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This is your money personality - and it's driving all your financial decisions

By Sam Instone - August 02, 2023

You aren't in control of your financial life.

That might come a surprise to read, but it's true.

So if you aren't, who (or what) is?

Your decisions around money, although fully aware to you, are guided by your subconscious mind.

In fact, every single financial decision you’ve ever made, has been influenced by the beliefs you have about money. 

These beliefs are unique to you, and when put together, make up your money personality

In order to make better financial decisions, you need to know what your money personality is (and perhaps more importantly, why you have it). 

It's also not set in stone.. you have the power to change it. 

Where do your beliefs come from?

Your subconscious beliefs about money are developed as early as childhood. They can be shaped by your experiences or even passed down to you from your parents’ own beliefs. Despite being unaware of their existence, our beliefs about money have a profound impact on the financial choices we make as adults. 

In 2011, financial psychologists Ted Klontz and Brad Klontz named these beliefs 'money scripts'. During their study, they asked participants how much they agreed with 72 money-related beliefs, such as: 

  • "I do not deserve money"
  • "Money would solve all my problems"
  • "I should save money, not spend it"
  • "Money is what gives life meaning"

Their research revealed that individuals' financial choices and actions are greatly impacted by their underlying beliefs regarding money, and identified four main types of money scripts, known as the Klontz-Money Script Inventory (or Klontz-MSI).   

Having an understanding about these is a great way to uncover and understand your own beliefs about money

1. Money avoidance

Money is the root of all evil

You associate affluence with greed and corruption. You also think you’re undeserving of money yourself, especially when others have less. This causes you to feel guilty for wanting money.

Individuals who exhibit money avoidance tendencies often display common traits such as concerns and uneasiness about their financial situation or an inclination towards extreme thriftiness.

Money avoidance can have detrimental effects on your financial well-being, causing you to ignore your financial situation, struggle with a low income, and neglect budgeting.

2. Money worship

I will never be able to afford that

You believe money will be your salvation. You link increased wealth with a sense of liberation, joy, and an overall improved quality of life.

You will often:

  • Carry revolving debt
  • Overwork
  • Seek fulfillment in buying and accumulating more 
  • Overspend and make risky financial decisions 

Ironically, money worshipers may also have a scarcity mindset that prevents them from reaching the wealth they desire. They exaggerate and believe “there will never be enough money to go around”. 

3. Money status

“My self-worth is tied to how much money I have“

You are very competitive and often compare your wealth to others. You believe that success is gained by having more money and material possessions. 

Klontz's research revealed a fascinating link between individuals who hold the belief that their self-worth and happiness are tied to attaining a higher socio-economic status, and their upbringing in lower-income households. These individuals have inherited the belief that achieving wealth will enhance their sense of self-worth and bring them joy.

The consequences of this include overspending, unhappiness, and anxiety. Money status believers also tend to keep their finances a secret from those closest to them. 

4. Money vigilance 

“If you can’t pay cash for something, you shouldn’t buy it“

You believe it's important to save your money and don't share how much you earn with others. 

You’re on the cautious side, meaning you don’t like to rely on credit cards, you have savings and emergency funds, and you believe money should be earned, not handed out. 

Being money vigilant is generally positive for your financial health. 

However, being overly vigilant can lead to anxiety and worries about money. It can prevent you from enjoying the money you have now, and living your life to the fullest. 

Identifying your money personality is the first step toward uncovering what's been driving your financial decisions. Next, are there ways you can change to improve your financial situation?

How to improve your financial well-being

There are actionable strategies you can implement to shed your current self-limiting beliefs about money and enhance your overall financial well-being.

1. Identify your money personality

Click here to find out your money personality in under 2 minutes.

Our test takes the above money scripts and distils them into three distinct personalities: Happiness, Commitment or Vigilance. You may have a dominant personality, or a blend of a few.







You'll receive a summary of your personality, as well as more information on how it affects your financial decision-making, your strengths, challenges, and how you can improve. 

Afterwards, take note of the financial decisions you make. You should start to notice a relationship between the two. Is your money personality is preventing you from reaching your financial goals? We're here to talk if it is.

2. Take action 

After learning more about the beliefs and scripts that shape your money personality, it's time to replace them with more empowering ones and actively work towards breaking the habits they have formed in your everyday life.

For example, if you're too vigilant

  • Recognise that the quest for safety may result in excessive personal sacrifice
  • Ensure your vigilance is not inhibiting good financial judgement
  • Develop a method to determine if pessimistic expectations are rational
  • Have a process to maximise your current life without compromising your future 

In summary

Our objective is to assist you in discovering and understanding your money personality.

The fact that you have unconscious beliefs about money is not necessarily bad. In fact, it would be impossible to operate without them - your money personality contains your beliefs about money (and you have to believe something).

Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. Your thoughts create your current reality. 

Money personalities aren't good or bad, but they can be helpful or unhelpful in certain situations. If you have behaviours that you know aren't in your best interest, but you have a hard time changing those behaviours, it's helpful to find the rules within your money personality that are driving that behaviour. 

To find out more, and ensure you're flourishing, not floundering, book a call to speak with me.

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