Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent some time researching the effects of personality type on money management. If you’ve ever wondered why money seems to slip through your fingers, or why you’re stressed about finances all the time, perhaps your personality type has a part to play! Today we’re going to look at the impact your type has on how you think and feel about finances. Let’s get started!
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Table of contents
- Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type and Your Relationship with Money
- Personality Types and Money in More Detail:
- Intuition and Sensing – Specifics versus Big-Picture
- Thinking and Feeling
- Tips for Handling Financial Issues with Your Partner:
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Your Myers-Briggs® Personality Type and Your Relationship with Money
Judging and Perceiving – the Biggest Difference
Judgers and perceivers tend to look at money in fundamentally different ways. According to Otto Kroeger, past president of the Association of Psychological Type, and a current member of the National Training Laboratory Institute (NTL) of Applied Behavioral Sciences, Judgers tend to immediately save money, whereas Perceivers focus on spending.
“The Judgers’ list is always organized and neat and their responses are usually numbered and bulleted. Their list always reflects a conservative approach to money based on the premise that having money is the direct result of hard work and responsible living.”
Among the list of things that Judgers prioritized with their money were Investments, Budgets, Education, and Retirement. After all the “responsible” things were done with the money, they would look at spending it, but only after their security was taken care of.
Perceivers, in contrast, focused on spending the money before saving it.
“The rest of the (Perceivers’) list frequently isn’t a list at all but an apparent stream-of-consciousness outpouring that may be written anywhere on the sheet, by anyone in the group, in any of a variety of colors and styles. (Just looking at the sheet drives the Js crazy, as they identify this as typical of how Ps maintain their finances.)”
Among the list of things that Perceivers prioritized with their money were Fun, Vacations, Fulfilling a Dream, Buying Gifts, Giving to Someone who Needs It, and Enjoyment. After all the spending was done, then they would focus on savings and investments.
Obviously, there are always exceptions to these studies. There will always be the odd Judger who mixes up spending with saving, or the rare Perceiver who focuses on investments and retirement over enjoyment and fun.
You can find out more about Kroeger’s studies on personality type and finances in his book, 16 Ways to Love Your Lover: Understanding the 16 Personality Types So You Can Create a Love That Lasts Forever.
Which Method is Best?
There are good and negative things about both ways of managing money. Judgers tend to be more cautious and planned, taking care of more security-related matters. This can mean that they have more in their savings account in case of an emergency. However, they can become so fixated on saving and securing money that they lose sight of the joy it can provide! They can forget to use money to enrich their lives, and in worst-case scenarios, they can appear like Ebenezer Scrooge, counting all their money and storing it away while forgetting to see its value in being enjoyed and helping others.
Perceivers enjoy using money to amass thrilling experiences. They love the spontaneity they can enjoy with their money, but they may also wind up in a crisis when an emergency happens and they don’t have anything in their savings account. For these types, they may get so fixated on the short-term gains of spending money that they lose sight of the long-term security that comes from saving and investing.
Judgers and Perceivers both have something to learn from the other when it comes to matters of money management. Judgers can learn to enrich their life with the beautiful experiences money can provide. Perceivers can learn to set aside money carefully so that when emergency strikes, they aren’t left empty-handed.
Personality Types and Money in More Detail:
ESTJs and ESFJs
These types are some of the most structured when it comes to money. They like detailed, specific budgets and will balance them to the tee. Planning for retirement is a big priority, and saving for their children’s college will also be crucial to them. When they feel secure and have a cushion in their savings account, they will enjoy finding ways to enrich their life. Often they splurge on things like high-quality furniture, kitchen or home tools, or club memberships. They may also save up for a yearly vacation to a familiar, well-loved location. ESTJs tend to have a knack for taking calculated risks and making strong investments. ESFJs enjoy gift-giving, saving up for group experiences, and buying tasteful, high-end clothing.
ISFJs and ISTJs
These types are all about saving for a rainy day. Detailed and precise with their budgets, ISJs prioritize paying their bills and having their savings accounts well-padded. Practical and dutiful, they are the individuals likely to attend a Dave Ramsey conference or seek financial advisors. In fact, according to the MBTI® Manual, ISTJs are the most frequent type among accountants. Paying off student loans, mortgages, and bills ahead of schedule is important to them. When they do have extra money, they enjoy spending it on comforts that make life more enjoyable. High-quality furniture, outings to their favorite restaurants, and excursions to their favorite vacation spots give them a sense of fun while ensuring they’re within their means.
ESTPs and ESFPs
Money is about experience and enjoyment for these two personality types. They want to live life to the fullest, and money is s a resource that they can use to make that possible. Spontaneous trips across the world, tickets to music festivals, or putting money down on bold business ventures adds excitement to their lives. They don’t mind taking some financial risks, especially if the reward seems within the realm of plausibility. Entrepreneurially-minded, they feel like playing it safe means missing out on some of the joy and thrill life has to offer. As these types get into mid-life they tend to prioritize saving more, but they will always try to make sure they have some “wiggle room” for spontaneous adventures and fun.
ISTPs and ISFPs
These types have a flexible approach with money. They enjoy having a regular financial amount set aside in case of an emergency, but they also like the freedom to use it when fun opportunities pop up. Whether that means investing in a winery or backpacking across Europe, these two are always on the lookout for adventures that will make them feel like they have truly lived. ISPs see money as an avenue towards enjoying their hobbies and interests. If they are married, they tend to enjoy putting some money towards living in comfort, with high-quality furnishings and home appliances. They may also put their money towards friends that are in need, helping out in a crisis or an emergency when someone needs a helping hand.
