Are you a saver or a spender?

Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than that, with research showing there are as many as 10 different personality types when it comes to people’s attitude to money and savings.

A poll carried out for savings and investments provider Aviva asked more than 5,000 adults to identify their instincts and habits when it comes to their personal finances and lifestyle.

The results suggest that there may be as many as ten different personality types when it comes to people’s attitude to money and savings.

Aviva has divided the types into ‘superheroes’ based on the features of their personalities, including ‘Turbo Savers’ who take responsibility for their finances and reap the rewards, to ‘Day Dreamers’ who have a ‘life’s too short' attitude.

An atom of type quote lives here

It has launched an online quiz to help people look at their own financial habits and learn how they could develop a healthier attitude to their finances.

According to the research, 16% of Brits ‘feel clueless’ when asked about their saving habits, rising to 52% for ‘Day Dreamers’, and almost one in three people (29%) say they need more control over their personal finances.

21% of UK adults don’t have any savings, excluding pensions and property, rising to 53% among ‘Day Dreamers’, it found.

The main motivators for saving were given as: holiday (34%), emergency (32%) and rainy day fund (31%), and just one in five Brits (21%) said they are motivated to save for retirement.

Holidays were one of the main motivators for saving. Image by f9photos/Shutterstock.com

Looking at the different ‘superheroes’, a ‘Super Stretcher’ saves least, at £32.69, compared to a ‘Turbo Saver’ who puts the most away each month, at £402.46.

Other personality types when it comes to saving include ‘Dark Strivers’ – half of whom have credit card debt that they don’t pay off each month – and ‘Time Duellers’, who are most likely to consider tech gadgets (44%), wine (25%) and art (26%) as investments.

Dr Richard Taffler, professor of finance at Warwick Business School and an authority on ‘emotional finance’, which recognizes the role emotions place in driving financial behavior, said: “What is often overlooked in helping people save appropriately for the future is the emotional dimension.

“The future is often uncertain and uncertainty leads to anxiety which creates barriers to saving for retirement.

“Added to this, for many people, even thinking about what old age may mean can lead to further anxiety and denial and thus procrastination and inadequate savings provision.”

He said a programme that takes people’s emotions into account when it comes to saving can help them think about the future and save and invest appropriately for their retirement. Lindsay Forster, UK & Ireland customer marketing director for Aviva, added: “We all know that the savings gap for retirement in the UK is reaching critical levels.

“By encouraging people to stop and understand their personal financial behaviours, and to think about their savings habits and how they may do things differently, we think they could make a huge difference to the money they have later in life.”

She said Aviva’s quiz, which is available from today on its website, is a quick and fun way for people to test their savings personality.

“Recognising what motivates them to save, their attitude towards money and their spending tendencies is an important step in working out what they could do differently.”