What Your Enneagram Type Says About Your Financial Habits

Move over Meyers-Briggs, there’s a new personality typing trend in town. It’s called the Enneagram model. It essentially breaks down patterns in viewing the world and behaving into nine different types. It can be a helpful tool for self-reflection and understanding others. 

We spoke with Ian Morgan Cron, the author of the bestselling book, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, for insight into how each type approaches personal finance and money management. 

Type 1, The Reformer

Type one personalities tend to be principled and improvement-orientated perfectionists but are also rigid and highly critical. They’re likely a big fan of budgets but almost to a fault. Try channeling that energy into helping others improve their budget. And give yourself permission to treat yourself and break the budget every once in a while. 

“Ethical, dedicated and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, improve the world, and avoid fault and blame. Ones tend to be great budgeters, paying attention to detail, rarely in debt and thriving on being in control. Unhealthy one’s will rub it into other people when they see them making money mistakes, but healthy ones are quick to teach and educate others on how to make smart decisions.” 

Type 2, The Helper

If you’re a type two, your caring nature may mean you’re prone to giving and donating a lot of your money. (Make sure to keep those receipts for a tax deduction.) But be cautious of overgiving, and don’t forget to take care of yourself first. It’s like the oxygen masks on an airplane; put yours on before assisting others. 

[ Read: 10 Homemade Holiday Gifts You Can Start Making Now ]

“Warm, caring and giving, they are motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs. As such, twos tend to overgive. However, they can be generous to a fault – often expecting others to give back or be compensated some way. Healthy two’s will pause and ask, “What’s my motivation for giving? Is it to be loved, or is it because I really want to give this?”

Type 3, The Achiever

Type three’s have an affinity for projecting success and thus tend to be status spenders. Focus on long-term financial goals and give big purchases a few days of consideration before splurging. 

“Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be successful and to avoid failure. In money, threes tend to be over-spenders and they are more likely to be in debt than any other number. Threes are so busy being productive that they tend to think less about what they buy, and more about if what they buy will impress others. A great question for a three to ask before making a purchase is: ‘If no one sees what I buy, do I still want it?’”

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    Type 4, The Individualist

    Type four personalities are motivated by individuality. They avoid being ordinary and may have emotional spending habits. Look for creative outlets other than shopping for your strive for uniqueness.

    [ Read: How to Make Money From Your Hobbies ]

    “Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a need to be understood and experience their oversized feelings. Fours tend to make financial decisions based on emotions. Because they have a high need to be individual — or not ordinary — their purchases are equally unique, and they will go to any cost to buy what is unique. For example, they would be more likely to spend $4,000 on an original piece of artwork when they could have spent $40 for a copy. However, fours can also thrift well — if they find the token one-of-a-kind item on consignment, they are golden!”

    Type 5, The Investigator

    Type five people love to score a bargain. Keep in mind that just because there’s a good sale, that doesn’t mean the items are worth buying or holding on to. While you can save money with a good deal, you’ll save more if you don’t buy it at all. On the upside, type fives are thorough researchers and can probably find the best product. 

    “Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a need to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others. Fives can be more scarcity-minded than any other number. For example, they want to make sure they have X amount of money in the bank before making non-essential purchases. They tend to hoard – think 20-year-old cars and t-shirts from a decade ago – and will go to painstaking extremes to research an item before purchasing it.”

    Type 6, The Loyalist

    If you’re a type six, you’re likely a big saver and probably have a nice emergency fund. Type six people are often best suited for long term investing styles. Be wary of holing away too much money, though. Determine how much you really need to save and live in the present with the rest.

    [ Read: How to Start Building an Emergency Fund ]

    “Committed, practical and witty, they are worst-case-scenario thinkers who are motivated by fear and the need for security. Sixes are unique because they are high-anxiety. They can have one of two reactions to money: high-phobia to spending (always thinking of worst-case-scenarios) or counter-phobia; spending which soothes their anxiety. Sixes tend to be frugal, which typically makes them great with slow-growth, long-term investments.”

    Type 7, The Enthusiast

    Type seven personalities prioritize happiness and adventure. As a result, they are prone to impulse buying and splurge shopping. Paired with their preference for luxury, type sevens may find they spend above their means. Seek out your why behind your buy, and delay big purchases until the excitement of the moment has passed. 

    “Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain. Sevens can be impulse buyers. For example, a Seven may want to take up snowboarding, but rather than renting a snowboard for a season to make sure he likes it, he’ll go out and buy three! Another name for Sevens is “epicure,” meaning they love finer things in life – beautiful watches, high-end cars, name-brand clothing. But while this may look like a characteristic of a three, it’s actually an issue of delayed gratification for sevens. 

    Type 8, The Challenger

    With their independent and confrontational nature, type eights are unlikely to accumulate debt because they resent depending on others. They also have a bit of a tendency to hoard things as a means of control. It may be a good idea to sell some of your stuff or do some creative re-gifting this holiday season. 

    [ Read: 11 Ways to Get Out of Debt Faster ]

    “Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable. Eights don’t want to be at the mercy of a debt collector, the IRS, or anybody, so this makes them the least likely number to be in debt. Ironically, while many people think Eights want to be in control, they are actually more concerned about someone else controlling them – thus, the need to avoid debt. But they can also make decisions quickly, sometimes impulsively, which can cause money problems. As with all numbers, it’s important for eights to pause and ask the motivation for spending and to take the time to self-reflect and be deliberate about their decisions as opposed to living in fear of being controlled.”

    Type 9, The Peacemaker

    People pleasing can get expensive, and type nine personalities can fall into this pattern. You don’t always have to pick up the brunch bill. Be firm on your own spending priorities, and don’t be peer pressured into getting that matching Gucci belt with your friends.

    “Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict. Nines can be disorganized, procrastinate and have trouble prioritizing. You’ll find nines probably with a stack of bills on the dining room table that they started to work on, but something else got their attention, and they wandered off to do that. That said, Because nines can be so easy-going about money, they are well-suited for outsourcing their finances and will thrive with someone telling them exactly what to do and when to do it.”

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    Danika Miller

    Personal Finance Reporter

    Danika Miller is a personal finance reporter at The Simple Dollar who specializes in banking, savings, budgeting, home insurance, and auto insurance. Her reporting has also been featured at CreditCards.com, Reviews.com, and elsewhere.