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How Your Personality Type Affects Your Finances

If you're great (or horrible!) when it comes to handling money, you can thank (or blame) your personality type.

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| February 7th, 2013

2. Planners—Myers-Briggs Types: ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ and INTP

These types will be more into “longer-term investing–they’re better able to take risk with contingency plans,” says Linder. “I could give a Planner all of the probabilities and long-term goals, but what he wants to know is exactly what he will have every day, and then he’ll track that with utmost certainty.”

Planners like to see themselves as competent–as smarter than the rest of the room–and they make up about 12% of the population.

If You’re a Planner: You’re great at big-picture thinking, but you can become so focused on the forest that you forget to see the trees. In other words, Planners will be living so much in the future that they miss opportunities in the here-and-now, which Linder calls “analysis paralysis.”

Choose a portion of your income to divert immediately to long-term savings, and set up another account specifically for “mad money” to use for indulgences today.

3. Pleasers—Myers-Briggs Types: ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ and INFP

These folks take money personally–as an extension of themselves–and “how they spend it is an expression of their identity,” says Linder. They approach the idea of “pleasing” two different ways–pleasing themselves or pleasing others. But Linder says that it’s different from planning because “a planner wants to make sure that you’ve got shoes on your feet and a safe and comfortable environment. The Pleaser is more about the emotional, relational needs of themselves and others.”

Pleasers see themselves as “caring,” and make up about 12% of the population.

If You’re a Pleaser: A Pleaser can be subject to financial abuse at the hands of individuals who may take advantage of the Pleaser’s desire to put others’ needs above their own. And even when they’re taking care of themselves, Pleasers can abuse their own good natures by overspending “because I’m worth it.” Bottom line: Steer clear of toxic friends who can manipulate your best intentions.

4. Players—Myers-Briggs Types: ESTP, ESFP, ISTP, ISFP

Players love having the freedom to merely react to the moment: One of them even told Linder that “currency equals current-cy.” Since they’re characterized by a tendency to be compulsive, and are unlikely to think long-term, Players are “often the ones at the highest financial risk,” says Linder.

Obviously, Players see themselves as “carefree,” and comprise about 38% of the population.

If You’re a Player: These types are going to be overly impulsive and optimistic about risks–and carefree about planning. It’s worth noting that there’s also an upside to the Player: resourcefulness and a can-do attitude that can be just what’s needed for an entrepreneurial experiment.

How to Use Your Results

Across all categories, Linder says, the point to understand is that it’s not about the money, but what money means to you–and to any partners.

If your Protector partner says, “We can’t afford a vacation,” he might really be saying, “I’m worried that you will be left bereft if I don’t watch every penny.” Meanwhile, as a Pleaser, you may be thinking, “What’s the point of having that comfortable old age if we have no great memories to share and look back on together?”

MORE FROM LEARN VEST: Is My Bad Credit Ruining My Relationships?

So the important thing to do is validate the feelings and impulses around your attitude toward money–and budget in a way that’s both responsible and doable. This doesn’t mean that you should just give in to them, nor does it mean that you should power up to fight your own impulses. Rather, you should acknowledge them without judgment, so you can move forward in a way that’s realistic, given your tendencies.

When people feel validated, says Linder, they’re more likely to reach for their goal because “when you stop reacting, you can begin acting on your own behalf.”

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