I’ve long been familiar with the concept of figuring out whether I’m a spender or a saver. However, it has always seemed to me that few of us fit easily into one of those two categories. As result, I was intrigued by the assertion by Bethany and Scott Palmer (“The Money Couple“) that there are actually five money personalities. On top of that, the couple insists that every person has a primary personality and a secondary personality. I liked this viewpoint as it adds a little more subtlety to the whole “what kind of money person am I” exploration.
What I discovered, upon careful thought, is that my primary money personality is that of “spender.” My secondary money personality is “security seeker.” I enjoy spending money on things that are important me, and I like looking for gifts for others. However, at the same time, security is important to me, and I engage in long-term financial planning. I have an emergency fund, a retirement account, a 529 for my son, and we do not exceed our monthly household income. I like to spend, but I do it within well-defined limits so that I have a measure of financial security.
The Palmers describe the five money personalities in their book First Comes Love, Then Comes Money. These five personalities are:
Understanding your relationship with money is important so that you can examine your own habits. Additionally, it is a good idea to understand your partner’s money personality so that you get an idea of how to work together on finances. Since my husband and I like to spend, it’s up to my secondary personality (security seeker) to make sure that everything else is taken care of as well. My husband (flyer), who almost never thinks about money unless he wants to spend it on something, leaves the planning, tracking, and budgeting to me. Attempts to interest him in these items have proved fruitless, but at least he now calls to find out where we are at before making a big purchase, and if he wants to do something that requires planning, he tells me, and I create a plan.
What is your money personality? How do you make it work with your partner’s?