Lesson 4

Know your money personality


When you think about receiving or spending money, what is the first and most common emotion you feel (e.g., fear, thrill, contentment, anger, excitement, shame, envy)?

Money Worlds

Professor Miriam Tatzel, from Empire State College in New York, was able to condense all of the various attitudes and values into two primary characteristics:


  • If am loose with money that means I am willing, or even eager, to spend. I believe that by spending more, I will get the best.
  • If I am tight with money that means I am always reluctant to spend money, and any large outlays of money need to be thoroughly justified.


  • If I am high in materialism that means that I derive particular pleasure from material things that improve my quality of life.
  • If I am low in materialism that means that I view material things, like beds and cars, as relatively neutral tools, and delight more in experiences that improve my quality of life.

When combining these two characteristics of looseness and materialism, Professor Tatzel was able to map four possible “money worlds” for people:

What is your money world?

Money Scripts

Adapted from Klontz, 2016, Facilitating Financial Health:

Money Script = unconscious beliefs concerning how money interacts with life.

  • Usually formed during childhood.
  • Often generational
  • Beliefs that are formed for survival and protection in an uncertain world.
  • Usually incomplete for adult living as a Christian
  • These beliefs are incredibly resistant to change
  • Half-truths that hurt your ability to make and follow-through with your financial plans.


More money will make things better.
  • After poverty, more money simply provides more options. More contentment, peace, love, joy ALWAYS makes things better.

    FULL TRUTH: Psalm 34:10. Heb. 13:5. Eccl. 5:10-12. James 1:4.

Money is bad & Jesus hates it
  • While money is dangerous, we are meant to faithfully manage it as stewards who are growing in spiritual maturity.

    FULL TRUTH: Luke 16:10-13.

I don’t deserve money
  • Our stewardship of God’s money is for a greater purpose than ourselves. Our only pre-requisite for this duty is to be made in God’s image.

    FULL TRUTH: Isaiah 58:7-12. Matthew 25: 31-40.

There will never be enough money
  • True: laws of scarcity. Greater truth: abundance of God’s Kingdom and His providential nature.

    FULL TRUTH: 2 Corinthians 9:6-9. Psalm 16:5-6. Gen 22:14.

There will always be enough money
  • We are meant to participate in our provisions with hard work and a striving to grow in our skills amidst God’s rich promises.

    FULL TRUTH: Proverbs 6:6-11. Proverbs 31. 1 Timothy 5:8.

I will become more spiritual by being poor
  • We are not meant to trade places with the poor. Money does not make someone more/less spiritual (it’s love of money).

    FULL TRUTH: Proverbs 30:8-9. 1 Timothy 6:10.

It’s not appropriate to talk about money
  • Very dangerous money script – keeps everything hidden and in secret. Must shine a light bright on finances in community.

    FULL TRUTH: 2,350 verses in Bible discuss money and possessions. 2nd most discussed topic (8% of the Bible).

Money Personality Video

Activity: Assess Money Personality

Download PDF Worksheet

Online Quizzes

Money Personality Quiz

Quiz 1:

Quiz 2:

Do you agree or disagree with results? Discuss results with partner.

Money Disorder Quiz

Were there any behaviors where you scored 3 or higher? List them and discuss with partner.

Identify Potential Conflicts

Combinations that often lead to conflict:

  • Misers married to Overspenders (Non-spenders married to Big Spenders).
  • Micro-managers married to Avoidants who view money as something to avoid.
  • “More money will make things better” script with an Experiencer Money World.
Do you see any potential for conflict given your results?


Money history and personalities often create unorganized spending habits, debt and bad credit. These things get in the way of us enjoying our Jesus-given riches in generosity. Next, we will learn about how spending plans help enable sustainable outlets of generosity.

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