I’ve decided to become a Certified Money Coach in the coming year. My goal is to help individuals or couples identify the root of their money problems—whether they have a lot of money or hardly any at all.

What I hope to show people, and what I have discovered the hard way, is that money is an addictive substance. That doesn’t mean everybody is addicted to it, but the potential is there. That’s because we tend to interact with money in such emotional ways, whether we spend too much or not enough.

Money coaching is about taking the uncertainty out of the equation. We leave no stone unturned, exploring the things we learned from our parents throughout the years and the habits we picked up on our own—and it often boils down to being one of eight money types:

  • The Innocent: An innocent lives in denial, burying their head in the sand, not understanding why people are doing what they’re doing in their financial lives. Innocents are very trusting, financially dependent, and non-confrontational. They act as if everything is going great for them, but inside they’re really anxious and searching for security.
  • The Victim: Victims have a tendency to live in the past and blame other people for their disastrous financial decisions. In other areas of life they are very emotional and seek the approval and reassurance of others.
  • The Warrior: The warrior is financially successful, confident, generous, goal-oriented and disciplined.
  • The Martyr: The martyr is so busy taking care of everybody else that they neglect their own needs. Like the victim, their life is filled with drama as they go through a roller coaster of emotions brought on by their life choices. Despite their occasional selflessness, martyrs are often controlling, manipulative, and resentful.
  • The Fool: The fool is usually a gambler, overly generous, and careless about other financial decisions. They take risks and live for the day without ever truly living in the moment—to the point of being irresponsible.
  • The Creator: The creator is the type of person who may produce great art, but in matters of finance is often passive, owing to some professed spirituality or philosophy. It’s true that they are less materialistic than most people, but that may owe to the fact that they don’t know how to make any money.
  • The Tyrant: The tyrant uses money to control people. They are manipulative and controlling, sometimes narcissistic, fearful and judgemental…with bad tempers to round everything out.
  • The Magician: The magician is the ideal money type. They know how to transform and manifest their financial reality. They can be compassionate and open, they tell the truth to other people and themselves. They are often spiritual, strong, and self-confident.

These eight money types were developed by Deborah Price, author of Money Magic and founder of the Money Coaching Institute.

It’s hard for people to change their relationship with money because we are all just so set in our ways, we don’t know why we are the way we are. One of the things I learned about myself during my training to become a Certified Money Coach is that I spend money because I’m so used to it; I grew up in a family that owned a retail store and so I learned how to be a buyer at an early age. I look forward to helping other people attain this sort of insight so that they, too, can see how their “old tapes” keep playing in the background of their minds and influencing them to this day.

What old money habits have you noticed in yourself? Do you know why you do them?