Do you know the most common money saboteurs? In this article, I break them down for you one by one.
We all have good intentions when it comes to our finances. We make decisions everyday on how to spend our money. Sometimes even when we know what we should do, we still struggle to handle our money in a way that serves our best interests. Most notably, we are often undermined by the most common money saboteurs, which we’ll discuss more below.
We’ve talked about how shame can hold us back when we let the stories we have lived shape our relationship with new money coming in. This includes stories from our past and from watching the way those closest to us spend their dollars.
Your relationship with money is tied up in your relationship with others, and you form a sort of money personality. Deborah L. Price first came up with the money types, and if you take the 60 second quiz on my site, you can see your own profile.
The 8 types represent specific and complex relationships that can cause you to spend in predictable ways. Some types are more healthy than others, and you are not destined to stay in one place.
5 of these are what I would consider money saboteurs that hold you back and keep you from having your most authentic relationship with money. They are Innocent, Victim, Martyr, Fool, and Tyrant.
I like that word, “saboteur.” It sounds theatrical and villainous. But these 5 traits undermine your best financial knowledge and intentions. Most people are a combination of types, and seeing the description of each in relation to what you know to be true about your habits may kick off some serious self-reflection. The good news is, once you know your tendencies, you build a path to transform into a more successful money mindset.
#1 Most Common Money Saboteur – The Innocent
The Innocent is one of the most common money saboteurs, and it’s just like it sounds. Their motto is “what you don’t know, can’t hurt you.” But with finances, we know that to be untrue. Ignoring their own intuition and hiding from the details, they prefer to let someone else handle their money, or at least rely heavily on others for advice. They remain childlike when it comes to money.
I think of a 1950’s housewife as an innocent, but this arrangement is not so uncommon today. Often one spouse will turn over money management to the other for convenience, and then find themselves blindsided when that spouse passes or their marriage falls apart.
While it’s not wrong to trust someone you love, your finances are the building blocks to your future life. Just as you wouldn’t completely relinquish your involvement with your children to a caretaker, it’s important to keep a pulse on the health of your net worth.
#2 – The Victim
The second most common money saboteur is the Victim. The Victim looks a lot like the Innocent at first glance. They use the same avoidance tactics when it comes to their money. They want a rescuer to save them. But the reasons are different. The Victim has been wronged in the past. They harbor a resentment and weariness that they lean on when questioned about their choices.
Time has passed, and from outside appearance, they seem to have moved on. But their mentality is still a crutch.
Their abuse is not invented, but they never processed their hurt and feel they are owed a free pass after all they have endured. Even though hiding from their money is only digging a deeper hole, they want someone else to handle things. They often team up with the Martyr in a dependent and uncomfortable relationship for both.
#3 – The Martyr
The Martyr is the third most common money saboteur. The Martyr uses money they may or may not have to rescue others, but their giving is not entirely without strings. They set high expectations for themselves and others, and tend to feel hurt when their generosity is not acknowledged, reciprocated, or paid back. They cling to their moral high ground and nurse their hurt when they aren’t appreciated, but they have tied their identity to someone who needs them.
This could be you if you are constantly bailing someone out. I know I fell into this category many times when family needed my help. I was the “responsible one” and I both took pride in that title and resented it.
In fact, most martyrs alternate between taking charge and feeling taken advantage of. But their independence and strong sense of right can be an asset if they can redirect the energy they put towards their control/reliance issues.
#4 – The Fool
The Fool is the fourth most common money saboteur, and he’s the guy we all want at our party. He is carefree, a gambler, and not overly concerned about tomorrow. He takes high risks and sometimes, hits a big payout. But his lack of discipline means that any wins are short lived and quickly spent. But the Fool is an optimist! The Fool lacks the guilt, frustration, and hangups that can undermine other types, but there is no control. Living on the edge, the Fool plunders along and takes what he can get. Even though it can be a fun ride at times, this is not a strategy for long-term stability and wealth.
Many of my family members growing up fell in this category. They were lotto players, and sometimes did hit it big. But this just perpetuated the lie that good times were up to fate, and led to a feast or famine mentality. All the money and energy spent on chasing that next big win eroded the reality that by working, you gain a steady income and control over your next paycheck.
#5 – The Tyrant
The Tyrant is the fifth most common money saboteur, and is another characteristic archetype—control freak, winning at all costs, only for himself. The Tyrant is good at making money, which makes her easy to glorify. She is successful and in charge. But the Tyrant is a manipulator and has no true friends, or at least none she wouldn’t sacrifice to win. She is constantly living in fear. She can’t let her guard down, and the money is never enough.
The Tyrant is the Wall Street type we see in movies. The politician who is only out for himself.
The Tyrant makes money look bad. Many people watching the Tyrant decide that money is the root of all evil. That wanting money is wrong, and therefore, only bad people want money.
None of these things are true, but the Tyrant furthers this sentiment with their unapologetic, often publicized greed.
The Most Common Money Saboteurs – Conclusion
Curious where you fall in this lineup? Maybe you have a guess. Check out the The Money Quiz and let me know what you think! It only takes 60 seconds and you’ll get a full report right away. I’d love to know if you find yourself in the results, and if it makes you think differently about your relationship with your money.