ENTJs and ENFJs
EJ types are the most frequent types to plan towards retirement and future investments. However, because ENxJs have Intuition in common, they’re not as detailed and precise in their budgets as ESJs typically are. They tend to see all the future potential their money could provide – whether that means investing it in a business, putting it towards a non-profit, or using it to play the stock markets. It’s vital to ENJs that they see some future return for what they are earning now. While they like having a padded savings account and a retirement plan, they don’t want to get so caught up in saving money that they waste opportunities to expand its possibilities. When they have extra money, they enjoy using it towards investments, education, travel, charity, or experiences that will broaden their perspective on life.
INTJs and INFJs
INJs see money as a way to deepen their perspective or work towards meaning. Both types are concerned with saving and security, but not to the extent that EJs usually are. INTJs are very objective about money, seeing ways they can invest it to maximize their returns. INFJs are more likely to use money as a way to pursue their calling or mission, whether that means helping out a charity or taking a class. Both types highly value education and will put a great deal of money towards broadening their knowledge base. When they have extra money, they put less of it towards furniture and fashion and more of it towards education, travel, and creative pursuits.
ENFPs and ENTPs
Not afraid of risks, these types see money as a way to live life to the fullest and broaden their experiences and understanding. Typically fond of travel, they enjoy seeing new parts of the world as a way to inspire new ideas within them. Having a padded savings account and a retirement plan is typically less important to them than feeling like they’ve seized the day. That said, as they reach mid-life and beyond they can become more fixated on making sure they are financially responsible. Still, they will usually prioritize having some “fun money” from each paycheck to use towards an exciting, enriching new experience. Both of these types enjoy putting money towards travel, education, books, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
INFPs and INTPs
These types are typically less concerned with flashy spending and deeply padded savings accounts than using money to pursue their unique individual interests. Putting money towards their hobbies and creative pursuits is typically a high priority for them. Sometimes that means buying books and art supplies, and other times it might mean purchasing survival gear to backpack through Alaska. They typically aren’t overly fixated on budgeting, but they try to prioritize paying their bills on time. They enjoy living in comfortable surroundings that are tailored to their interests. However, they are usually not snobby when it comes to quality furniture or name-brand kitchen appliances. Overall, tangible things will typically hold less interest to these types than tools or experiences that will inspire them or allow them to pursue their interests in-depth.
Intuition and Sensing – Specifics versus Big-Picture
Intuitives and Sensors often manage money in very different ways. Intuitives see money as conceptual or resource for adding fullness to life. They’re more likely to round the numbers in their budget up or down than calculate everything to the cent. They look to the opportunities and possibilities money can afford. Intuitive-Judgers look for investments that have large potential returns. Intuitive-Perceivers look to invest their money in dream-projects they’ve been putting off for a long time. Both types can seem cavalier to Sensing-types, who are more focused on the specifics and details of how their money is spent and handled.
Sensors deal with money very specifically, especially Sensing-Judging (SJ) types. They see money as tangible – a tool that they can use to make their life easier or more enjoyable. When they work on a budget, they balance it to the penny, and they focus on the present needs and expenses more than long-term possibilities and investments. Their approach is pragmatic and detailed. According to a case-study, Sensing-Perceivers are the types least likely to plan for their retirement, while Extraverted-Judging types are the ones most likely to plan for retirement. Sensing-Perceivers are more likely to spend their money on experiences that enrich life, whereas Sensing-Judging types are more likely to save their money to build up a security net.
Thinking and Feeling
When it comes to finances, Thinking types see money as an opportunity to have power and success. They view it as a tool to maximize their abilities in life, and there’s nothing particularly personal about it. Feelers, in contrast, may have a lot of guilt surrounding money. They often sense that it fosters greed, and they see it more personally. While they see financial success as a way to fulfill their dreams, they also worry about becoming too enraptured by it. Even so, there are no considerable differences that I could find in how these two preferences show up when it comes to money. Both like to use money to provide resources, help improve their station, and foster growth and development.
Tips for Handling Financial Issues with Your Partner:
When Your Partner is a Sensor…
- Appreciate your partner’s pragmatic attitude towards money.
- Pay attention to the specifics and details.
- Remember that when budgeting they will want specific numbers, not rounded numbers.
- Help them see future possibilities without being condescending about their point of view.
When Your Partner is an Intuitive…
- Let your partner know your specific financial needs.
- Give details that will help to inspire your partner’s big-picture ideas.
- Let them talk about how they would use the money to get a return in the future.
When Your Partner is a Thinker…
- Appreciate your partner’s objectivity about money.
- When there are financial disagreements, try not to personalize it.
When Your Partner is a Feeler…
- Be aware that you might view money differently. You might use money to gather resources, and he or she might buy gifts or sentimental objects or experiences. Don’t personalize or criticize.
- Stay calm during financial disagreements. Let them know about financial limits and details without imposing guilt.
When Your Partner is a Judger…
- Figure out early on how you will manage finances as a team. Decide on roles, responsibilities, goals, and how you’ll get there.
- Remember that your partner will become stressed when there is a poor plan or structure with money. Budgeting and having clear goals helps them feel secure.
- Explain why money should be saved, but why it should also be used to have some spontaneous fun and enrich life.
- Show appreciation for the financial security and structure they bring to the table.
When Your Partner is a Perceiver…
- Decide early on who will have the major roles regarding finances.
- If possible, set aside “play money” in your budget for spontaneous fun.
- Make focusing on your goals fun, and try not to get condescending when/if you see how money should be used differently.
- Show appreciation for the fun experiences and flexibility they bring to the table.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you notice any stark differences in how people of different types handle money? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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