The idea of a money type might bring to mind categories such as rich or poor, greedy or generous, spendthrift or frugal. These adjectives may describe aspects of how you are living as a direct result of your money archetype. Your financial behaviors and decision-making processes regarding your finances are influenced significantly, if not run, by completely subconscious operating systems. These operating systems fall into predictable models, or archetypes. I have found the work of Brent Kessel to be invaluable in understanding these money archetypes.
In this article, I explain three of the eight archetypes and the reasons why people develop each of these particular patterns and behaviors regarding money. Although typing yourself might at first feel limiting, it's important because it helps you to understand and transform your dysfunctional, negative default choices. By doing so, you have the freedom to gain insight and understanding from all the types that can lead to living a balanced and abundant life.
Here are the three most common money archetypes we see in our Money Mindset with EFT workshops along with tapping suggestions that may prove useful to you.
1. The Guardian
Are you in a constant state of worry over your finances? Do you think that if you let go of this worry, everything will fall apart? Are you hyper-vigilant about your spending habits? Do you have strict rules that will ward off impending doom, such as “I can’t have any debt” or “I can only live off my retirement interest and never touch the principal”?
At one extreme, the Guardian is anxiety-ridden. At the other, the Guardian can be prudent, alert, and careful. Often this pattern began in reaction to frivolous or dysfunctional parental role models. If your parents were so fiscally irresponsible that you were left feeling insecure, you could carry the Guardian around to protect you.
We would all benefit from having a little bit of the Guardian, but we must be willing to take calculated risks from time to time in order to make more money, even if it’s asking for a raise or firing an inept financial adviser.
The key to balancing this archetype is to feel emotionally balanced and centered before making decisions, and EFT can do that quickly and easily.
2. The Idealist
Are you the creative type? Do you happen to be an artist, musician, or work for a nonprofit? Do you rely on others for financial support? Do you have a strong disdain for corporations and big business? Do you invest (or would like to invest) in art, small businesses, land, or socially responsible businesses? Do you place high value on compassion, social justice, spiritual growth, and creativity? Are you likely to hand a homeless person money more readily than you would a charity?
On good days you are able to carry a big vision about what your money can do, but on bad days you are full of mistrust, skepticism, and rebelliousness around money. If this describes you then you might be an Idealist.
The two unconscious beliefs that are consistent with this type are:
1) that suffering and sacrifice are imperative for spirituality and creativity; and
2) it’s better to feel pain than to be financially free.
These beliefs are conditioned responses that come from your past. Sit for a moment and ask yourself where they came from. I have often seen clients with this archetype who were brought up in strict households where one or both parents worked excruciatingly difficult menial jobs. These parents sent the message that work is drudgery and challenging but worthwhile in order to “succeed” in the world. Their children unfortunately saw these struggles and decided to avoid anything remotely smacking of servitude to a dead-end job.
3. The Innocent
Have you experienced life conditions that make it a challenge to make ends meet, such as having a disability or being forced to leave school prematurely? Are you in debt? Do you have less than a few months’ worth of living expenses in your savings account? Do you dread the idea of writing down your expenses, balancing your checkbook, or paying bills? Have you ever received a lump sum of some serious money and have nothing to show for it? Then you are likely an Innocent.
Their motto is “Life is too short to worry about money and that’s not my focus. It’ll just take care of itself.” The problem is that what lies beneath the surface of this laissez-faire attitude is avoidance.
When it comes to money, Innocents believe themselves to be incompetent and inept. They have never had a self-image of being incredibly successful. On a subconscious level, many of them believe that they don’t have the skills to manifest more material wealth. They are more likely than other archetypes to get into multilevel marketing or play the lottery because they are after a quick fix, especially when their situation is dire.
There are also those who become Innocents as a form of rebellion, especially if they were raised by financially successful parents who were abusive or unloving. If you are an Innocent, the early memories that you may have of your family’s financial struggles are key issues to focus your tapping on. Along with vanquishing those old demons, another area to tap on is the fear you feel of taking a clear look at your situation. Continue to tap on these fears, especially when you sit down and review your financial picture through your statements, accounts, and bills.
Managing money is an acquired skill, not an innate one. It’s likely you weren’t taught how to do it if you had parents with similar money problems. It’s important to clear childhood memories of struggle and past debacles. You will then be able to take action steps, such as saving a small percentage of your income, learning how to invest, or working with a financial advisor.
Alina Frank is an Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers.