How to Budget Effectively According to Your MBTI Personality Type

budget effectively according to mbti personality type

Wondering why your friend can always save consistently but you’re all out of cash by the last week of the month? The difference could be embedded in your personalities.

But that doesn’t mean that all is lost for you.

Understanding your triggers and inhibitions when it comes to spending money can help you budget effectively. A possible way to do that is to identify what Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type you are.

MBTI uses 4 dichotomies that map out how you connect with others, how you take in information, and so on. Find your personality type among the 16 permutations by taking a free MBTI personality test before you read on.

It is important to understand that humans exist on a spectrum and are unique individuals however, so avoid pigeon-holing and use the typification and tips as a guideline only!

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at how you can budget effectively based on your MBTI personality type.


Explorers (ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP)

I’m spontaneous and FOMO. To me, risk is unavoidable!

If you have S and P in your personality type, you’re someone who likes to keep things open. You have a tendency to rush into something quickly, like packing up bags last minute for a random week-long trip in Okinawa, but may procrastinate on future goals.

You tend to have difficulty controlling day-to-day spending, since you follow your heart first and cannot pass up on socialising with friends.

ISFPs have a great taste in fashion. They spend to show their identity, which means that if they want to show themselves as high status, they tend to spend a lot on clothes and dining. Generally, their spending habits are more reserved than ESTPs.

ISTPs are most concerned with taking in as much as the world has to offer, hence fall prey to material and experiential luxuries, often at a whim.

ESFPs spend often, but in small bursts. Sometimes their spending will seem illogical to people around them because they follow their heart’s desires so much.

ESTPs just want to have the most fun in life, so they will splash out large amounts of money for social events and spontaneous adventures. They tend to be huge risk-takers when it comes to investments.

What Explorers should do: The key to such personality types is to automate essential savings so that they are out of the way (and reach). Then, only flexibly spend from a set amount every month, preferably drawn out in cash. For the extroverts of this group (ESFP and ESTP), the fear of missing out on a party or gathering will lead you to spend out of your budget. Sometimes the best thing to do is to learn to say “no”.


Sentinels (ESFJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTJ)

People may call me penny-pinching. But I look at my mountain of wealth and nothing matters.

“SJ” types are steadfast and reliable, and so commonly referred to as the Sentinels. They tend to be frugal, to the point where they may come across as stingy. This squirrelling mindset is great for storing up huge financial reserves.

However, the bad side to this is that they are perfectionist to the cent, and cannot deal well with change. You can see how this will incite many relationship conflicts when their loved one is a spontaneous Explorer.

That said, the Sentinels do enjoy splashing out money on selective items once in a while, like an expensive car or luxury bag to show off their wealth status.

ISFJs are typically reserved with money, more so than most other MBTI types. They value tradition and will likely follow the spending habits of those that have gone before them.

ISTJs are frugal and don’t usually spend on luxury items. Motivated by provided a good life for their loved ones

ESFJs are good savers, but may be susceptible to showing off wealth. They are conflict averse and will spare no expense at maintaining relationships.

ESTJs tend to become workaholics as work makes them really happy. They are good savers, but can be prone to accumulating excessive wealth to be seen as high status.

What Sentinels should do: Try not to plan tightly to the cent. If you must, then aside an indulgence budget from which you allow yourself to go with the flow, so that you don’t end up being so hard on yourself and losing your circle of friends.



I’ll make a spreadsheet and understand it before I decide.

NTs are strong leaders, and the extroverts among them are fiercely opinionated. They tend to have lofty ambitions. Introverts (INTJ and INTP) tend to be very future focused, whereas the extroverts (ENTJ and ENTP) live one day at a time.

More often than not, they see themselves as a head above others when it comes to intellect. As logical thinkers, they may suffer from analysis paralysis when making decisions on what to buy and what to invest.

When under stress or time constraint, they tend to make bad decisions.

INTJs are often frugal and will spend within their means. They will only spend high amounts if they have done extensive research and often have large spreadsheets comparing items down to the cent.

INTPs are frugal like INTJs as well and they can scale back their lifestyles much more than the regular person. But they love trying out different experiences and this will be reflected in how they save and spend. One month, they’re doing a restaurant fast, while the other, they will be spending money on DIY projects.

ENTPs follow no rules and take life one day at a time. They’re great at bringing in the dough, but at the same time, they spend as much as they make, tending to leave little to no savings.

ENTJs work hard so they can play hard. They are not fussed about saving the most money. If they believe in something (e.g. investing high amounts in stocks), they will consistently do this over a long period of time.

What Analysts should do: Break down your future goals into step-by-step actions by creating a financial vision board, indicating the steps you will need to take you there. For ENTP and ENTJ types, it may also benefit you to create some stability by setting saving goals or using a set-and-forget investing tool like robo-advisors.


Diplomats (ENFJ, ENFP, INFP, INFJ)

I put my money where my heart is, whether it is in a good party or an adoption drive.

Personal values and feelings are very important to diplomats. They tend to be idealists and live by listening to their heart. They cannot be forced into the usual cookie cutter Singaporean ideal, and are not typically drawn in by the idea of amassing as much wealth as possible.

The weakness of diplomats is that they tend to overstretch their finances when it comes to something they are passionate in.

INFPs are relaxed about money and they spend based on the environment they grow up in. They easily take on money values of people surrounding them.

INFJs are generally good savers but may feel tempted to cater to people around them. Which means, if their friends are high spenders, they may also end up adopting the same spending habits.

ENFPs don’t see money as a must to live a wonderful life. Resourceful and optimistic, they are able to find endless free things to do if they are limited by money, but if they aren’t limited by money, they tend to be big spenders.

ENFJs are more controlled and aware of their expenditures than other Diplomat types. They love a good time with friends, but also know that they don’t need money to do so like others.

What Diplomats should do: Make it a habit to pause and allow yourself a cooling off period of a week or a day before you decide on an impulse. Be sure to consult a close friend around you who is level-headed and rational. Set financial goals that you deeply care about on an emotional level as you will find yourself more motivated to achieve them.


Now that you understand what MBTI type you are, get your spouse or close ones to do the test!

You may start to understand why you and your spouse fight about money all the time, or how come that relative seems to earn not much but can support a family of 5 when you can’t even locate where your money goes.


Do you relate to the spending habits of your MBTI type? Is it super accurate or, nah, not true at all? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash