Get All Access for $5/mo

What's Your Financial Personality? Being aware of your 'money personality' may help you make better choices for your business.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jelili Ojodu Photography
Tope Ganiyah Fajingbesi

If you understand how you think and feel about money, you may be able to make more of it.

Financial decisions aren't just about dollars and cents. For most people, they're often rife with emotions and preconceived notions. By analyzing your attitudes about spending and saving, you may be able to make better financial decisions, according to Baltimore, Md.-based certified public accountant Tope Ganiyah Fajingbesi. She groups these attitudes into five financial personality types and assigned each one a color to make the concepts easier to understand. Here is a brief synopsis:

  • Green: Typical entrepreneur; believes money should be invested, wants to grow businesses
  • Blue: Good employee or financial manager; keeps budgets, doesn't take financial risks
  • Yellow: Embodies the work-hard, play-hard mentality; emotional spender, buys luxury items to reward him or herself
  • Gray: Generally content, doesn't aspire for great wealth; the best investor because of patience
  • Red: Doesn't handle money in a realistic way; in debt and without a plan to pay it off

Most individuals are a blend of two of "money colors," says Fajingbesi. By determining yours, you can increase your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, she says in her recently self-published book What Color Is Your Money? According to Fajingbesi, being financially self-aware can benefit your business in the following three ways:

1. Picking a co-founder or business partner: Bring people on your team who compensate for your financial weaknesses, says Fajingbesi. If you are a blue person, it may be easy for you to keep the budget for your business, but not as easy for you to invest large amounts of money. As an entrepreneur, too much caution can hold back business growth, she says. If you are aware of your conservative nature, then you might want to bring on a business partner who will push you to make investments in your business.

Related: Get a Free Sign for Your Storefront -- And How to Give Away Stuff, Profitably

2. Matching your pitch with the personality of the investor you approach: If you want to build train tracks in Africa, you will be best suited to a gray investor because that individual may not get his or her money back for the next 15 to 20 years, Fajingbesi says. Similarly, match your own investments with the sort of projects which will suit your financial temperament. If you yourself are a gray person, you can consider putting your money to work in community and economic development projects because the returns on your investment will be small and slow, but also can be aligned with your personal beliefs, says Fajingbesi.

Related: U.S. Entrepreneurship Climbs to Highest Level in More Than a Decade (Infographic)

3. Avoiding dire financial mistakes: Knowing yourself can also help you protect yourself from making expected missteps. For example, a green personality is going to want to invest any money he or she can scrape together in lieu of saving any. If you know that you are a naturally impulsive green person, you might develop a routine of running your investment ideas by a trusted blue colleague before you part with your money, Fajingbesi says.

Related: The Startup Money Hunt: When Entrepreneurs Bring In Investors (Infographic)

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


Inflation's Next Victim Is Your Freedom — Here's Why

We get it… Most people are tired of hearing the same old story about how the American Dream is dead; however, there's a different, more bleak aspect to that reality that far too few people have yet to realize.

Business Solutions

Set Your PC-Using Employees Up with Windows 11 Pro for $25

This updated operating system features top-of-the-line security, AI support, and more.


How Adopting a 'Miracle Mentality' Can Transform Your Life

On this episode of 'The Jeff Fenster Show,' Tim Storey shares his insights on the role of mentors, the importance of humility, and the keys to achieving success.

Growing a Business

Free Webinar | July 10: How to Get Your Products Sold in Stores

Join Ross MacKay, co-founder of Daring and founder of Cadence, as he shares his expertise on successfully getting your products onto store shelves. With experience in placing products in over 40,000 stores nationwide, Ross will provide actionable insights on creating a demand-driven brand from the start.

Business Solutions

Download Images in Bulk with This $30 Lifetime Subscription

This Imaget Bulk Image Downloader enables batch image downloading with 100-percent quality retention.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.