Everyone wants to get better at managing their money, right? But it’s not just about watching your spending or keeping an eye on an app. It’s about understanding how your personality affects the way you spend, save and plan.
To help start you on your journey of financial self-discovery, we’ve come up with our six saving types. Most people will find that they fall into one of these groups, each of which has their own traits that impact which ways of saving will work best for them. So, let’s get to know The Natural, The Grafter, The Ostrich, The Investor, The Goalie and The Idealist.
The Natural was born to save and has done ever since their pocket money days. This saver doesn’t actively make money plans or budgets, they’re just naturally frugal and so save up large amounts as their moderation adds up over time.
Naturals aren’t necessarily stingy but they are always sensible – they’ll opt for packed lunches over Pret, repairing over replacing and will instinctively seek out bargains (probably without even realising they’re doing it). Naturals are unlikely to make spontaneous purchases, choosing instead to thoroughly research an item and compare prices before buying and even opting not to buy if they can’t find an agreeable price.
Best ways to save for Naturals: You don’t have to think about saving, but it couldn’t hurt to bring some focus to it because you might find ways your money could be working harder for you. Instead of just letting your savings sit in a current or savings account, maybe explore ways you could be getting higher returns because, you know better than anyone, it all adds up.
The Grafter isn’t afraid of effort and is always looking for ways to save. This saver actively tries to save and isn’t afraid to put the work in, or go without, to see those pennies stacking up. They weren’t necessarily born this way, but they have refined the art of saving through blood, sweat and determination.
Grafters will often opt for own-brand over branded products and will always look for a deal, often going out of their way to source the cheapest version of what they need (even if it means visiting several places for their weekly shop). Grafters are entirely focused on their saving goals, which will generally be long term and substantial, like a wedding, house or pension, and will cut costs wherever they can. They enjoy watching their money grow and use this to motivate themselves. You’ll catch Grafters using the phrase ‘I can’t, I don’t have the money’, by which they usually mean they don’t have the spare money, even if they have the money somewhere in their savings.
Best ways to save for Grafters: You know what you’re doing, and you do it with all your heart – but you deserve a break from the effort sometimes. Why not consider exploring automatic saving options so you don’t always have to be looking for ways to manually save. Make the most of your nose for great money saving and sniff out some of the best saving tools to take on some of the work.
The Ostrich doesn’t want to think about money. Whether that’s because they find it stressful, saddening or just boring, Ostriches prefer to turn a blind eye and ignore anything related to their finances. Ostriches aren’t necessarily in a poor financial situation, and this type of saver isn’t necessarily ‘bad’ at saving (they might even be part Natural), they just don’t want to actively think about it.
As with all of the saving attitudes, Ostriches want saving to happen… They just don’t want to think about how it’ll happen or what they might need to do.They don’t care to watch their money grow (or deplete) either. Instead, Ostriches will just spend as they need to. They don’t necessarily spend a lot, make grand or spontaneous purchases, they just don’t think about spending money if they need or want to. They live a carefree life and don’t allow themselves to be concerned with matters of the money kind.
Best ways to save for Ostriches: You don’t have to think about saving for it to just happen. As with Grafters, maybe consider dipping your beak into the world of automatic saving. This would mean you can rest assured it definitely IS happening… while you are definitely NOT thinking about it.
You can bring this effortlessness into the rest of your financial life, too. There’s a myriad of automatic budgeting and cost saving tools out there that’ll do the work (and the maths) so you don’t have to, you’ll just have to pop your head out of the sand to find them…
The Investor is perhaps the opposite of the Ostrich. They like nothing more than to think about money. Investors pride themselves on how smart they can be with their savings, and the pride is justified. Investors build lump sums and research the accounts or investments that are optimised for returns on these savings.
Investors can be safe or daring but they’re always sensible – they would never put all of their eggs in one basket, so to speak, but they might spread their eggs in both safe and risky baskets, as long as it’s within their means.
Investors keep a close eye on their finances, but this doesn’t translate to stinginess in their every day. Investors are moderate spenders and moderate savers whose focus is not on accumulating savings but making their savings work hard for them. They enjoy monitoring their investments and find joy in keeping themselves informed about the latest goings-on in the financial world.
Best ways to save for Investors: Keep doing what you’re doing as long as it works for you. You might want to consider keeping your investments varied for risk mitigation and exploring even easier ways to manage your investments, so you don’t have to always feel like your own investment account manager.
Speaking of account managers, it’s always worth keeping an eye on the fees charged by investment platforms, as these (as we’re sure you know) can stack up, even if the percentages seem small.
The Goalie is committed, focused and determined. They know what they want, what they have to do and how long it’ll take them to get it. This saver actively looks for ways to save and can go to extremes to cut costs in the short-term in order to reach their goals.
The Goalie doesn’t believe in just letting saving happen – when Goalies save, they save with all they’ve got and it’s because they have something in mind that they just have to have.
Goalies may go long periods of time without thinking about saving or making a particular effort to, but then they’ll think of something they want (that’s too expensive to be a spur of the moment spend) and that’s when their kind of magic sparks. The Goalie will give up all non-essential spend; we’re talking making packed lunches, eating tinned peaches, never turning the heating on and walking everywhere.
Goalies are fearless budgeters and copper collectors, and will stop at [almost] nothing until they have saved up for what they want. Once they’ve got it, normal programming resumes...until the next goal.
Best ways to save for Goalies: It’s an incredible skill to be able to save hard in short bursts in the way that Goalies do, but it isn’t sustainable to save this way for long term goals, especially if you’re using every spare penny to save for the immediate future.
As a Goalie you could consider using your saving superpowers to create a saving plan for longer term goals, ones that complement your short term plans but also allow you to have a little something left for the long term.
The Idealist has beautiful dreams when it comes to saving. This saver desperately wants to achieve their saving goals, and feels like they make an exceptional, active effort to do so… but their savings just don’t seem to grow.
Idealists often have grand plans and big goals for their savings. They get swept up in their fantasies and, for a moment, put everything aside for them. Idealists will put away big chunks of money at a time, forgetting to budget for what they actually need, and so end up moving much (if not all) of it back. This can make them feel disheartened when their savings aren’t growing at the rate they’d hoped they would.
By repeating this, it gives The Idealist the impression that they’re “always saving”, and so their dreams are dashed when they check their account and their savings are … still as statues.
Idealists' hearts are firmly in the right place, but their methods don’t necessarily work in their favour when it comes to saving.
Best ways to save for Idealists: Reflect and be realistic. The key to saving isn’t in the lump sums, it’s in the everyday habit of putting away pennies. It’s sustainable saving that will help you to build better savings.
It’s worth spending some time reflecting on what kind of everyday saving activities would work for you – is it automatic roundups, or saving rules? Do you need saving actions to be more manual in order to gain satisfaction from them? You have to work out what works for you in order to not feel disappointed with small, but sustained growth.
We should mention the silent seventh attitude: the rebel.
Maybe you’re someone that just genuinely doesn’t want to save and that is very much okay, too. Savings habits aren’t for everyone, and you can deal with a situation as and when it arises. We salute you, saving shunners – you are unique and spontaneous and as worthy of a mention here as any of the other six.
Aristotle said that ‘knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom’ and we’re inclined to agree. Figuring out what kind of saver you are is an important step towards building positive saving behaviours, so we hope our portraits have given you a helpful starting point.
We want to help you, whatever type of saver you are. That’s why we built Dozens with a whole range of tools to help you, from unique spending visuals, roundups, savings rules and even a smart budgeter that adapts as you spend, so you always stay on track with your budget.