How Enneagram Type Relates to Finances

I am a big fan of the Enneagram. I have read about and taken multiple personality tests and to me, this was the most accurate of them all. Learning my enneagram type was similar to being wholly seen for the first time, even by me. At the same time, I better understand the people closest to me. It gave me a framework for relating to their motivations, their deepest fears, and their innate reactions. I wholly recommend learning about the Enneagram and then learning which type people around you are. It changed my life by allowing me to interact with others at a deeper, more personal level. It also gave me more empathy, a greater ability to help support others, and more confidence in where I fit in other people’s lives. Today, we will be talking about how your Enneagram type relates to your money habits.

There are 9 Enneagram Types

There are 9 Enneagram types. Each type has a title, a main motivator, an innate emotional reaction to failure, and a core way of processing the world. For each enneagram type, I will list these characteristics, followed by their money tendencies. So as not to peg people inside a box, it is important to append with the acknowledgement that we are all on a personal journey from our base enneagram type to a more evolved version of ourselves. When people work on themselves, they transcend their Enneagram type’s limitations and become a higher-self version of their Enneagram. I’ll avoid minute specifics for now, but I do recommend you read Enneagram books in order to learn more.

Type 1. The Reformer

  • Main Motivator: Moral Perfection
  • Reaction: Anger
  • Processing: Instinctive/Gut

Type 1 focuses on moral perfection, justice, doing what is right and being a good person. More often than not, they have a voice in their head that is constantly talking to them like an angel or devil on a shoulder would. I can affirm this as I am a type one. Constantly, a voice tells me “bad, wrong, not good enough, be better, work harder, try more.” Self-criticism is a big thing with Type 1s, and so is judgement of others.

Just as they seek moral perfection, they also aim at perfecting their budgets. They are great at creating budgets and keeping track of their money. Their strength is that whenever they make a rule, they follow through with it to the end. They restrict pleasure quite easily, so they can push through hardships.

Sometimes, it’s difficult for them to start facing their finances, especially if they suffer from perfectionist procrastination. For example, some type 1’s will first need to assure themselves that the stock market is a morally right place, or that being rich is does not make one morally bad. But once they form an idea, they fall behind it almost religiously.

Unfortunately, they often fail to celebrate successes. They feel a lot of guilt with spending money, especially on themselves. They also question, “Do I deserve this?”. Most often times, it goes back to moral perfection. I personally keep thinking, “How could I buy all these things when others in my country barely have food to eat?”. This may be why my love language is receiving gifts. I rely on people around me to gift me things that I can’t give myself. Type 1s sit well with what others would consider deprivation, especially when they have a finance goal in mind. With type 1’s there is no stopping them until they get to what they view as the right destination.

Ways in which type 1’s can transcend their finances:

  • Let go of the All-Or-Nothing thinking and embrace the middle ground. You can save money and spend on yourself too.
  • If you think the stock market is a bad place because it supports morally wrong companies, perhaps the best strategy is to pick and choose companies that are morally right to you. For example, if you don’t want to invest in SPY because it includes oil companies, maybe pick one or two companies you believe in and invest in them instead. I also like the idea of not investing in companies but rather, investing in yourself. Your education, your small business ideas, and your family and friends.
  • Set aside a small amount of money each week dedicated to yourself. If you budget it as ‘Fun Money’, it is accounted for and you will feel less guilt when you buy something for yourself. Although, I can’t guarantee the guilt goes away completely 😉

Type 2. The Helper

  • Main Motivator: Being Loved or Liked
  • Reaction: Shame
  • Processing: Feelings/Heart

Type 2s main motivator is being loved or liked by others. They are interesting when it comes to money because they can be both altruistic and hedonistic. They are altruistic because they earn the love they seek through flattery and being helpful to others. This could mean giving their time to do favors for other people, dishing out words of affirmation, or buying people gifts and experiences. Because type 2’s struggle with feeling enough, worthy and lovable, they tend to buy their love from others. Often times, type 2s are the ones supporting their families.

Part of the heart triad, type 2s are considered emotional spenders. They overspend on others and are the least likely type to ask for help. At their worst, they use money as a way to fill a void within themselves. They end up hurting themselves financially. It is important to recognize that their spending on others is not as sustainable as it is honorable.

There are some 2s who prefer to give their time to others. However, they feel that financial stability is what will allow them to give up their time. ‘If I am financially stable, I would be able to work less and spend more time with people I love.’ Ironically, because of this, type 2’s work extra hard so they can make more money to have enough resources for others. Work can end up taking up most of their time.

Sometimes, they work so hard in an unselfish way that they forget to self-care. This is where the hedonism comes in. Type 2s tend to burn out because they are so self-less. When this happens, spending goes out the window and they become self-indulgent. They throw money at the problem in bursts of quick fixes, whether that’s a day at the spa, a quick get-away trip, or massages and shopping sprees. They don’t care how much money they spend because they are so fatigued and exhausted.

A strength that type 2s can use in finance is their ability to read others. Because they are constantly seeking love, they tend to know what their bosses and co-workers want from them, and they can use that to get promotions. That combined with being a hard-working employee, type 2s can definitely move up the ladder and make more money quicker.

Ways in which Type 2s can transcend their finances:

  • Balance is key. Dedicate one way to show self-care every day in order to avoid burn-out. That could be taking a walk, taking a bubble bath, or reading a book.
  • Budget money for spending on others. For example, we have a ‘Gifts and Donations’ category in our budget. Another great title for this category is “Love Language Money”
  • Limit the amount of hours you spend at work. When you are off, spend time on yourself instead of with others.
  • Prioritize yourself when it comes to finances. Understand that spending too much on others can be hurting you. If being loved and liked is your motivator, reframe. Think of how not being financially savvy can make others feel. The people you love don’t want you to hurt. Let those around you motivate you to improve your finances.
  • Get an accountability partner! 2s are motivated by others and some have reported that it helps to do the weekly budget with a spouse via a ‘date night’. Set challenges and share your goals and successes with each other.

Type 3. The Achiever

  • Main motivator: Success
  • Reaction: Shame
  • Processing: Feelings/Heart

Type 3s main goal is to achieve success, or more importantly, to appear successful to others. They have big dreams, big goals, and big spending habits. Let’s talk first about their strengths. Type 3s are constantly thinking to themselves “I am worthless and I need to earn my worth through doing and achieving.” They are strongly tied to money. Type 3s tend to be high-income earners. Their wish to do and achieve also makes them hard-workers.

When it comes to budgeting, they are good at it when they want to be. They are at their best when they can track progress and see their outcomes. They are goal-oriented and work hard to reach their money goals. Just like type 1s, they stick with the rules they make.

Their weakness lies in their need to appear successful. Technically, they are emotional spenders. Type 3s tend to keep up with the Joneses. They accumulate debt. Type 3s spend money on things that look good instead of feel good in an effort to be recognized. To them, money is a measure of success as well as a status symbol. Wealth to 3s is more about doing what they want when they want rather than having money sit in a bank account. Unlike Type 1s, money is a reward for their hard hustle. ‘Work hard, play hard’ is probably something they live by.

Ways in which Type 3s can transcend their finances:

  • When feeling compelled to spend, ask yourself your true intentions. Is it to impress others or keep up with a trend? The clearer you are on your priorities, the better you are at feeding your inner happiness.
  • Define financial success by how much you save as well as how much you earn. This will keep a balance between earning and spending. There is no point in earning more if you go into debt because you spend a lot.
  • Since type 3s are external-facing, start a blog on saving money or publish your savings goals. If you don’t want to be so public, verbally announce to friends and family what you wish to accomplish. For example, if you want to pay your student debt down by a certain date, inform your social circle. Then you will feel the pressure of success to get it done. And starting blogs CAN increase your income too.

Type 4. The Individualists

  • Main Motivator: To be unique and original
  • Reaction: Shame
  • Processing: Feeling/Heart

Type 4s are most concerned about being seen in the fullness of who they are and liked to be viewed as original. Their greatest fear is that they will have no identity or significance to the world, and they long to find themselves and remain authentic to who they believe themselves to be. This is an Enneagram type that is not really motivated by money.

Like type 2s and 3s, type 4s value the way they are viewed by others in the sense that they have to be seen as unique. So they emotionally spend money in order to be perceived a certain way. However unlike type 2s and 3s, they do not live up to other people’s standards. They live by their own rules.

Type 4s can be big spenders. They like to spend money on very nice things so that they can live up to their standards. They will buy rare items, one-offs, and very outlandish costumes in order to stand out. Because unique items tend to cost more, they tend to spend more to be original.

They also spend money on becoming who they want to be. For example, if they decide they want to pursue a hobby or passion like snowboarding, they will buy the nicest gear, and ALL of it. They think that doing so will make it more likely that they achieve that title. They are romantics are heart, so they approach everything they do from a sense of grandeur.

Type 4s hate mediocrity. If they feel like they can’t reach high levels of success, they’d rather be doomed to failure and not try. This is bad for finances. Type 4s tend to avoid budgeting if they think they will fail. They have very high standards and can be like type 1s in their all-or-nothing approach. They also tend to keep things to themselves because they don’t want others to know they are failing. If they fall short of their own standards, they pretend like they didn’t try at all in order to avoid the shame they feel.

The strength in 4s lies in their ability to romanticize everything. If they so choose, they can make something as mundane as money super cool!

Ways in which Type 4s can transcend their finances:

Type 5. The Investigator

  • Main motivator: To be Informed
  • Reaction: Fear
  • Processing: Thinking/Head

Type 5s are the researchers and the intellectuals. They are the people who usually start the conversation with, “Actually, did you know…”. Their biggest fear is being useless or incapable. In terms of finances, they fear depletion. Because of this, they hoard their resources. They do that with everything, actually. They hold back on affirmations, they reserve energy, they save time.

Type 5s are incredible savers. They actually don’t want to spend their money. They limit what they ask for and buy because they can mostly do without. Unfortunately, this also means they don’t do much with money for fear of approaching it incorrectly. They don’t invest their money and typically prefer to let it sit in a savings account. If that is the case, a Marcus High Yield Savings Account would probably make type 5s comfortable. If you open an account using my referral link, you can receive an additional 1% APY for the first three months.

Ways in which Type 5s can transcend their finances:

  • Introverted type 5s tend to spend money on information. Use your research skills to learn about finances. Create graphs and charts that will point you towards the right direction in terms of investments. Trust the information you gain and invest your money. Remember this statistic: Historically, the market always goes up.
  • Gamify your finances! Type 5s spend most of their money on music, streaming, and games. They love YOUTUBE. Make a game out of your finances. Optimize your credit cards for free flights or maximize rewards! Find ways to get free stuff.
  • Just like type 1s, create a ‘Fun Money’ category in your budget! It’s okay to spend on yourself once in a while.

Type 6. The Loyalist

  • Main Motivator: Security
  • Reaction: Fear
  • Processing: Thinking/Head

Type 6s value safety, security and certainty. They want answers for everything. They care a lot about money because they want to ensure they have enough of it. This can sometimes lead to fear of losing money. Type 6s may avoid investing if they view the risk as a great one. However, they should reframe investing in the market as the only sure way to secure a future wherein their wealth grows.

Type 6s are called loyalists because they are loyal to their friends and family. Sometimes this can become an issue. When it comes to money, they will spend on the people they care about. They tend to rescue others. Sometimes, those people can take advantage of 6s. They know that 6s are prepared enough to have the money and may rely on them for money.

