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It's Your Love Language — But About Money

How to focus on your wants and needs.

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Loris Lora
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Hi. I’m Jean. And I’m a producer. 

That means I watch over my money pretty diligently (bet you’re not surprised by that) and enjoy watching it grow (maybe you are). I’m also part nurturer — that’s the side of me that values being able to use some of my resources to help others in my family and my community. And even I was surprised to see the not unsizable chunk of me that’s a connoisseur, the part of my personality that loves a) having money and b) spending it on little luxuries and occasionally not-so-little ones.

This is my MoneyType, which is another word for a money personality. Once you know your MoneyType, you have a better understanding of why you are the way you are with money: This allows you to focus on bringing out your better qualities and work on managing the more negative ones.  You can learn your MoneyType here

In my case, for example, the producer in me can be a little risk averse — that is, I tend to get nervous when stock markets swoon. Knowing this helps me push myself to take the appropriate amount of risk in my portfolio. It’s also hugely helpful in relationships, opening the door to more candid, less-charged discussions. (Even though it’s built for women, it works regardless of gender — so get your spouse to take it, too.)

It’s your love language — but about money

Don’t get me wrong — this is no Cosmo quiz. MoneyType is rooted in science. Jennifer Leigh Selig, a psychologist, has two decades of experience studying archetypes and typology systems (more on these in a moment). She has a doctorate in the field. And when it came to developing the MoneyType assessment tool for HerMoney she dug in deep, spending months researching everything she could find on women and money — as well as other money typing systems to figure out where the gaps were. That led her to an initial hypothesis that there were five money types: In addition to producer, connoisseur and nurturer, there are also the visionary (who see money as a means to follow their passion) and the independent (whose driving force is toward freedom and autonomy).  

Selig developed a questionnaire (an earlier version of the one you can take) that she tested, tested, tested on nearly 200 women, homing in on their “fears, sabotage patterns, gifts and worries.” She refined the five archetypes as well as the questionnaire itself and tested again, until she nailed it. 

So, what exactly are archetypes and why are they so useful in understanding yourself?

“Think of these five types like the five love languages,” Selig says. “No love language is ‘correct’ or better than another. Just different. The types are like that as well, and knowing someone’s ‘money language’ is a great way to have discussions that honor each other and make each other feel safe and valued. I’ve worked with couples after they’ve received their results and they report having the most ‘uncharged’ conversations about money [ever].”

More than 100 percent

One of the first things you’ll notice when you get your MoneyType is that when all the components of your personality are added together they top 100. Often way more than 100. That, Selig explains, is because types aren’t mutually exclusive. Some people will see they’re pretty balanced across types, she says. That may seem frustrating, but it’s actually good to know you can tap into all of these portions of your personality. Other people will see they have a ton of energy in one or two types (like me) and far less in others.

“That’s useful information, too,” she explains. “It can show you where you may need some tempering. For instance, if you are close to a 100 percent nurturer, you may be sacrificing too much of your money for others. Nurturers are naturally generous and will use their money to support others — but at the extreme, they may prioritize the financial needs of others over their own. It may be time to focus on putting on your own financial oxygen mask first.”

Focus on your wants and needs

So, what should you do with your results when you get them? Focus your attention on your aspirations around your money. For example, if you want to be more methodical about your money and to create a budget or a savings and retirement plan, look to your producer score. If it’s high, this will come naturally to you. If it’s low, you’re going to need some support.

Selig herself notes that she scores high on the nurturer scale. She loves that part of her personality — but as someone who works on a consulting basis, it also leads to her giving away too much of her services and time, which is, as she says, “counterproductive to her financial goals and certainly to owning [her] own worth.” The solution has been to rally a group of trusted women that she can ask questions about what’s a fair rate to charge for this job or that one. 

Visionaries who are so passionate about their work that they often lose sight of the value they’re bringing to their companies or employers may be similarly helped in understanding that it’s OK to help yourself toward financial success while helping your company simultaneously. Asking for what you deserve in salary or bonus — once you realize that you can both love what you do and get paid well for doing it — is a natural next step.

For additional help, please check out these resources:

AARP Money Map™   
With just a few simple steps, AARP Money Map™ tools provide a clear plan of action on your debt and resources to get you started.