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Financial Personality Types

Financial Personality Types – Habits of the Rich vs the Poor

Do you handle money differently than your family and friends? Are you ever surprised by their financial decisions or envious of what they’ve achieved with their money? If you are, your financial personality might differ from those in your family or social circle.

Understanding the five main financial personality types is key to knowing why you manage your money the way you do. So, what are the five main financial personality types, and which one are you?

Financial Habits of the Rich vs. the Poor

Do rich people have the same financial personality types as poor people? They certainly can, but they may manage their financial personality differently than people who aren’t wealthy. Here, we’ll also look at how being rich or poor can influence your financial personality type.

Financial literacy

One key difference between rich and poor people is that rich people invest the time to become financially literate. They also pay close attention to their finances and often hire people, such as accountants or financial advisors, to help them.

Being financially literate helps rich people make the best decisions with their money, regardless of their financial personality type. If you’re interested in becoming more financially literate, there are many places to help you learn about money. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make the best decisions to grow your wealth.

Five Financial Personality Types

Your financial personality type will affect how your attitude towards money, how you spend it and how you save it. The five main types are:

  • Saver
  • Investor
  • Spender
  • Shopper
  • Debtor

Your upbringing can have a significant influence on how you handle your money. If you were raised in a family of savers for example, you might be a saver yourself. Or, you could be a spender or shopper because you felt living in a family of savers was too restrictive.


Savers live by the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” If you’re a saver, spending money isn’t fun. You’ll weigh whether the purchase is necessary, how much to spend to get good quality, and where to buy it at the lowest price. But, while you may sometimes carry frugality to an extreme, it’s usually simply a case of not wanting to waste money. And, for you, enjoying life is spending as little as possible on the things you need and want.

Wealthy savers typically have more money for emergencies, so they look for opportunities to invest their savings and grow their wealth. However, they still look for deals and can be reluctant to spend their money. Wealthy savers might drive an older vehicle, pack their lunch, and avoid shopping as much as possible.

Savers who don’t have a lot, often keep their savings in a bank account or other short-term investment where they can access it easily but will only earn minimal returns on their money. They may be savers out of necessity and may be more likely to live paycheque-to-paycheque than rich savers.


If you’re an investor, chances are you believe your money is to work as hard as you do. So you give every dollar a job and focus on growing your nest egg. You have financial goals that you want to meet, and it’s your money’s job to accomplish that. You research investment options, choosing high-quality investments to generate passive income, growth, and revenue.

Wealthy investors are more likely to have investment professionals working for them to help manage their portfolios. They seek advice on diversifying their investments and earning the best return possible. Wealthy investors may take advantage of available tax breaks by structuring their portfolio for the maximum tax benefit.

Investors who don’t have a lot of money may be less willing to get professional advice. They may feel their portfolio isn’t big enough to justify the expense, or they can achieve good results by investing on their own. However, research shows that investors who work with a financial advisor typically generate much higher returns than those who don’t.


Spenders use money as a tool to enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer. Life and money are meant to be enjoyed! You like the finest things life offers and are not afraid to use your money to buy them. After all, impressive things and extraordinary experiences are your rewards for working hard.

Some wealthy people are spenders. They enjoy the finer things in life and are happy to pay for them. However, wealthy people often save and invest first and spend what’s left to ensure they maintain their wealth. Then, they spend what they have after meeting their financial goals.

Undisciplined spenders prioritize attaining things they want, sometimes at the expense of saving for their future. They will often spend first and save later if there’s any money left to save. Saving money and investing is typically not a priority for them.


Shoppers shop, and they shop a lot. For some, it’s a hobby; for others, it’s an addiction. If you’re a shopper, you may be price-conscious. Sometimes, you might justify your purchases as too good a deal to pass up or feel better about buying things because you found them on sale. However, If you’re a shopper, you might get into debt due to constantly buying things.

Wealthy shoppers can purchase the things they want without impacting their present or future financial situation. If you’re rich, you might focus less on shopping for consumer goods and more on shopping for opportunities to build wealth. Your shopping might consist of shopping for investments, real estate or other opportunities that will help grow your portfolio.

Some shoppers focus more on consuming than on building wealth. So if you’re a poor shopper, you might shop for things less likely to hold their long-term value, such as clothes or depreciating assets like cars.


For debtors, borrowing is a way of life. If you’re a debtor, your home is probably mortgaged to the maximum. You may have a car loan and a significant amount of consumer credit which can be lines of credit, credit cards and payday loans. You borrow to buy things you need, want and to meet your everyday expenses. Being in debt, paying high-interest rates and making payments every month doesn’t bother you too much.

Rich people borrow money, too, but for different reasons than poor people. The purpose of debt, if you’re rich, is to make you more money. So, if you’re rich, you might limit your borrowing to purchase items to make you money, such as rental properties or a business. As a wealthy borrower, you might also structure your debt to deduct at least some of it from your taxes.

If you borrow to make ends meet, you may use debt to pay for basic living expenses or to manage until your next paycheque. Unfortunately, debt can accumulate quickly. Before you know it, you’re buried under a crushing load of loans. You might find your debt stressful and unmanageable. You may feel you’re working only to pay your creditors.

Making Your Financial Personality Work for You

Your financial personality will have a significant impact on your financial health. If you’re a saver or investor, you might want to find a better balance between saving, investing and spending. On the other hand, having a spender, shopper or debtor financial personality could mean you have too much debt to manage.

Being overwhelmed by debt can be stressful and leave you stuck in old habits. When dealing with too much debt, developing a new way to manage money is challenging. If you need help with your debt, please contact Adamson and Associates at 519-310-5646 for a free consultation. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help you get out from under your debt burden. We offer credit counselling, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy to help you get rid of your debt and start fresh.

John Adamson, Licensed Insolvency Trustee Ontario

John Adamson, CPA, CMA

John is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (1994), a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP – 1994), and a Chartered Professional Accountant with a Certified Management Accounting designation (CPA, CMA – 1992). His experience includes more than 25 years of helping individuals, small businesses, their owners and even lenders, find solutions to their debt problems.

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