straightforward, practical and results-oriented, you may identify as the Worker money type. Think, the tortoise from the story ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’, you are persistent and believe wealth can be built through hard work.

You are attracted to safety mechanisms, for example investing in properties. You’re a realist who accepts that you can’t have everything and are willing to compromise to get the desired outcome.

As a worker, you base your self-worth on what you do, work takes precedence over finances. Your weakness is your single-minded attitude towards work. You usually tend to overwork yourself and don’t take risks.

Some real-life examples include; Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg. Worker money types can become ‘wage slaves’, even if they’re self-employed. This problem arises due to the fact that they prioritise wages or their ability to earn income and don’t necessarily invest because they lack the confidence or the time.

People with this money type usually make money by personal exertion, savings and property investments.

The Creator 

If you are an entrepreneur or an idealist, you may identify as the Creator money type. Financially, you are optimistic and willing to take risks and try new things. You believe in the mantra “If I can dream it, I can do it” and are all about visualising, improving, and manifesting. You trust and follow your gut, which can sometimes be influenced by emotions.

You are a financial sprinter.

Think, the hare from the story ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. You see investing in yourself as a financial investment. You’re most likely to invest in a hot stock, a tech start-up or invest in a property that is likely to take off. This stems from the fact that you’re motivated by immediate results.

Some creators have an unhealthy obsession with money and may fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes, they tend to rush into decisions and sometimes base decisions purely on emotions. Some real-life examples include Elon Musk and Richard Branson. They are problem solvers, risk-takers and come up with some brilliant ideas to invest and do business.

People with this money type usually make money through entrepreneurship, originality, manifesting and dreaming up new ways of doing business.

The Discerner

If you are logical and favour reasoning and intelligence, you might identify with the Discerner money type. Financially, you favour carefully reasoned decision-making.

You’re all about insights, proof and relying on your intelligence to make decisions. You rely on insights, evidence and thinking it through. You prefer to work smart rather than hard. You use your time and intellect to find the sharpest and smartest solutions.

Out of all the money types, you are more likely to focus on the bigger picture; while you do appreciate research and combing through data, you don’t get bogged down by it. You’re the money type most likely to invest in ideas and education.

A weakness of the Discerner is their judgement, towards themselves and towards others, and their unwillingness to follow the herd. You may also have a tendency to overthink and rely too heavily on past results, and you might get caught up chasing too many ideas and not see their downsides.

The Relator

If you place strong emphasis or value on relationships or nurturing, you may identify with the Relator. Financially, you’re inclined to learn through experience rather than relying on data or experts. You’re driven to care for others, which can sometimes lead you to make decisions that aren’t necessarily right for you.

When it comes to finances and investing, you’re more likely to rely on your connections, relationships or your own experience. You prefer stable investments which you are building for the long-term benefit of your family or group. You are motivated by the opportunity to provide, give back, rescue or build for others, rather than yourself.

You are typically emotional and can be overly cautious. You invest in assets that you’re connected to or ones that feel right, i.e. you tend to go with your gut more than your head.

Despite your aversion to debt, you may not be handling credit well and could be overspending on credit cards or ‘buy now pay later’ platforms, which enable you to enjoy today with your loved ones. You can be too trusting and easy to take advantage of. You may spend all you have on others and have nothing left for yourself. This generosity can be your financial undergoing.

Your strengths are your connections, networks and your ability to collaborate. Examples of well-known Relators include Oprah Winfrey and Jessica Alba.

Now I know most people will fall into a combination of these money types, but it’s really helpful to consider your own emotional relationship with money and how to maximise your strengths and minimize the influence of your weaknesses.

If you haven’t tuned in already, catch our recent interview with Melissa Browne here.

Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell is the founder of How To Money (HTM), a personal finance platform for young Australians. Kate created HTM from a passion to help young Australians start talking about money, and share the resources she finds along her financial education journey. This led Kate to start her own journey to financial independence a few years back and she now works in the Australian financial services industry.

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