Groundbreaking Money Attitudes Assessment helps South Africans on the Road to Financial Success
9 Feb, 2024

Cebile Zibi – Chief Marketing Officer at Momentum Money



As we all prepare ourselves to navigate the economic challenges of 2024, achieving financial success has become a top priority for South African households.


According to Cebile Zibi, CMO of Momentum Money, the landscape of high interest rates, soaring petrol costs, escalating food prices, and surging electricity prices demands a strategic approach – not only in financial planning but also in understanding the drivers behind some of our financial behaviours.


Momentum Money has launched their 3 Money Attitudes Assessment (3MAA) which aid individuals in understanding their attitudes towards money. “This serves as a vital first step on the road to improving one’s personal money management. If we really want to live a ‘new year new me’ financial life, we all need to know who we are when it comes to money,” says Zibi.



The Head of Behavioural Finance at Momentum, Paul Nixon, has been hard at work with his team at Momentum Investments pinpointing the intersection between behaviour and financial success. With a lot of research and endless insights, they developed the ‘Money Fingerprint’ of which the 3MMA is an integral part.


Differentiating itself from traditional personality assessments, Nixon says the Money Fingerprint was created in partnership with the University of Pretoria to identify risk preferences, attitudes and personality traits that reveal likely financial behaviours.



“This crucial work by Nixon and the team has led us to identify three money attitudes that shed light on why we make certain financial choices versus others,” says Zibi.


According to the research, it is money prudence, prestige and anxiety that have immeasurable influence on our financial behaviour. “These traits, provide valuable insights into who we are when it comes to saving, spending and investing,” says Zibi.


Prudence serves as a compass, indicating whether an individual tends to be more future-focused and goal-oriented (high prudence) vs being more impulsive (low prudence) when it comes to their money.


On the other hand, Anxiety provides insights into an individual’s emotional composure, distinguishing between those who are composed (low anxiety) and those who tend to be more anxious (high anxiety). “Understanding our level of money anxiety is crucial as it directly impacts how we react to financial stress and uncertainty more often than not impacting our investment choices or lack thereof,” says Zibi.


When it comes to financial success, Zibi says Prestige is a behaviour to watch out for. People with high money prestige attach significant importance to wealth and financial status. Motivated by a desire for recognition and the symbols of affluence, they actively seek opportunities for financial success.


“While a high Prestige may lead to elevated social standing and access to exclusive opportunities, it also comes with the risk of financial stress in the relentless pursuit of material success,” says Zibi.


She says a lower level of Prestige is a healthier money attitude to adopt. “These are people who are not particularly impressed with money and tend not to associate money with success or status. You are less likely to spend money in an expressive manner (to show your wealth).”


Zibi says these three principal money attitudes are not set in stone and do not define us. “While there are pockets to strive for, every category has its own warning signals to bear in mind.”


By analysing the intersection of these money attitudes, Zibi says we get a fuller view of a person’s predisposition for saving and investing. This combination of traits acts as a financial “factory setting,” influencing decisions related to money management.


In his research, Nixon drew attention to the famous marshmallow experiment. Psychologist Walter Mischel conducted the marshmallow experiment in the late 1960s and early 1970s, focusing on delayed gratification and self-control in children. In this study, children were given a choice between receiving one marshmallow immediately or waiting for about 15 minutes to receive two marshmallows as a reward. The results indicated that children able to resist immediate gratification often experienced more positive life outcomes, including higher marks at school, educational achievements, and overall success later in life.


Delayed gratification and future success work the same way when it comes to our money, and it is anxiety, prudence and prestige that form the foundation of these choices.


As we all embark on our financial journey in 2024, Zibi is adamant that understanding and aligning one’s personality with sound financial practices is key to success. “Start by having the conversation with yourself and with your household. None of us are immune to our own psychologies, but there is strength in numbers in a household filled with people with unique financial personalities. Let’s rely on each other to keep our shared financial journey in check,” Zibi concludes.


If you are interested in learning more about your money personality, take the Momentum Money Personality Test and shed some more light on the motivations behind your money choices.







@Cebile Zibi
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