How Does Your Personality Type Influence Your Money Management?

You might be surprised to see just how much your personality type can influence your finances.

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Updated May 13, 2024
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We’ve all taken personality quizzes, ready to pick apart our results but secretly hoping to learn a higher truth about ourselves. Sometimes, those quizzes tell us a lot about who we are, or at the very least, help us articulate what we already knew. One such personality assessment is the Enneagram.

According to The Enneagram Institute, there are nine distinct personality types. We’re all a combination of two of these types: one our dominant personality, one our secondary.

Interestingly, these types can bring clarity to our money management patterns, from how we tolerate risk to how we spend or save. Keep reading to see what your main Enneagram type says about your finance habits.

Type One: The Reformer

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Fastidious and detail-oriented, Reformers, or Type Ones, are the perfectionists of the bunch. They tend to maintain tight control over their money and don’t always leave much wiggle room for fun purchases. Ones can also be hard on themselves when they don’t live up to their own high standards.

If that sounds like you, try to be a little more financially forgiving. Break loftier money goals down into realistic and achievable milestones. Make a point, too, of budgeting for life’s small luxuries so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor without any guilt.

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Type Two: The Helper

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Helpers, or Type Twos, thrive on making other people happy. They’re sincere in their efforts to take care of those around them, although they can dip into people-pleasing if they’re not careful. Generous to their own detriment, Twos tend to spend more money than they should in the spirit of being charitable.

If you’re a Type Two, reorganize your budget so that your responsibilities are prioritized. Then, include a small amount — a “friendly fund,” if you will — that you can draw from when you’re in the giving mood. Once that fund is tapped out, hold off on the altruism until it’s replenished.

Type Three: The Achiever

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Achievers are all about getting things done. These Enneagram Type Threes don’t mess around when it comes to accomplishing their goals. Counterintuitive though it may seem, Threes have a high likelihood of being in debt. They can be so focused on appearing productive and successful that they either spend lavishly or never focus on how to save money.

To combat this, Type Threes should work on adapting their financial mindset. Try to view today’s frugality as a stepping stone to tomorrow’s prosperity, and remember that regularly taking inventory of your finances is productive, even though it’s not your actual job.

Also see: 6 brilliant ways to build wealth after 40.

Type Four: The Individualist

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Individualists, or Type Fours, are full of passion. These are your dramatists, your creatives, your free spirits. Sometimes, however, their need to be unique can border on self-indulgence, which spells trouble financially.

As you might’ve guessed, Fours are prone to impulse buying, overspending, and making emotional purchases. If that’s something you struggle with, use your primary bank account for bills and keep a separate, reloadable debit card with funds you can afford to miss. That way, you can satisfy your urge to splurge without falling behind on living expenses or incurring extra debt.

Type Five: The Investigator

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Sharp and inquisitive, Investigators have a hunger for knowledge. These Type Fives are deep thinkers — sometimes to the point of analysis paralysis.

This can result in Fives being a bit too frugal and waiting longer than necessary to make financial decisions. Perhaps they’ve spent hours researching how to invest wisely, but still won’t buy their first stock.

If you’re feeling seen right now, remind yourself that all the education in the world is no substitute for execution. You never know what ROI is waiting for you on the other side of taking action.

Type Six: The Loyalist

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As the name suggests, Loyalists value dependability. They’ll show up for their friends even when they’re running on empty themselves. Type Sixes can struggle to set boundaries, both personally and financially. They can also fall into the trap of seeking external validation before they make any money moves.

For Sixes, try to remember that your primary financial responsibility is to yourself. You’re not a bad friend for letting people learn from their own money mistakes, nor are you obligated to take advice that doesn’t work for you. Help out if it makes sense to do so, trust your gut, and above all, make yourself a priority.

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Type Seven: The Enthusiast

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Enthusiasts, or Type Sevens, are characterized by their bubbly, vivacious personalities. Ever the optimists, Sevens prioritize happiness over restraint. It’s hard for them to anticipate negative consequences, which can lead to buying things they don’t need or spending money they don’t have.

If you’re a Seven, focus on responsible financial risk taking. In practice, this looks like taking inventory of your finances and paying what you have to so you can spend what you want to. When you prioritize your non-negotiable expenses and your savings, you can afford to be a little impulsive every now and then.

Type Eight: The Challenger

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One thing Challengers have in ample supply is self-confidence. Direct and to the point, Type Eights tend to be headstrong, with an innate resistance to feeling subordinate. Financially, their need to be in control can work against them. Eights may see budgets as too restrictive, for example, and overspend as an act of subconscious rebellion.

If you’re an Eight, consider stepping outside of traditional budgeting techniques. You might try a zero-based budget — where you spend or save every single dollar you earn — to strike the perfect balance between freedom and fiscal responsibility.

Type Nine: The Peacemaker

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Known for their agreeableness, Peacemakers prioritize good vibes over confrontation. While they value harmonious relationships, Nines’ pacificity can actually lean more toward toxic positivity.

Their aversion to conflict can translate to Nines having difficulty moving through tough financial situations. When it comes to money management, inaction and avoidance can lead to disastrous consequences, so for this Enneagram type, proactivity is key.

If you’re a Type Nine, remember that you don’t have to solve all of your financial woes at once. Take the first step, then the second. Before you know it, you’ll be at the finish line.

Bottom line

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Personality assessments can be a great tool for helping us define who we are and who we’re not. That heightened self-awareness can, in turn, make it easier to manage our money. The more we learn about ourselves, the better we can understand why we make the financial decisions we do.

To try this out for yourself, jot down your strongest personality traits, positive and negative. Then, write down your best and worst money habits. Notice any correlations? Now, combine that heightened self-awareness with a few suggestions from our list. Over a couple of weeks, tweak what works and what doesn’t until you arrive at a personal finance strategy curated just for you and your personality.

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Author Details

Sarah Sheehan

Sarah Sheehan is a writer, educator, and analyst who focuses on the impact of health, gender, and geography on financial equity. Her ultimate goal? To live beyond the confines of chasing the next dollar — and to teach everyone else how to do the same.