Financial Archetypes: Are You a Guardian

Posted January 15, 2013 by Kelley Long in Life After Five

If you enjoyed reading about the financial archetype called the Pleasure Seeker, from Brent Kessel’s book It’s Not About the Money, perhaps you can also identify with one of her opposites, the Guardian.

What is a Guardian?

  • Guardians tend to be very vigilant with their money and as their name suggests, guard their finances quite well.
  • Because they are concerned about an unexpected change in their financial status, Guardians have a tendency to save excessively and can sometimes put off doing things that are good for them financially out of fear.
  • While most of us ought to have a healthy amount of concern about money, Guardians often let their worry about money get in the way of living life to the fullest. 

If you are a Guardian, you are probably pretty vigilant about your money, perhaps spending hours per week tracking your spending and staring at QuickBooks.
  • Other Guardians engage in “retail therapy” to calm their nerves, which can be detrimental to long-term savings goals.
  • Guardians don’t necessarily have a ton of money – they’re not “tightwads,” per se, they are just a little more anxious than most about money in general.

To free yourself from always feeling like you need to check up on your money, find a system that will alert you if your situation is compromised. For example, I use e-alerts through my bank to notify me if the balance in my checking account falls below a certain dollar amount. 

While I balance my checkbook on a monthly basis and still track all my spending, I don’t have to check my balance every day to make sure that I’m not overspending or that a hacker hasn’t drained my account. I’ll get an email before that happens.

Are you a Guardian or do you know someone who is? What is it that keeps you up at night? Let us know if the comments below.

About the Author

Kelley Long

Kelley Long is a CPA/PFS and CFP® who believes that the true meaning of financial security means having choices in life. She uses her 15 years of experience in various financial services industry jobs to inform her work as a Resident Financial Planner for Financial Finesse, providing unbiased financial guidance through workplace financial wellness programs. She’s also a volunteer and media ambassador for Feed the Pig and 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. In Kelley’s perfect world, everyone would feel great talking about their money concerns, fears, questions and problems, because then everyone would see that we ALL have those concerns, fears, questions and problems. Kelley lives in Chicago with her husband and their Himalayan cat Miles, where she also teaches BODYPUMP group fitness classes at the Chicago Athletic Clubs.