What’s Your Money Personality (and Why It Matters)

September 1, 2022 by Chevron Federal Credit Union

Financial psychology suggests that deeply rooted financial beliefs and attitudes may partly affect how each of us approaches money. In fact, landmark research coined the phrase “money scripts,” determining that there are generally a handful of them that most of us adhere to.

Certainly, the way people view and manage their money can be as unique as they are. And how money motivates each of us may be very different from one person to the next. But it’s also true that identifying our relationship with money may help guide our perspectives toward financial success. Knowing your money story, after all, is the key to understanding your money mindset.

What’s your money personality? Explore these four core patterns to better understand where you might fit — and consider ways to change or adapt them to leverage the positive. The goal isn’t to judge, but instead to simply identify money habits that may be shaping your financial life.

1. The innocent avoider

This money type tends to take a hands-off approach to managing money, shying away from it because they figure everything will work out. Personal finances seem overwhelming — a feeling that’s mostly tied to limited confidence in the ability to handle every money responsibility in the best way. As a result, avoiders gravitate toward simplifying money management.

Tip: Knowledge is power. Break down your finances into bite-sized pieces and commit to learning more about them, so that you can feel more comfortable about making good decisions that suit you. Focus on taking small, but productive, steps toward savings and spending goals, and consider automating certain tasks like bill-paying.

2. The power worshiper

This money type is kind of the opposite of innocent avoiders. People with this perspective see money as the overarching goal that will solve all challenges. They can be successful at acquiring wealth, but their mantra tends to be: Money is power, so the more you have and the more you spread around, the happier you’ll be. As a result, worshippers can be generous, but also spontaneous and impulsive spenders.

Tip: Keep important, long-term financial goals in mind to avoid budget-busting. Refine your definition of financial freedom, and adopt the practice that “pays you first,” devoting a set percentage of income to savings, needs and wants.

3. The status seeker

A close cousin of money worshipers, status seekers tend to internalize the importance of money, gauging their own self-worth based on their net worth. People in this category see money as a symbol of high status, which they pursue with gusto. As a result, status seekers can accumulate debt, and spend freely.

Tip: Wanting to be financially successful isn’t a negative thing. But overspending on expensive things to define who you are could mean you upend the budget, get caught without rainy-day savings and derail longer-term goals that are important to achieve. Reevaluate the affordability factor, consider debt counseling (offered free for members) and be more deliberate with big purchases in order to keep your finances balanced. 

4. The vigilant steward

This money type takes a stable and conservative approach to managing finances. They tend to be disciplined budgeters and careful with the money decisions they make. But they also worry that whatever they save or earn is never enough. As a result, sometimes stewards can adopt more frugal practices than need be.

Tip: Take a step back to make sure overly rigid decisions don’t end up jeopardizing potential long-term gains or real-life needs. Take stock of your financial plans — and when you reach a goal, allow yourself to enjoy it.

Recognizing how money personalities can help or hinder financial progress

No matter what money personality you are, you can always “re-script” by building on the strengths you possess and using them to make better financial decisions. Ask yourself: Is this perspective serving me and my financial wellbeing? Is it reasonable? Try this quick quiz to gain more insight into your money type. And take advantage of your credit union’s free access to financial education and counseling from industry-leading BALANCE, where one-on-one, non-judgmental counseling and coaching is available to members with an easy phone call.


From everyday finance to life’s big money moments, it’s better when you belong.