If you’ve been trying to change bad money habits but you’re having difficulty, in some cases it may not be due to lack of effort. You might be surprised to learn that it could partly be due to your personality type. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator there are 16 personality types. Each type could have an impact on your earning potential.
Research by Career Assessment Site shows how average household income differs by personality type. Pragmatists, particularly those who fall within the ENTJ personality type (Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging), tend to make the most money out of all 16 types, bringing in roughly $83,000 a year. That’s $22,000 more than optimists, specifically those in the INFP (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Perceiving) personality type. Pragmatists also tend to have higher education levels.
It’s no surprise that ENTJ personality types tend to be higher earners. According to Career Assessment Site, those who are in this group have a propensity to be much more outgoing and are natural leaders, so it’s safe to say they would be more likely to ask for raises and promotions. The ENTJ population is generally more comfortable around people and they enjoy working with others. People within the ENTJ group are often found in high-paying careers such as law and medicine.
Unlike the ENTJ group, those within the INFP personality type tend to be more reserved and less outgoing. This could possibly translate into a tendency to be less aggressive about raises and promotions.
Here are three tips for not letting your personality type control your finances.
1. Don’t let feelings rule financial choices
Those who fall within the “feeling” category (they are represented by the ‘F’ within the INFP personality type) tend to base money management and future purchases on their “gut” or on how the purchase made them feel. If you happen to strongly identify with the feeler category, you might be more inclined than other personality types to adjust spending levels according to your emotional state. So steer clear of shopping malls if you’re going through a breakup or if you had a rough day at work.
“For the thinking/feeling spectrum; I’d guess that feelers want to buy things that appeal to their feelings — things that feel good to them, things that bring certain feeling states of mind. The thinker would tend to use money or view money as a rational element,” says Sally Palaian, psychologist and author of the personal finance book Spent: Break the Buying Obsession and Discover Your True Worth.
2. Don’t let passion for your career make you blind to salary needs
People within the INFP group can often be found in creative careers such as writing and the performing arts. Another reason why earnings may not be as bountiful for this group is because some may be more concerned about their art than how much money they make.
3. Keep track of spending
Regardless of your personality type, your first step toward improved financial health should be to take an inventory of your spending habits. Know how much you are spending each month and exactly what you are spending your money on.
“If you feel your personality prevents you from having the financial freedom you desire, take time to learn about yourself and the unique aspects of your financial personality. I always recommend for anyone who wants to improve their finances to first begin by recording their spending. Keep a log of every purchase — write down what you are buying, how much it costs, the method you used to pay for it, where you were, what you were thinking, and why you wanted that purchase,” says Palaian.
Palaian encourages consumers to be more cognizant of each financial decision. “Begin to become conscious of where your money is going. This level of awareness helps slow down spending and enables a person to make more deliberate purchases; ones that will be more satisfactory in the long run,” says Palaian.
Don’t worry if you fall into a personality type that is found to earn less or to be less responsible with money. Your financial success does not have to be determined by your personality type. Making deliberate movements toward financial health will set you on the path toward financial freedom.