money in a pile

How you manage your money is greatly influenced by your personality. Personal traits regarding money are observable and can be classified into 5 types of spenders. In order to reach your financial goals, it is important to gain insight into what personality traits are driving your behaviors towards money. 

What kind of money personality are you? What thoughts and emotions shape your approach to spending, saving, and investing?  We each have our own beliefs and emotions about money, and they are often shaped by our individual life experiences They can be learned from our family or influenced by our current situations. Learning what your money personality is can help you correct your subconscious habits and stabilize your financial status for success. 

So, what are the five money personality types? The major categories of financial habits are savers, investors, big spenders, debtors, and shoppers. Experts have identified these five distinct financial “types,” however the majority of have aspects of more than one.  

It may be useful to understand the various money personalities when finding the right approach to investing, spending, saving, and the overall management of your finances. 

The Saver 

Out of the 5 types of spenders, Savers believe that saving money is the only way to feel safe in life. They are very frugal and rarely spend money impulsively. They are very focused on their financial goals, and feel happiest when they know there is a substantial amount of money available to them in the bank. 

Savers generally feel a sense of accomplishment when they can stash their money away. They’re organized, shop for bargains, and pay close attention to their purchases. They put away money constantly and are afraid to spend. 

The downside of being a saver is that in the extreme they can become hoarders. Savers are so afraid of losing money that they go their entire lives without spending any of what they worked so hard to save. Savers experience high anxiety when their bank balance drops below a certain amount. It’s good to be frugal but not at the expense of being afraid to live.    

If you identify as a saver, seek a comfortable balance and practicing moderation. You can heal your anxious relationship with money by setting savings goals and rewarding yourself occasionally. It’s all about moderation. Learn to find a balance between saving money and enjoying life.  

hand putting coin into piggy bank. 5 types of spenders

The Investor 

Investors are consciously aware of money. They understand their financial situations and try to put their money to work. Investor personality types look to the future and think ahead. They tend to be good at both long and short-term planning. Since they are future-orientated they seek out information on investment opportunities and weigh their options carefully. 

Investor types also have strong impulse control, they pay their bills on time and think through their purchases. The Investor is focused on the end game of earning more money. For most Investor types the goal is to eventually having enough passive investments to provide a sufficient income to cover all of their bills.  

Investors tend to have the healthiest relationship to money and finances. The one area they need to watch for is that their focus on money doesn’t overshadow their personal relationships and use money as a power leverage over others. 

The Big Spender 

The Big Spender are comfortable with risk. They aren’t afraid to spend money or to take chances, unlike the other 5 types of spenders. Many entrepreneurs fall into this personality type. They are willing to take risks and go for the reward. 

Big Spenders seek freedom, which is something most of us can aspire to. As partners, they’re generous, often treating those in their lives. This personality type is great at spending money on experiences (think trips and big boats). 

Big Spenders aren’t the best at planning their financial future.  They are more likely to invest in riskier funds, their investments don’t do as well as other good and steady investments. They might not be the best savers and when expensive emergencies occur, they can come up empty. 

If you identify as a Big Spender you may want to limit your spending, set up a monthly budget and choose a steady and reliable fund to invest in. Don’t gamble away your money sometimes for the purpose of escaping boredom. 



A Debtor money personality has less of an emotional attachment to their financial matters than the previous types. They simply don’t spend much time thinking about their money and therefore don’t keep tabs on what they spend and where they spend it. 

Their spending habits and tend to make impulse purchases above their means without keeping track of what and who they owe. They may not even check their bank balance on a regular basis.  

Being in debt is a normal state of affair and they can never seem to get ahead. They don’t have any anxiety over purchases until it hits them in the head. Overall, their financial lifestyle has many liabilities and can become a larger problem later in life. 

Debtors generally spend more than they earn and are deeply in debt while not putting much thought into investing. Similarly, they often miss taking advantage of the company match in their 401(k) plans. 

If you identify as a Debtor, you need to get your finances in order and set up a plan to start investing. You may not be able to do it alone, so getting some help is probably a good idea. Deciding on who will guide your investments is an important choice, so choose any investment professional carefully. 

girl in front of computer buying lot of stuff with credit card

The Shopper  

Shoppers often develop great emotional satisfaction from spending money. They love buying things, even if it’s to buy items they don’t need. Of the 5 types of spenders, shoppers find happiness when they are acquiring something new and their response to emotional distress is to spend. Many time they hide purchases form their loved ones. 

Shopper may lack financial discipline. They don’t always know when to stop spending money and start saving. Shoppers may also lack financial security without an emergency savings fund or long-term financial plans. 

Shoppers varied in terms of investing. Some invest regularly through 401(k) plans and may even invest a portion of any sudden windfalls, while others see investing as something they can begin at a later date. They are comfortable spending money, don’t fear debt, and often take big risks when investing. 

If you identify with being a Spender you may want to develop a more disciplined approach to your spending patterns. Think through what you are compensating for through your impulse purchases. Try to focus your efforts on saving the money you have. If spending is something you do to compensate for other areas of your life that you feel are lacking, think about what these might be and work on changing them. 


The Bottom Line 

It’s important to understand your purchasing behavior because it can help you avoid repeating financial mistakes or motivate you to increase your self-discipline and invest in your future.  

While you may not be able to change your money personality, you can acknowledge it and address the financial challenges that it presents. Managing your money involves self-awareness; knowing where you stand will allow you to modify your behavior to better achieve your financial and life goals.  

Your money personality will likely evolve based on your financial circumstances over your life. It’s important to take charge of your money habits because it can establish more control in your life.