Temperament and Money: The Melancholy

There’s a very strange type of person walking the earth. So strange, in fact, that this type of person actually likes using a budget. Can you imagine?

This unusual bird is known as a melancholy.

Seriously, though, one telling trait of someone with a melancholy temperament is that they care about details, which explains why they take so easily to the use of a budget. However, as with all temperaments, melancholies have inherent financial strengths and weaknesses.

Two sides to the story

People with a melancholy temperament are dependable and conscientious to the point of perfectionism. If you want a job done well, give it to a melancholy.

On the other hand, while melancholies are all about the details, they can get a bit obsessive about them, preferring that their budget balances—to the penny—and being unhappy if it doesn’t.

They tend to make good purchase decisions because they thoroughly research them. Planning is a good thing, but you do eventually need to take action, and melancholies don’t tend to move quickly.

Also, while they usually have a great capacity to control spending, melancholies can overspend on things that speak to their strong aesthetic sense, such as beautiful clothing, artwork, gourmet food, books, and music. So, make sure you have predetermined spending limits for all spending categories.

Here are two especially important watch-outs for melancholies. First, they can easily succumb to fear. In fact, according to Jerry and Ramona Tuma, authors of Smart Money, a book I highly recommend, no other temperament battles fear so intensely. This can manifest itself in a natural tendency to worry and can even lead to depression.

Financially, fear can lead melancholies to play it far too safe with their investments.

Second, melancholies often have the low self-esteem, which can hinder their career.

Some suggestions for melancholies

Keep in mind that your temperament is an essential part of your God-given design. There is a purpose for your strengths—and your weaknesses. In many ways, our weaknesses remind us of our dependence on God.

Remember this as well: God’s promises are true for each of us regardless of our temperament. Here are some suggested verses for melancholies to memorize and meditate on.

Regarding fear:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

If you’re dealing with low self-esteem:

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

For moving from planning to action:

He who observes the wind [and waits for conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. – Ecclesiastes 11:4

Do you have a melancholy temperament? If so, how do you see it impacting the way you view and use money?


If you know someone who is engaged or newly married, why not get them a copy of my book, Money & Marriage? It goes deeper into the topic of temperament and guides couples toward many other ways of using money that will enrich their relationship with each other and with God.

And if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for a free subscription to this blog. Twice a week, you’ll receive ideas and encouragement for using money well.

, ,

Comments are closed.
Share This