In terms of career, 6s tend to stay with a stable job for a long time. They don’t like to be in charge, so they avoid promotions. This can limit their earning potential. They also stay in jobs that may not be promoting them or have a toxic environment, simply because they are comfortable with their role. They are the ones who most likely will keep a stable job and pay down their home ASAP. This can be good but it can also limit their wealth growing potential.

Type 6s struggle to use their savings for a free and happy life. They worry a lot about money. In the same boat as type 1s and 5s, type 6s are most likely to stress about having money in the future. This makes them very good savers. They are most likely to have an emergency fund. They are considered the most responsible Enneagram type, and should lean into High Yield Savings Accounts, long-term investment accounts like Roth IRAs, and set-to-forget apps.

Ways in which Type 6s can transcend their finances:

  • When 6s treat themselves, they tend to spend the most money on the ‘essentials’ like clothing or dining. It is important for 6s to also spend on self-care.
  • Type 6s are uncomfortable with promotions and career changes. However, they are typically great at what they do. Have the courage to ask for a promotion. Reframe it as ensuring finance security and wealth in the future. Use financial security as a motivator to earn more.
  • Type 6s tend to worry about not having enough for retirement or their kid’s college. Perhaps looking into how I Bonds can help with paying for both would calm a 6s nerves.
  • Don’t let fear overcome your finances. Try a set-it-and-forget it strategy with investing and budgeting. Then avoid checking in every single day.

Type 7. The Enthusiast

  • Main motivator: Being Happy/Satisfied
  • Reaction: Fear
  • Processing: Thinking/Head

Type 7s are adventurers who want to experience life to the fullest. Their main motivator is being happy and seeking pleasure. Their fear is to be trapped in emotional pain. Type 7s don’t want to be limited and like to keep their options open. Because of this, commitment is rough, budgeting is even rougher. Having to structure spending is stressful for them.

Type 7s tend to spend money. They like new experiences and are good at convincing themselves that there are no consequences to their spending. When they feel limited or trapped, they look for escapes in forms of hobbies or travel. They tend to fudge the numbers in order to justify themselves. Most often, they tell themselves ‘Everything is possible.’

Type 7s tend to fall into the hamster wheel of life. They have to work their tails off in order to work back the money they spend. Often times, they spread themselves thin and have a hard time following through.

They are great with idea creation. Unfortunately, they also tend to overestimate their love for something. They might spend money upfront on a hobby that they will later give up. Often times, they get a bad rap for being flaky but they really aren’t. It’s more like they want to experience it all and jump from one hobby to the next in their zeal. They spend freely on what they love. And they are open to financial risks, but do not want money to limit their life.

Ways in which Type 7s can transcend their finances:

  • Type 7s should create frugal challenges. View these challenges as fun adventures. For example, Don’t Buy Technology Brand New.
  • Use their creativity and idea creation to find ways to get what they want without spending money.
  • 7s sometimes suffer from impulse buys. Perhaps create a rule to wait 24 hours before buying something. Sleep on it. Or find ways to borrow items from someone or buy used.

Type 8. The Challengers

  • Main Motivator: Being strong
  • Reaction: Anger
  • Processing: Instinctive/Gut

Type 8s are the challengers. They are strong, decisive, and protective. Some might see them as aggressive types, but they will defend themselves and their loved ones whole heartedly. Their biggest fear is weakness. They don’t want to ever be controlled or undermined. They view the world as a dog-eat-dog place and feel the need to be strong to survive. In this sense, they are highly motivated by earning money.

There’s a running joke that the only person an 8 will listen to is themself. So when they set a budget, they will stick to it. They have a ‘Go Big or Go Home’ mindset which could work for or against their favor. They want to earn a lot of money because money is a social status symbol that tells others they are on top. But they also don’t mind spending money with their ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. At their worst, they are stubborn and even delusional with their financial habits.

