How Enneagram Core Motivations Affect Your Finances
Who are you, really? That’s a difficult question and one that many people don’t feel comfortable answering, but the enneagram has created one framework that could help us get there (if we’re brave enough). If you’ve ever wondered how your enneagram core motivations and enneagram types core motivations affect how you treat money, you’re in the right place to find out.
Have you ever felt like there’s a little voice deep inside screaming at you to stop spending money or to sell that stock at a loss when its value is declining? One possible explanation for that could be your enneagram core motivations.
Regardless of whether you believe in personality typing systems, it’s clear as day that individual differences affect how we feel about money (and act on those feelings). We all know that one guy who tries to invest in cryptocurrency or business ideas—and another guy who scrimps every last penny no matter how much he has in the bank. If you’re curious to learn more, let’s go over how the enneagram works and how to manage your finances based on enneagram core motivations.
Enneagram and personal finance: the links
While many popular personality tests—like the Myers-Briggs type indicator—focus on traits like extraversion, the Enneagram core motivations are a little different. It’s all about finding our motivations, values, enneagram types core motivations and fears.
There are nine core types, which are portrayed in a circle (shown above). Each number represents:
- The reformer
- The helper
- The achiever
- The individualist
- The investigator
- The loyalist
- The enthusiast
- The challenger
- The peacemaker
In addition to their core, a personality type also has a “wing” either to its right or left. For example, you could be a 6w5 (a core 6 with a wing in 5). There are also some complexities related to how each type reacts in growth and stress, which is what the arrows represent in the diagram.
But for the sake of simplicity, we’re just going to be focusing on the enneagram core motivations here. So, if you don’t know yours, take the Enneagram Personality test already.
Types of Enneagram core motivations
We’ve only scratched the surface of what the Enneagram really means, enneagram types core motivations and how it works, and that’s because we wanted to move swiftly on to the juicier stuff: how to use your Enneagram core motivations to inform your financial decisions and inform your financial habits.
Reformers are known for being perfectionists that excel at following processes. As a result, the idea of getting something wrong or being imperfect tends to be very distressing to them.
It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that they tend to be micromanagers when it comes to their finances. These are an enneagram types core motivations that love to save, budget, and make investment strategies—it makes them feel worthy and good about themselves.
But while we can all agree that it’s a good idea to save money, type ones need to be careful they don’t take it too far. Sometimes, spending your money can be an investment—for example, buying a new, more efficient computer could improve how well you work. They also need to be careful to be kind to themselves; if you can’t stick to your budget for one month, it’s not always your fault or even necessarily such a bad thing.
For helpers, everything is about being liked by and useful to others, so their biggest fear is (you guessed it?) not being useful and liked. But how does enneagram core motivations – the helper link to money?
Well, enneagram types core motivations twos tend to want to spend a lot of their money on loved ones. A great quality when you’re on the receiving end—but it can also put twos in vulnerable positions. They should therefore take care to ensure they’re putting enough money aside for their financial goals.
Achievers strive for success and admiration; they hate nothing more than the idea of being useless or failing to meet their goals. They tend to chase money, and they’re often good at accumulating it too!
However, they can easily fall into the trap of becoming overly flashy with their money to seem “successful.” They’d do well to think about the long term (just because others can’t see you’re saving lots for retirement, doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile) and pause before they buy something new.
As individualists, enneagram types core motivations fours are extremely in touch with who they are—and they love expressing that to everyone else. It’s great they’re so in touch with their emotions, but this can also leave them vulnerable to making decisions about their finances based purely on how they feel.
To avoid this problem, it would help for them to make budgets and plans (which they’re less likely to do than other types) before they decide to splurge on something that seems “meaningful” because it shows their identity. They might not value money, but they should still pay attention to it.
Investigators are amazing analysts and enjoy nothing more than digging deep into some data or a book for financial literacy and picking it apart; their greatest fear is being incompetent. They don’t have any issues coming up with (potentially very complex) financial strategies—but this doesn’t make them perfect money managers.
Like reformers, enneagram core motivations – investigators need to be careful that they don’t go overboard with their strategizing and should remember to spend some money on themselves from time to time. They also need to consider that excessive amounts of research sometimes just isn’t necessary; maybe it’s not worth spending an hour on figuring out how to save $10 on a plane ticket when you have $50,000 in the bank.
Loyalists care about security and safety more than the average person; their greatest fear is being in a position of vulnerability. It’s pretty easy to guess how this relates to money— more than any other type, they’re terrified of losing their money or being in a precarious position.
Creating an emergency fund is an important step to helping them stop stressing out about running out of money. But if the fear persists past the point where they know they’re secure, they should consider taking some calculated types of investment risk. If they miss out on investing because they’re too scared of losing money, they’ll miss out on the power of compound interest investments. And ironically, this will make them less secure.
For the most part, enthusiasts love life, sensory pleasures, and feeling alive. They’re fun to be around, but they’re one of the types most at risk when it comes to overspending and being too spontaneous with their money.
Type sevens don’t enjoy the mundanity of budgeting by nature, but they need to put in the extra effort to plan out their finances. They should also avoid excessive risk when investing since they’re particularly liable to taking it too far.
Challengers are all about independence, and they strive to be powerful leaders; their biggest fear is being dependent on others. However, this can make them vulnerable to hasty decisions due to their lust for power and control.
They tend to be high earners overall since money is a motivator for them, but if things go wrong, they could be vulnerable to “risking it all” on investing opportunities. They should therefore think twice about taking on debt or getting involved in investments that seem too good to be true.
Since peacemakers are all about creating harmony, their biggest fear is failing to make others happy. People with this type of enneagram core motivations don’t tend to be motivated by money, but this means they often end up spending a lot out of pure disinterest.
Their biggest challenge is simply getting started with personal financial management and forcing themselves to pay their finances some much-needed attention.
Can your enneagram change?
While some might say that a “leopard never changes its spots,” most of us would probably wager that we all have some capacity to change. Psychologists would tend to agree with that. So, does that mean enneagram core motivations can also change?
Well, possibly. There’s no official consensus over whether an enneagram can change, so feel free to make your own conclusions. On the one hand, it may be drilled into us by either biology or our childhood traumas and experiences; but on the other hand, we experience new environments as we grow older that could influence what we value and fear.
It’s worth checking in on the types of enneagram core motivations periodically to see if any lessons that didn’t apply to you before suddenly seem more pertinent. Be your own test subject!
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