Your view on money is shaped by many things - how frugal your parents were growing up, how your partner spends money today, your income level and your overall financial literacy. But one factor you may not have considered before? Your Enneagram type could explain a lot about your spending habits. Developed in the mid-twentieth century by Oscar Ichazo, the “Enneagram of Personality Traits” is considered to be “a modern synthesis of a number of ancient wisdom traditions.”1
What Are Enneagram Types?
There are nine Enneagram types that describe different personality types:
- 1 - The Reformer
- 2 - The Helper
- 3 - The Achiever
- 4 - The Individualist
- 5 - The Investigator
- 6 - The Loyalist
- 7 - The Enthusiast
- 8 - The Challenger
- 9 - The Peacemaker
Each type has unique internal motivations and views that impact and influence their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Knowing your Enneagram type is a great way to discover what motivates you. This tool can be especially helpful when it comes to understanding your spending habits - meaning you can use it to help make yourself a better spender.
Spending Habits By Enneagram Type
To determine your Enneagram type, follow The Enneagram Institute’s instructions for how it works, or take a quiz online. Once you’ve determined your own Enneagram Type, refer to the number below.
1: The Reformer
If you’re a reformer, you are rational, principled, purposeful, self-controlled and a perfectionist. When it comes to spending, you probably love creating a budget so that you know exactly where your money is going. Make sure that even with your budget, you allow yourself to spend money on the things you value most.
2: The Helper
As a helper, you are especially caring and tend to be demonstrative, generous, people-pleasing and even possessive. You want to be very giving with your money to make things better for other people. This is great, but you’ll want to be sure to set limits for yourself and take the time to evaluate the causes to which you are giving.
3: The Achiever
Achievers are success-oriented and tend to be adaptive, driven and image-conscious. With that being said, if you’re an achiever you are likely to be a status spender. This means that you like to buy trendy things and use these purchases as a way to boost your image. Tracking your income and saving money for the future is important for achievers to remember.
4: The Individualist
Individualists are more sensitive and withdrawn, but also expressive and dramatic. They can even be self-absorbed and temperamental. If you are an individualist, you may find yourself spending based on emotions. It could cause you to overspend on impulse buys, so try out journaling, drawing or listening to music as different ways to express yourself without spending money.
5: The Investigator
As an investigator, you are intense, perceptive, innovative and secretive. You love to find great deals and sales when you shop. You will want to be cautious though, and ask yourself if you really need it or if it’s just a really good deal. Remind yourself that not spending money at all will save you even more than spending money on something just because it's on sale.
6: The Loyalist
If you are a loyalist, you are committed, engaging and responsible but also anxious and suspicious at times. When it comes to spending, you’re more of a saver. Having an emergency fund for unexpected events will be helpful in the long run, but also make sure you take the time to relax knowing that you are prepared for the future.
7: The Enthusiast
As an enthusiast, you’re busy, fun-loving, spontaneous, versatile, distractible and a little scattered. This makes it easy for you to make impulse buying decisions often. To combat these impulse buys, ask yourself questions to figure out the “why” of each purchase. For example, say to yourself, “Will this purchase bring me joy? If so, for how long?”
8: The Challenger
You are powerful and dominating if you are a challenger. You are also confident, decisive, willful and confrontational. You are so independent that when you spend, you may find yourself stockpiling items. Remind yourself that it’s okay to be vulnerable and ask for things from others when you need them.
9: The Peacemaker
You’ve probably already guessed that if you are a peacemaker, you are a people-pleaser. You are easy-going, receptive, reassuring and agreeable. You may find yourself making purchases that will please others, or you consistently ask for others approval before buying things. Make sure that you are making purchases that match up with your priorities, since it is your money after all.
Evaluating your Enneagram Type in regards to your spending habits is, by no means, an exact science. But it can provide a new and fun way of thinking about how your personality may be impacting your financial decisions. If you have any concerns about how you may be spending your money, you can always reach out to your trusted financial professional to learn more or make a plan.