The 8 Money Archetypes – Which One Are You?

I’ve been reading Brent Kessel’s book “It’s Not About the Money” and have found it to have some great information about money and how people approach it.

One of the biggest epiphanies that I learned by reading this book is about wanting. Why people want this or that and how it relates to their happiness. We all know that purchasing something might make you happy for a while, but sooner or later you become accustomed to it and your happiness returns to a normal level and you start to want something else.

I have seen this in my life, I have felt this before. What I couldn’t explain was why exactly, but Brent explains it perfectly.

Happiness is a lack of want.

So when you buy that new thing, you are happy because for a brief moment in time you don’t have a want. Think about that for a minute. Happiness is just having all you want. So bringing that lesson further on, reduce your wants and you will increase your happiness.

When I was thinking about this concept, I came up with this sentence – “You will not find lasting happiness by having more and more, but by wanting less and less.”

Wow, what an amazing thing to learn. Internalize that and it will change your life.

The main part of his book is learning about the 8 financial archetypes. I will list the attributes of each of them and I want you to find yours.



Always alert and careful

  • Worry, Anxiety


  • Alertness, Prudence

You may be a Guardian if you:

  • Make financial decisions in one of two ways. (1) You are often frozen and don’t make decisions even if you think it is the best one for you. (2) You analyze each decision to the extreme before you choose one.
  • You think too much. You run too many “what-if” questions through your brain. You are always thinking of the negative financial aspects – the “doomsdays.”
  • You live by financial fear thinking rules. Like never-ever being in debt.
  • You worry too much about things that you can easily survive. For example, you constantly worry about not being able to pay your bills even though you have a large emergency fund.
  • You fear making the wrong decision more than you would enjoy making the right one.



Prioritizes pleasure and enjoyment in the present

  • Hedonism, Impulsiveness


  • Enjoyment, Pleasure

You may be a Pleasure Seeker if:

  • You save less than 5% of your income.
  • When you have money you buy things you don’t need.
  • Your debts exceed your assets (negative networth).
  • You often pay the minimum or postpone payments when possible.
  • If you have investments they tend to be “alternate investments” like a wine collection, art, jewelry, collectibles, or entertainment businesses. You may also invest in highly-risky investments – “go big or go home.”
  • When you are sad you usually end up buying something to make you happy – “retail therapy.”
  • Your spending habits create tension with your partner.



Places the greatest value on creativity, compassion, social justice, or spiritual growth

  • Distrust, Aversion


  • Vision, Compassion

You may be an Idealist if:

  • You are primarily an artist, musician, entertainer, or you work for a non-profit.
  • You don’t earn very much money.
  • You rely on others for financial support.
  • Your distrust of Wall Street and Big Business lead you to invest in “alternate investments” like an art or music collection, cryptocurrency, and possibly land.
  • You are more likely to give money directly to a homeless person rather than a charity that says they help the homeless.



Seeks security and abundance by accumulating more financial assets

  • Hoarding, Penny-Pinching


  • Self-Sufficiency, Abundance

You may be a Saver if:

  • You save greater than 20% of your income each year.
  • You spend and give away less than 3% of your net worth each year.
  • Your net worth grows by more than 5% each year.
  • You are often overhead telling other people to “Live within their means” or “Don’t ever touch your principal.”



Spends, invests, or gives money away to be recognized, feel hip or classy, and increase self-esteem

  • Pretentiousness, Self-Importance


  • Leadership, Style

You may be a Star if:

  • More than 25% of your money goes towards clothing, hair, beauty, jewelry, entertainment, and other things to enhance your image like flashy cars, tatoos, art, or a penthouse apartment.
  • You seek acknowledgement for your generosity.
  • You are often chasing the latest investment trends.



Avoids putting significant attention on money and hopes that everything will work out for the best

  • Avoidance, Helplessness


  • Hope, Adaptability

You may be an Innocent if:

  • You have personal debt (not a mortgage or car loan) for over a year and have less than 3 months expenses in savings.
  • You are in a circumstance such as illness, disability, lack of education or training where you can’t make ends meet.
  • You live paycheck to paycheck (even if you do earn a lot), spending everything you earn while still struggling to live.
  • You received a large amount of money, such as winning the lottery, an inheritance, or a successful lawsuit, but now have little to nothing to show for it.
  • You would rather get punched in the face, HARD, than balance your finances or pay your bills.
  • You pay more in credit card interest and bank overdraft fees than you earn from all of your investments combined.



Gives and lends money to express compassion and generosity

  • Enabling, Self-Abandoning


  • Empathy, Generosity

You may be a Caretaker if:

  • You spend more than 20% of your income helping others in need like friends, family, or charities. But you aren’t generous to yourself so don’t have a sense of ease about your generosity.
  • Other people are more financially dependent on you and they don’t often reciprocate back.
  • You have little savings because you are using your money to take care of others.
  • If you have investments they are easily sold because you think you will need that money to rescue someone.



Thrives on power and innovation to create something of enduring value

  • Greed, Domination


  • Innovation, Decisiveness

You may be an Empire Builder if:

  • Your ‘number’ – the amount of money you have told yourself you need to quit and never work again – increases faster than the inflation rate in Venezuela.
  • Your business or career is where you spend 75%+ of your waking hours.
  • You won’t pull out any money from your empire other than the minimum you need to cover your expenses.
  • Your empire is more than 75% of your net worth.

Which Archetypes Are You? (You can be a combination of two – or more)

You may not be surprised that I am a 100% full-blooded Saver. I’m focused on becoming financially free and am achieving that through frugality and increased earnings to put towards investments.

I think most people that write about personal finance are as well.

It wouldn’t surprise me if there are a few budding (or accomplished!) Empire Builders reading as well.

Leave a comment down below and let’s discuss.

If you want to read and learn more about each archetype and money from a Buddhist perspective, go and grab It’s Not About the Money: A Financial Game Plan for Staying Safe, Sane, and Calm in Any Economy – by Brent Kessel. (Amazon affiliate link)

Or you can get it cheaper off of ThriftBooks.com – here is an affiliate link to Save 15% off your first order


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  1. Mike H

    Saver here- but I don’t feel bad for it at all. Hopefully I can continue to do the same for the rest of my lifetime, working or otherwise.


    1. MrDD

      Well, Mike, from what you tell me you are a saving CHAMPION! I don’t think anything can stop you now.

  2. Mr. Defined Sight

    Nice post my friend. I would also be in the “saver” category. There are other cool sounding categories but you are what you are at the end of the day. Take care man!

    1. MrDD

      Many people change during the course of their lives. I mean, I wasn’t always a saver. I BECAME a saver. Some other people tell me that they are part this and part that. But I do think that most of us that blog about personal finance are Savers.

      Hope everything is good with you, buddy. 😀

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