How Myers-Briggs type affects socioeconomic status

I found a very interesting infographic on Myers-Briggs from a career website. You can click here to see it in full, but I’ll break down the most thought-provoking parts below: myersbriggs-personality-socioeconomic-status_525f2eea9b337_w587

If you look at one of the four type dimensions at a time, you can see some clear patterns. J’s rank ahead of P’s in income across the board; they are more ambitious, driven and action-oriented than P’s, who are observers more than initiators. E’s generally pull ahead of I’s, which makes sense given that social acumen matters a lot when it comes to job interviews, business deals or salary negotiations. T’s tend to have higher income than F’s.

ENTJ’s pull far ahead of all other types in income, leaving the other NT Rationals in the dust. Like all NTs, ENTJ’s are brilliant, analytical, behind the scenes thinkers, but unlike P’s they are driven and goal-oriented, and unlike INT’s they have the social skills and initiative to take advantage of every opportunity.

Of course, income is highly dependent on the kinds of career fields that each type is inclined to choose. F’s are probably more likely to go into lower-paying fields because they prioritize the emotional dimensions of a career over how much they pay, and are probably more likely to go into non-profit fields. P’s are also more likely to choose lower-paying careers because they value the process of a task more than the endpoint, and are less likely than J’s to see work as a means to an end. P’s value the gaining of information, experiences, and perspectives, and may want to maximize personal growth and fulfillment rather than income. As a group, SJ’s have the highest income, and they are probably the group least likely to prioritize intrinsic value over income.

I don’t know how this survey was conducted, but since this is average household income and not average individual income, it also bears thinking about the kinds of households that each type is inclined to form. SJ’s are the most likely to get married, but also the most likely to have a stay-at-home mom. I’d like to say that S’s and N’s are inclined to marry within their own groups, but (as much as I wish that were the case because it seems obvious to me that S’s and N’s live in completely different worlds and have a hard time understanding each other) I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that. However, I do suspect that the large income disparity within the NT Rationals might be due to the fact that they are less likely than other types to marry, especially the NTP’s. Continue reading “How Myers-Briggs type affects socioeconomic status”

Living frugally

I’ve mentioned before that my husband is extremely un-materialistic and fiscally responsible. One of his hobbies is personal finance, and I call it a hobby because his idea of a really relaxing activity at the end of a long day is creating financial spreadsheets. I find this utterly adorable, and I’m thankful for his skills in this area because I don’t have them.

Hubby introduced me to the Mr. Money Mustache blog, which has inspired me to take on the mantle of financial responsibility. Mr. Money Mustache is a badass who retired at age 30, solely by living far below his means and saving the majority of his (not outrageous) income. Hubby and I have taken on the goal of early retirement through frugality, though our goals also include being able to pay for college for our daughter and future children.

The “Mustachian” way won me over with two revelations. The first is hedonic adaptation, the principle that material things don’t bring lasting happiness because we very quickly adapt to them. Each new purchase or elevation in lifestyle quickly becomes the new baseline, so there is no real difference in happiness, and the more you have, the more you want. The goal of being frugal is recognizing that you can be just as happy no matter how much money you spend and how much stuff you have. It’s not about buying or having less, it’s about training yourself to want less.

The second is the principle that money equals time. I now think about each unnecessary purchase I might make as being paid for not in dollars, but in the time that my husband or I have to spend apart from our family in order to pay for it. Money can equal time, or it can equal things, and the exchange rate for things is not favorable. Our ultimate goal is to end up with more time than things, by retiring while we are young and healthy enough to spend time doing what we love.

Being frugal also allows us to lead a more balanced life now. If we can live far below our means while saving aggressively, we don’t have to work for the highest bidder at the expense of our family life. We can choose jobs that allow us to spend more time with our family but have lower pay. (Being a stay-at-home-mom falls into this category.) You can always turn time into money and money into things, but not the other way around.