A new client recently said, “My relationship with money is changing.  I didn’t think it would happen so quickly”.

We all have a relationship with money.  It guides our decisions and can define how we experience life.  Do you see yourself in these four money personality categories?

ostrich isolated on white background

The Ostrich

The ostrich doesn’t want to know what their financial position is or whether they should adjust their money management approach to ensure a more secure future.   So it’s a crap shoot whether or not their current lifestyle is more frugal than necessary or over the top irresponsible.  The future will come when it does and they hope for the best. 

Hope is not a strategy for success and building financial awareness is usually empowering rather than painful.  The ostriches that we meet are often happily surprised that they have a brighter financial future than they thought and are emboldened by the knowledge that they have the power to change the direction of their life if they so choose.

Falling Money

The Spendthrift

The spendthrift has a hard time saving money and/or paying down debt. They have a hard time answering the question, “how much money do you spend each year?” Money is often a tool used to smooth the rough edges of life, whether by using shopping as a leisure activity or overspending on conveniences to avoid the perceived drudgery of home maintenance or cooking. The spendthrift often wants to enjoy a lifestyle beyond their means and asks the question, “how come my friends can go on fancy vacations, own luxury vehicles and basically spend freely but I have to stretch to do the same?  What’s the point of saving for retirement if I never get there?  Just look at all the people who die in their 50’s and 60’s!”

If you see yourself in this description it’s time for a gut check. Spending feels good but being in control of your finances feels even better.

Man's hand holding cash

The Hoarder

The hoarder has difficulty spending money and as a result is a great saver and works hard to eliminate debt.  Saving and reducing debt is smart money management, however, if it comes at the expense of experiencing life fully and/or creates stress in a relationship, it’s a problem.  Hoarding behavior is usually driven by fear.  Fear of not having enough in retirement and fear of job loss are two examples.  People hold onto money like they would a teddy bear, because it makes them feel more secure in an uncertain world. 

Taken too far, this way of being keeps one’s world small.  It’s true that money can’t buy happiness, but it can help you experience the world more fully.  Whether used to visit art galleries or the theatre, or to travel the world, it’s true that we only live once.   Spending responsibly doesn’t have to compromise sound financial management.

gears in bubble head poster

The Engineer

The Engineer knows how their money is spent.  They often keep track of their spending, investing, and debt reduction progress on a spreadsheet.  Analytical about most things they naturally do a cost/benefit analysis of expenditures, which can take some of the romance out of life’s adventure but overall tends to lead to well-balanced financial decisions.  Stress can arise when the engineer marries any of the categories above and can’t relate to the emotional connections that their partner has with money.


Understanding your money personality can help you establish a more balanced relationship with money.

This information is of a general nature and should not be considered professional advice. Its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed and Queensbury Strategies Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability.