The Enneagram is a dynamic profiling tool that many psychologists, consultants, trainers, and coaches are using to help individuals discover their true self, strengths and weaknesses, and also to overcome some of their biggest life challenges.

I’m a certified Master Enneagram Coach and I use the Enneagram to assess clients in order to help him or her gain self-awareness and be taught how to read the personality of others as well.

Knowing the Enneagram gives one an advantage of understanding how different areas of their lives come together to make them who they are as a person.

For example, one cannot fully comprehend his or her problem of being isolated in social settings and not liking to be too close to his or her subordinates at work, unless he realises that he is a Type 5 on the Enneagram. If you have a boss who is a Five on the Enneagram, try your best to maintain your physical distance and not to bother him with too much emotional conversations. Do your homework beforehand before approaching him with your requests, and mirror his tone and pace of his speech (not too fast, and not too loud). Well, this is just a simplified example of how to manage leaders of an Enneagram Type. I will be writing more on the Business Application of the Enneagram in the future.

Introducing all nine of the Enneagram Types in detail will make this blog post so long that I can even publish it as a thesis. I will just go straight to the point and talk about the nine different spending habits of all Enneagram types.

Spending Habits and the Enneagram

Type 1s’ spending habits – The Perfectionists

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Type 1s – Perfectionists

Personality Style:
Perfectionists tend to believe that they are not good enough, which is why they strive to improve themselves and things around them. That’s where they spend their money on — things that help them improve themselves. However, they do have high standards and expectations of what they purchase. Not only does the product or service has to be working great and perfect enough to benefit them, perfectionists will take extreme care to ensure that they are spending ethically, and that the product must be genuine (despite the cost).

Tips for Type 1 spenders:
You will never be better than who you expected to be because nothing is perfect. Be happy and content with what you have. If things are working fine, you don’t need to fix it all the time. It is good to want the best for yourself but do pay attention to the cost that you would incur at the end of the month. Like I said, nothing is perfect.

Type 2s’ spending habits – The Altruists

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Type 2s – Altruists

Personality Style:
Altruists are well known for their generosity and ability to take care of the needs of others, sometimes, more than themselves. That’s because, deep down, they feel the need to be needed, and the desire to be loved by others. Therefore, Altruists tend to go the extra mile caring for others and building relationships (even with very important people). As a result, Altruists may tend to spend more on others than themselves, and may even help too much by paying too much because they simply care a lot for others.

Tips for Type 2 spenders:
Take care of your own needs first. Until you are better off, then you can be able to take care of others. Be careful with your spending because you’ll never know when you’ll need the money for yourself.

Type 3s’ spending habits – The Achievers

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Type 3s – Achievers

Personality Style:
Achievers tend to care a lot about their own image, like how others perceive them, both on-stage and off-stage. These individuals tend to spend a lot on self-improvement and motivational materials or programs not to perfect themselves like the Perfectionists, but to boost their credentials, prestige and self-image. Holding a firm belief that hard work paves the way for success, they may fall victim to workaholism; although at times, they may try their luck at cutting corners to reach their goals. Achievers dress to kill; they dress for success. Therefore, they spend more on improving their looks. Experienced spenders of this type tend to find the best bargains to get the most out of a product or services (i.e. either to enhance their looks or brand themselves with certs and qualifications).

Tips for Type 3 spenders:
Learn to strike a balance between spending more on things that are superficial and being the person that is of great substance. Remember: You are rich not because of how hard you work or how stunning you look, but how competent and efficient you actually are as an individual.

Type 4s’ spending habits – The Individualists

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Type 4s – Individualists

Personality Style:
Individualists tend to believe that others have it better than what they possessed. Such envy may lead them to unnecessary spending on things they do not need. Individualists are also emotional and may have impulsive spending habits, especially when it comes to products that they think could help them express their individuality and uniqueness. Typically, their “grass is greener on the other side” mentality may cause them to spend more on things they perceived to be better in quality or aesthetic feel.

Tips for Type 4 spenders:
Be focused on what you have rather than what others have. Usually, what you have is sufficient. Most importantly, you need to consider your budget above your expenditures. In short, think before you spend. Start having a savings plan if you haven’t got one yet.

Type 5s’ spending habits – The Observers

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Type 5s – Observers

Personality Style:
Observers hold the belief that they do not know enough to come into a conclusion about a product or a type of service they are about to purchase or be involved in. They spend on what they need and what benefits them only if they know the big picture (the purpose) of why they are buying. Therefore salespeople tend to have a hard time convincing them to purchase their product if they do not know the product well enough. Observers tend to be stingy on their money, resources, knowledge, and even physical energy. That’s because they believe that everyone makes demand out of them, which is what makes them retreat in isolation as a form of self-preservation. As such, Observers tend to live a rather spartan lifestyle as they do not need much to survive. Therefore, they tend to be very frugal, and may rely too much on freebies, promotional items, or items under special discounts.

Tips for Type 5 spenders:
While it may be good to be frugal, thoughtful and very calculative with your money (just because you you think too much before spending; I can totally understand that), yet at times, you do need to spend on the spot before things get sold out and you missed the opportunity to get the best deals ever! Think faster next time.

Type 6s’ spending habits – The Loyal-Skeptics

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Type 6s – Loyal Skeptics

Personality Style:
Loyal Skeptics are individuals who tend to be extra careful with their money, spending only on products or services that they think can benefit them most whenever they require them. Loyal Skeptics usually have a “litmus paper” for all brands they encounter, and once these brands passed the test (which is usually very challenging), these skeptics would become the most loyal consumers of these brands for as long as they live. When buying a product, Loyal Skeptics need to be convinced about the products’ specifications and security. They are rather risk adversed and will not spend or commit if they know that the costs are higher than the benefits.

Tips for Type 6 spenders:
Being skeptical about your purchase can be helpful in helping you stay away from impulsive spending. However, you might miss out on great opportunities when it comes to spending on or committing to the right kinds of investments at that moment in time. In order to help you to make better judgment in future, perhaps consulting a trustworthy friend could be helpful for you.

Type 7s’ spending habits – The Enthusiasts

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Type 7s – Enthusiasts

Personality Style:
Enthusiasts hate the feeling of missing out on every opportunity that awaits them, or so they thought. So, these Enthusiasts tend to believe that they can make the most out of each and every thing that comes in their way, which most of the time, is a kind of wishful thinking. They tend to be preoccupied with ideas on how to make money without being slave to a 9-to-5 job. At their worst, Enthusiasts tend to hold the belief that they can make money by making their big dreams come true, and that they are free to stop work any time and play through life. This could often lead to impulsive risk-taking or financial gambling (i.e. stock market, venture capital, value investing etc) that may have them either winding up in financial ruin or severance of relationships.

Tips for Type 7 spenders:
Be very focused on your goals and ventures. You cannot do everything at the same time, but you need to be focused on one thing at a time. Do it well, and commit to just two or three important priorities. Take it slowly, and be patient. If you haven’t done so already, start organising your financial statements by keeping a personal financial chart or diary to monitor your spending.

Type 8s’ spending habits – The Challengers

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Type 8s – Challengers

Personality Style:
Challengers tend to work very hard to earn the money that they desire to have. The reason for this is because they want to become financially independent to do as they like due to the fact that they do not like being controlled or told what to do by others (even by their bosses) at work. However, Challengers tend to spend their money on their family or loved ones, ensuring that they benefit the most under their care and protection. For Challengers, their life motto is “ALL or NOTHING”. This motto leads them to believe that if they cannot provide for themselves or those close to them, they failed to protect and therefore perceived themselves a failures.

Tips for Type 8 spenders:
You need to accept that hard work doesn’t always guarantee huge returns, and come to terms with your anxiety. Your desire to protect and provide for those in your “circle of trust” is visible enough. All you need to do is to gain assurance and appreciation from your inner circle that your money is well-spent on them and for them.

Type 9s’ spending habits – The Mediators

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Type 9s – Mediators

Personality Style:
Mediators are such nice, friendly, and easygoing individuals and you will know it when you are around them. This is because they are also very accommodating, sometimes, overly accommodating. These individuals tend to go-with-the-flow, and tend to avoid conflicts by not offending anyone. Mediators are also very generous with their money, not because they want to be loved in return like the Altruists, but they do so in order to please others. At times, Mediators may frustrate others with their lack of initiative or sense or urgency to take massive immediate action. Likewise, Mediators may tend to not take action with their spending at times because they do not see the need to, when in fact, it could be the more important thing to spend on.

Tips for Type 9 spenders:
Due to your easy-going and self-forgetting nature, you may require a lot of structure in your daily life, including your spending habits. Time to sit down and prioritise your needs and wants, as well as your thoughts, feelings and decisions for stuff you need to attain.


I hope these short descriptions of personality styles on spending help you understand yourself better, and help you make decisions to re-adjust your spending habits to adapt better in this uncertain economic climate.

For those of you who would like to get some practical tips on how to deal with the current economic recession that may be affecting you right now, whether you are a retrenched individual or in the midst of securing your career in this unsettling period of time, check out my book on Amazon, and LIKE its Facebook Page.

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