The good thing about 8s is how they protect their loved ones. They will do the hard things to care for others. Sometimes, this makes them prone to burn out. Physical illness befalls type 8s often. They will financially support their family members the best they can.

Ways in which Type 8s can transcend their finances:

  • Fierce 8s are good negotiators. You should use this to their advantage. Type 8s would make great salespeople or could negotiate a better salary for themselves at their current job. No one is going to rip them off and get away with it.
  • Listen to other people’s money stories. It isn’t the easiest thing for 8s to do, as they are programmed to think theirs is the best way, but learning from others could pay out in the end.
  • Sometimes 8s spend money to feel in control. Notice when you are doing that. Instead, reframe it as your money controlling you. To be better in control of money, focus on a budget.

Type 9. The Peacekeepers

  • Main motivator: Easy to get along with
  • Reaction: Anger
  • Processing: Instinctive/Gut

Type 9s think they need to be easy to get along with. Think of them as the gentle and creative devil’s advocates in the Enneagram world. Their biggest fear is conflict and separation from the people they care about. Type 9s struggle with numbness to self and numbless to life. Some sources call them sloth-like and indolent. They do only what they need to get by. Likewise in terms of finances, they only want to earn enough to live their life. Type 9s are not very motivated by money. In fact, a statistic shows that type 9s are the least likely Enneagram type to make over $150k per year. Only 4% of the people in this salary bracket at type 9s.

Type 9s also struggle with prioritization. They are thoughtful and considerate with their outcomes and options. Unfortunately, they also get overwhelmed easily. They often don’t know what’s most important and where to go next. This leads to procrastination. Type 9s get overwhelmed by money too. They hardly want to create the systems that will help them with money. However, once it is done for them by someone more proactive, they can follow systems quite well. They are of the set-it and forget-it types, because peacemakers TRULY WILL forget it.

Their strengths lie in the fact that they don’t need a lot and are not big spenders. They are happiest with ‘useful’ purchases and prefer to spend on hobbies over status symbols. 56% of peacekeepers define being wealthy as having what they need. However, because they are so kind and agreeable, they may get pulled into trips, movies and outings they wouldn’t attend on their own.

Ways in which Type 9s can transcend their finances:

  • Create a vision board of your wants in life. This may spark interest and inspire action. Type 9s are actually very creative people which is why vision boards are a great thing to do. They don’t always have the right words to explain what they want, but they can cut out pictures or images of what they hope for.
  • Like type 2s, type 9s will benefit from having a friend hold their hand. Budgeting dates work best for a type 9. Creating finance goals and having an accountability partner is helpful too. Pick someone who is more go-getter than you, not another peacemaker. My husband is actually a Type 9 through and through. It works out really well for us. He lets me (a type 1) formulate the budget, and then he goes through and adds and subtracts from it as needed. I am crucial to getting the job started, but I need him to curate it for me in an intentional way.
  • These self-less creatures name gifts as an expenditure that gives them joy. Create a ‘fun money’ category in your budget.
  • Definitely budget! 9s seek inner peace and having a budget set every month actually calms them down since there is a plan set out for them.

As I said in the very beginning, enneagrams are meant as a framework for understanding the people around you but it is by no means set in stone. If anything, I hope you found this fun. Enneagrams have changed my life and have improved the way I interact with people. I actually have a specific person in my life for each enneagram type. These are the ways in which I give to them financially.

  • Type 1: Give them a gift, just-because.
  • Type 2: Constantly tell them they don’t have to buy anything or do anything for me. I schedule self-care-centered dates, such as coffee, hiking, or beach days for my type 2s.
  • Type 3: Tell them they are successful enough.
  • Type 4: Gift the most random/unique item I can find to gift them, usually from my travels.
  • Type 5: Remind them to spend on themselves.
  • Type 6: Buy them gift-cards to restaurants or essentials.
  • Type 7: Gift them experiences over things.
  • Type 8: Thank them for their hard work.
  • Type 9: Set up systems for their finances.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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