What is Your Debt Management Style?

4 min read


✔ It’s important to understand what drives you to get into debt
✔ You can use your money motivations to get out of debt
✔ If you are driven by a need for freedom, love, power or security, there is a debt solution for you

Everyone deals with debt a little differently. Some pay the minimum every month and forget it. Others have detailed debt repayment plans that look at how much interest is paid and how much goes to the principal over time.

We have previously discussed four personality types that are driven by specific motivations, which was based on a huge study done in the U.K. called The Big Money Test. Once you understand your relationship with money and motivations, you can use that knowledge to find a debt management style and debt solutions that work for you.


INDEPENDENCE SEEKER. This personality type is motivated by freedom, often spending a lot of money on hobbies and adventures, leaving them at great risk of being in debt and with few savings.

Your debt style is … You don’t like to be hemmed in at the thought of money or by your lifestyle being cramped. You might be likely to incur a lot of debt and then perhaps just make minimum payments or even miss payments.

Your debt solution is … While the need for freedom can get you into debt trouble, you can use that same motivation to get out of debt, by thinking of debt as something you want to be free from! A good strategy is to come up with a debt repayment plan that’s as fun as you can make it. This can include little rewards for yourself along the way that helps to spur your love of adventure. Or you can also make a debt repayment schedule that’s visual, so you can see how close you’re coming to debt freedom. Automate as much of your debt payment as possible, giving you the time to pursue other things that are important to you.

GENEROUS INDULGER. This personality type is motivated by love when it comes to money and, like the Independence Seeker, it is easy for this type to land in a lot of debt, especially high-interest credit card debt.

Your debt style is … Spending money on loved ones feels more rewarding than not spending or paying off more of that credit card, so you are at risk of high balances and just paying the monthly minimums.

Your debt solution is … The trick is first to rein in spending by finding ways to express your love in ways that are free and then think about getting out of debt as something you do not just for yourself but for the ones you love. You’ll be less stressed around your loved ones and the money you eventually save on interest and payments when you’re out of debt can go toward savings that protect you and your loved ones better.

STATUS SPENDER. This personality type is motivated by power and a need to impress and, like the other two, this type easily lands into debt. It can cost a lot to have others notice you and you are likely to spend well beyond your means.

Your debt style is … You might not only run up high debts but might be juggling many different kinds of debts in your quest to look good.  

Your debt solution is … Like the type motivated by freedom, you can use your need for power to help you with debt problems. Debt that is not managed can make a person feel powerless. While other types benefit from setting up such things as automated payments, you might want to make them more in your control by manually paying them.

SECURE SAVER. This personality type is motivated by security and is the least likely to have too much or out-of-control debt.

Your debt style is … Your need to feel safe might mean you are afraid of debt entirely. But debt is not always bad. If you never use credit, you can’t build a credit history or take steps to eventually improve your financial life (such as going into debt to further your education).

Your debt solution is … For you, it’s best to tackle debt issues with security in mind. Think of going into debt to get a higher education as a way to secure your future. Tools and calculators that exactly track your debt repayment will also make you feel more secure.

The bottom line is whatever motivates you to spend can also be used to motivate you in your debt repayment! Whether your relationship with money is about the need for security or freedom or other needs, you can use your personality as a positive to come up with debt solutions that work for you.


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Take Our Quiz: What Is Your Debt Management Style?
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