What is your relationship status with money?

What is your relationship status with money


Single and not looking: I believe that money is the root of all evil.

Single and ready to mingle: I am broke but looking for ways to make money.

We are at the talking stages: I am getting to know more about money and more about myself and what I want.

It’s complicated: I am finding it difficult letting go of my bad spending habits but I really want to make things right.

The list goes on but whatever your relationship status, you first need to know yourself in the relationship. You need to know the behaviour you associate with money and the characteristics that money brings out of you.  To write this, I was inspired by “How to take the stress out of money management” by Karabo Manasoe, an article where he speaks about the link between money management and psychology. This made me question whether there is more to our relationship with money than we think. If so, does the “more” have a name or better yet, explain the current state of my relationship with money?

It turns out that our personalities play a significant role in how we spend our money and understanding our money personality is one of the first steps to helping us managing our money better. In this article I am going to look into the five major money personality types namely big spenders, shoppers, debtors, savers and investors.

Big Spenders

Big spenders believe in “go big or go home”. They are all about making a statement, whether through big cars or the latest brand of clothes. They are not afraid to spend and many often spend outside their means as they do not fear debt.

When it comes to investing, they have a huge risk appetite, meaning they are willing to take big risks.

Big Spender and Shoppers tend to show similar traits, but what separates them is that Big Spenders often don’t worry about debt while shoppers seek to find bargains in order to save a few pennies.


Shoppers have a more emotional relationship with their money and how they spend it. They receive great satisfaction from spending money and you’ll sometimes hear them talk about “retail therapy”. However, they associate the debt caused by their spending with financial distress and so they will try and avoid it by looking for bargains and are happy when they find them.

When it comes to investing, Shoppers are diverse. Some invest regularly in retirement plans which highlights the fact that they are a bit risk adverse compared to Big Spenders. Others acknowledge the art of investing but often put it off because they have a hard time saving money and prioritizing the things the would like for their lives.


Debtors are carefree people who don’t really care about what people have to say so they are not out to make a statement of cheer themselves up by how they spend their money.

Similar to Shoppers, Debtors tend to spend more money than they probably should. They are not ones to budget and therefore don’t spend much time thinking about their money habits which results in them not keeping record of how much they actually spend and what they spend it on. This filters into their investment patterns, where you find that they don’t invest at all because they don’t have much money left or they simply don’t know where their money went.


Savers are the complete opposite of Big Spenders. They would rather “go home” and are often seen as cheapskates. They are all about saving to the last penny and get satisfaction from the interest they earn from their savings. One would expect Savers to be big on investing but they are careful and don’t like taking risks.


Investors people who are very aware of their money. A lot of decision-making goes into how they choose to spend their money. They can account for every cent and see money as a wealth generating machine. Regardless of their current financial situation, whether good or bad, they make sure that they have sufficient passive investments (Passive investing is an investment strategy to maximize returns by minimizing buying and selling) that will provide them with sufficient income to pay for their day to day expenses.

After reading this, I hope you have an idea of where you fit in. It is also important to realize that these money personality types are not a one size fits all. It is possible to have a bit of every personality in your basket.

This article was written by Karabo Motau

You can contact Karabo Motau by clicking on the social media buttons below, or by emailing her on: reginam@afrikakesho.co.za

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