When I found out I was an ENFP, I felt understood. The positive characteristics completely resonated with me. Then I read about the bad things – like being bad with money. Me? Daughter of immigrants? On a sabbatical after quitting her job?
Though I’m not actually bad with money, I realize I overcame a lot of the same impulses that other ENFPs deal with to carve out a path of financial success. Let me share some of what I’ve learned to show how ENFPs can get good with money.
What’s an ENFP?
ENFP is a Myers-Briggs personality test term. A summary of an ENFP is:
They are highly energetic individuals with a lot of charisma and good intentions but not always a lot of follow-up.
Doesn’t sound like these people would be great with money (or law), right? These characteristics all ring true for me to some extent, and once I learned what traits to look out for, it becomes easier for me to work on my weaknesses.
ENFPs and Money
ENFPs are stereotyped as bad with money. As I said earlier, lack of follow-up is a characteristic of ENFPs, and that tends to be a bad marker when it comes to money.
Many “good with money” tasks require follow-up. Negotiating. Filing taxes. Paying bills. If you aren’t good with follow-through, maybe you’re not following through – to your financial detriment. This stereotype is magnified when others talk about ENFPs.
Here are some quotes I’ve pulled from around the web.
If you have a friend who spends money like water, they’re probably an ENFP.
FreedomThirtyFive actually surveyed personal finance blogs and found that ENFPs made up 4% of personal finance bloggers even though they represented 8% of the general population. INTJs, ENTJs, ISTJs, and ESTJs – which represent the opposite side of the personality spectrum from ENFPs, make up 66% of personal finance bloggers, despite representing only 25% of the population.
So it seems that ENFPs aren’t writing a ton about money. But that doesn’t mean they can’t
How ENFPs Can Get Good with Money
Personality tests are not meant to be destiny. They point out some areas where you might be naturally strong and/or weak. The great difficulty is thinking you should only play up your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. But the truth is that you can overcome supposed weaknesses if you know what they are and plan ahead for them.
Your personality type doesn’t limit your success. Instead, your type provides guidance into your nature allowing you to shape your attitude and life knowing some potential pitfalls. It just means you have to put in some work, but now you know exactly where you need work.
How I, as an ENFP Attorney, Got Better with Money
Honestly, as an Asian person with an accountant father and a mother with a Master’s in mathematics, I just assumed I’d be good with money (and math). So my personality didn’t hold me back because there were so many expectations pushing me forward. I wasn’t allowed to have excuses, and so I learned to make it work. Here are my strategies for being a fiscally-adept ENFP lawyer.
Having a rigid routine makes me feel claustrophobic. Elaborate skincare regimens and taking vitamins – I just can’t stick with them. Like other ENFPs, I’m terrible at boring things like paying the bills. But unlike a complex personal care regimen, this is something I can’t just shrug my shoulders at and say “it’s not my personality.”
I know when something has to get done, I can’t rely on my memory or willpower. I rely on automation to make sure it gets done.
When someone asks me to book my next dental appointment right after I finish one, I’m a little wary but I do it. My credit cards and rent are on auto-pay. I do still check my accounts (that’s always the worry for automation) but I never have to worry about missing a payment or having enough money to pay.
2. Use Creative Saving Measures
I max my 401k contributions whenever I start a job and put it in index funds. One of two things will happen – I’ll forget about the missing money or I’ll remember but be too lazy to change it back. And then I’ll just live on the lower salary.
A good thing about ENFPs is that they can live on a song if need be. ENFPs are the most likely type to believe they can be happy while spending less.
I think the wrong idea for ENFPs is to make a complicated financial system with lots of choices where you can go wrong. Cut off weak points (like forgetting to save money).
3. Link Goals to Personal Value System.
ENFPs stereotypically make very little money but it’s not because they’re not talented – it’s because they just don’t seem to care. Money is meant for spending or subsisting, but wealth is not a tangible goal.
But if an ENFP rejiggers her aims to being financially independent to pursue her dreams, there’s no shortage on what she can achieve. Consider the following quotes from ENFPs as inspiration:
I’d love to have enough money to just be able to sustain myself, my hobbies and my interest for travelling.
[ENFPS] enjoy having a sense of independence in their lives, so that they feel free to make their own choices.
For me, it’s about having enough money to be financially free and travel around the world experiencing life. Everyone says I’m too idealistic.
ENFPs aren’t keen to save money for practicality, but if you show an ENFP what having savings can do for her hobbies and dreams – she’ll figure out a way to make it happen..
4. Do Money Your Own Way
Another interesting point in FreedomThirtyFive‘s blog about personal finance bloggers is that he notes:
Many ENFP and ENFJ bloggers like to write personal stories about getting out of debt.
The emotional and personal element of personal finance is SO ME. The trick for ENFPs being good with money may be marketing money as storytelling and connection instead of numbers. Money can be exciting if you
Conclusion – How ENFPs Can Get Good with Money
There are so many great things about ENFPs (says an ENFP). Though we’re stereotyped as not being good with money, the reality is we don’t often put it as a high priority.
But if we ENFPs embrace our creative saving power, and the idea that money can bring people together, and help us accomplish our purpose in life, there’s no reason ENFPs can’t get great with money.