Balance

What’s Your Money Type?

These money archetypes are a way to help people tease out the factors that might be affecting their financial life on an unconscious level.

the yoga of money, money, foreign currency, travel, ganesh

Truth: We’re all funny about money. That’s because each of us comes to our financial life with our own unique experiences. These in turn condition us to respond to money in certain—and sometimes peculiar—ways, says Brent Kessel, a financial advisor and yogi who created the money archetypes below as a way to help people tease out what might be affecting their financial life on an unconscious level.

To determine your type (most of us are a combination of at least two), check the characteristics in the “You are ___” column that best describe your emotions and behavior around money. Be honest, keeping in mind that no type is inherently good or bad. “While [these characteristics] can show you where you’ve got room to grow in your financial life, they can also show you where you’re succeeding,” says Kessel. Once you know your stronger and weaker suits, you can find balance between the two. “Similar to how we don’t want to only build arm strength in our asana practice, it’s important to round out our financial practice by working on parts that are underdeveloped,” says Kessel.

After you’ve figured out which archetypes predominate for you, try the practices Kessel offers to help you accentuate your strengths, tamp down your weaknesses, and find more ease and contentment around money—the secret to experiencing a fulfilling financial life.

The Guardian

woman shopping

If you are…

  • Thoughtful
  • Prudent
  • Responsible
  • Anxious
  • Pessimistic
  • A worrywart

Try this practice

Whenever you feel anxious about money or worried that you’re not doing enough to take care of yourself and your family, breathe into your lower abdomen. It’s virtually impossible to be fearful when you’re taking full breaths, says Kessel. Just relax, and let gravity pull oxygen into your lower lungs.

Your New Mantra

“It’s OK to make a spontaneous purchase. I can enjoy my money and still be responsible when it comes to my finances.”

See alsoThe Yoga of Money: Take Wisdom from the Mat to Your Finances

The Innocent

tutoring, boy doing schoolwork, tutor, teacher

If you are…

  • Hopeful
  • Adaptable
  • Trusting
  • In denial
  • Helpless
  • Avoidant

Try this practice

If you find yourself relying on an “It’ll all work out” motto, or if feel like you don’t have a good grasp on where your money is going, seek help from someone with expertise to create a plan that allows you to feel peace and abundance at your current level of income, whatever that is.

Your New Mantra

“I will look at my finances and aim for what’s important to me, even if that means changing my lifestyle to work within a budget.”

See alsoYoga Teachers, Make Money Outside the Studio

The Idealist

food bank, charity, food drive, soup kitchen

If you are…

  • Visionary
  • Fair
  • Moralistic
  • Distrustful
  • Irresponsible
  • Too charitable

Try This Practice

Write down three different words or phrases to fill in the blank: “Money is ______ .” Then, get honest with yourself. How do these statements cause you to react? Are you attracting or repelling money due to these beliefs, and are they serving your ultimate creative, social, or spiritual ideals?

Your New Mantra

“I can value creativity, social justice, and spiritual growth and keep my financial well-being in mind at the same time.”

See also Take Control of Your Time and Money

The Saver

couple eating, going out to eat, feminism

If you are…

  • Self-sufficient
  • Flush
  • Prudent
  • Nervous
  • A Penny-pincher
  • Unnecessarily frugal

Try this practice

If you are nervous about spending, open a “play” account and automatically deposit $1 a day, $100 a month, or whatever feels right given your financial and emotional situation. Then, spend or donate at least half of it by the end of the month on things that bring you or someone else joy right now.

Your New Mantra

“I will spend some of my money even if it feels uncomfortable, trusting that I have enough.”

See alsoA Meditation On Money

The Star

avoid over eating with friends, at parties

If you are…

  • A leader
  • Stylish
  • Generous
  • Pretentious
  • Clued in to appearances
  • Brand conscious

Try this practice

Just once this week, resist your urge to buy a flashy item or give money away in order to improve your image. Don’t try to respond to the thoughts that come up; just let them wash through you. How long do your thoughts and feelings stay focused on that purchase or gift you were considering?

Your New Mantra

“I am enough. I don’t have to spend money to be recognized or increase my self-esteem.”

See alsoMoney and the Truth: Practicing Satya

The Caretaker

woman working from home, woman with baby, working mom

If you are…

  • Empathetic
  • Generous
  • Compassionate
  • Enabling
  • Self-abondaoning
  • Selfless to Fault

Try this practice

When you notice that most of your energy and resources—financial and otherwise—are being directed outward instead of inward, create a self-care action plan. Think of three simple ways you might express compassion for yourself before leaping to show compassion for others.

Your New Mantra

“I am just as deserving of love, care, and financial support as the people and causes I give to.”

See also5 Things Yoga Has Taught Me About Money

The Pleasure Seeker

be vulnerable, meditation, field, outdoor yoga, woman meditating

If you are…

  • A spender
  • Unconcerned
  • Drawn to luxury
  • Impulsive
  • In debt
  • Insecure

The Pleasure Seeker

Commit to one day each week in which you will not handle money in any way. Buy groceries ahead of time, pay your bills another day, and avoid using credit. Then, find other ways to enjoy yourself that don’t require financial transactions, such as getting out in nature or reading a great book.

Your New Mantra

“I can feed my senses and make myself happy without using money.”

See also5 Ways Yoga Can Save You Money

The Empire Builder

spiritual readings, woman reading with coffee

If you are…

  • Innovative
  • Decisive
  • Driven
  • Greedy
  • Power Hungry
  • A workaholic

Try this practice

For the next three weeks, spend a little time every day imagining you have already “arrived” in terms of meeting your business, personal, and financial goals. You probably spend too much time focused on your goals and need reminders to enjoy what you’ve already achieved.

Your New Mantra

“I can go after my big goals while still enjoying all that I have right here, right now.”

See also Money Matters