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  • Writer's pictureKelsey

The 7 Money Tendencies

Updated: May 16, 2021

I will never claim to be an expert or know all there is to know about money and financial management. What I have learned has been through trial and error, and learning through various podcasts, blogs, and books. On my 'Resources' page, you will find some of my favorites, and I love sharing the work of others. We should never follow only one person or idea, but instead, take the pieces of different ideas that work for us.

I want to share the seven (7) types of Money Tendencies that Rachel Cruze discusses in her newest book, 'Know Yourself Know Your Money.' Want to follow along? Visit my Downloads page for a workbook!

For each tendency, there are two ends of the scale, and neither end is good nor bad. Determining where we fall on the range will help us identify and reflect; "am I where I want to be?" "Do I wish to move right or left on the scale?"

By identifying where we are we can create a plan of action to move along the scale. If we share finances with a partner, it is a great idea to have them assess where they are on the scale. This can help navigate money differences and offer perspective where the other person is coming from.

The Seven Money Tendencies:

1. Spender or Saver

2. Nerd or Free Spirit

3. Experiences or Things

4. Quality or Quantity

5. Safety or Status

6. Abundance or Scarcity

7. Planned Giving or Spontaneous Giving

Now let us explore them below.

Spender or Saver - If someone gave us $100, would we spend it all, save it all, or somewhere in between? Spending leads to instant gratification, while saving requires patience. Both ends can have extremes - it is not good to spend every penny we earn, while it also is not healthy to eat only ramen and have one light in our house because we want to save as much as we can. In some seasons a spender may need to buckle down to save up for a new car, home, or vacation we've been craving. As a saver, it can be good to loosen the purse strings and enjoy life (reasonably!)

Nerd or Free Spirit - do we love spreadsheets, organization, and never missing a due date? Or do we love living by the seat of your pants, going with the flow, and allowing what will be, be? As a Nerd, we need to ensure we are not too stringent on our rules and budget. As a Free Spirit, we need to be aware of deadlines (say no to late fees!) and make sure we have money available to pay our bills.

Experiences or Things - would we rather take a week's vacation to Europe, or purchase a new 70" flat-screen TV? Visit the spa, or buy a new bike? Some of us value spending our money on tangible items others like spending on intangible items. Again, neither is right or wrong. If we have a partner this may be an area of disagreement, so it is important to communicate preferences and find common ground.

Quality or Quantity - some would love a designer handbag others would love having two or three medium quality bags to choose from. Quality products last longer but do not allow one to have options. Quantity allows creativity and variety. Where quality can go to the extreme is if we are buying to impress others. For quantity, we can over-purchase from the emotional high of finding bargains.

Safety or Status - what is our motivation for having money? Is it to have a cushion for the future and be able to cover unexpected expenses (safety), or is it a reflection of personal accomplishments and how much you can afford (status)? If we lean towards safety, we need to ensure we do not always live in fear and hoard our money. For status seekers, we need to ensure we are not trying to "keep up with the Joneses" and that our purchases are what we truly want, not something to compete with the neighbors.

Abundance or Scarcity - People who lean towards abundance believe there is enough to go around for everyone and that money is plentiful. Those with a scarcity mindset have a glass-half-empty approach and are afraid that they will run out of money.

Planned Giving or Spontaneous Giving - Planned givers are calculated in their giving and likely give on a set scheduled to one or two organizations they deeply care about. Spontaneous Givers give at the moment when something strikes them. Spontaneous givers give with their heart but can lead to their resources being spread thin across various charities. Planned givers can fall into a habit and not have it connected to the heart when it is automated, so they must be intentional and reflect on why they are giving each time that automated withdrawal occurs.

Rachel discusses in more detail each tendency in her book, “Know Yourself Know Your Money,” and money tendencies are only one chapter! Check it out today, and reflect on the above and where we rated ourselves on each scale. Were there areas we were surprised? Were there areas we wish we were more to the right or left? Make a plan how we can move the needle, and come back a month from now and re-evaluate!


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