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Spending by Color

A few years ago, my financial educators and I sat down to figure out how to make our consumer spending presentation more engaging and memorable. At the time, we had some great information on how to do more while spending less, how to take greater control of impulse spending, and even how to minimize personal entitlement spending. However, at the end of the day, we felt that those attending our “Just Say ‘No’… to Spending” class would leave and rarely think about the class again.

I then thought of a book a friend in college had used, in a Sunday School class of all places, to give us a personality test. It was called The Color Code: A New Way to See Yourself, Your Relationships and Life, by Dr. Taylor Hartman (1987). After taking a 30-40 question self-evaluation (it may have been more), the author then assigned you to one of four “color” personalities: Red, Blue, White or Yellow (or a mixture thereof). This was followed by explanations of each personality and how they interact with each other.

Regardless of one’s opinion of such books or theories, the important point was that 20 years later I still remembered the book, my dominant colors, and what they stood for, which was a lot more than I could say for most of the books I read in college. Keep reading to learn what my color personality was (probably still is).

So we figured, why not do the same for our spending class? Consequently, we set about to identify six spending personalities, their motivations, along with their strengths and their own challenges. We then assigned each to their own color on the color wheel as follows:

Color Wheel with Spending PersonalitiesRed: Achievement Spenders
Purple: Admiration (or Image) Spenders
Blue: Relationship Spenders
Green: Peer (or Approval) Spenders
Yellow: Responsibility Spenders
Orange: Amusement Spenders

Our resulting presentation, “Spending by Color,” became instantly more memorable for our participants. They would report the next week or month that they had given the evaluation to their family members and that it helped them better understand and work financially with their spouses or parents or children.

What is Your Spending Personality Color?

Check it out for yourself at our Webinars blog page. Download the free “Spending Toolbox” that includes the 30-question self-evaluation” and brief discussions about each spending personality. Or, spend 60 minutes or so viewing and listening to the “Spending by Color” webinar to go into more detail.

By the way, according to The Color Code, I am a fairly equally balanced mixture of Blue (intimacy), White (peace) and Yellow (fun), with very little Red (power)… although over the years I believe my Red has increased a bit. What does that make me, then? Mud-color?

Have a great week!

Todd Christensen-Author of Everyday Money for Everyday People, Todd ChristensenTodd Christensen
Everyday Money for Everyday People

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