From spendthrifts to penny pinchers, you’ll recognise some of these financial characters among your mates… or maybe yourself.
So, do any of these financial characters strike you as familiar?
The Scrooge McDuck
Of all the financial characters, this one is perhaps the most conflicting. We all have an image of Scrooge McDuck wallowing on top of piles and piles of money. We definitely want us some of that! But, there’s a reason for all those piles… McDuck is also known as, well, a Scrooge. A stinge. A cheapskate.
McDucks hone their skills from a very early age.
At school you can usually find them loitering around the tuck shop in the hope of scrounging together enough money for a sausage roll, or even stumbling across a nugget of gold on the floor.
But by the time they enter adulthood, they’ve become masters of their craft.
They’re famous for smoke bombing from the bar seconds before their round. A waiter could wash their feet during dessert and they’d still balance the bill to the cent.
Much like their famous namesake, McDucks often end up doing very well for themselves. But regardless of how wealthy they get, their stingy habits rarely change.
The Carrie Bradshaw
Ah, the Bradshaws. On the surface they’re so fresh and oh-so clean.
A marketer’s dream, Bradshaws live in the hippest suburbs and spend their days on display in organic cafes or shiny gyms. They sport gleaming jewellery, designer labels and a fake tan or bleached smile to boot.
Don’t be fooled, though; underneath this façade is often a mountain of debt so high it reaches all the way to their clear-lensed Oliver Peoples frames.
Unfortunately, Sex in the City fans, it’s tough to live a Bradshaw lifestyle without one or all of the following: your very own Mr or Mrs Big; an investment banking salary; or, gulp, credit cards.
Despite the fact that many Bradshaws fall into the third category, most of them somehow seem to scrape through life just fine (and look fantastic doing so).
The Luke Danes
Lorelei’s love interest in Gilmore Girls is a low-key kinda guy, but he’s quietly loaded. He takes the expression ‘put it away for the rainy day’ to a whole new level.
By the age of 12, most the Danes are pulling in close to a full-time wage from their parents, purely by doing chores for cash.
By their mid-teens they’ve expanded across the neighbourhood and can be found mowing lawns, babysitting or washing cars, all while working multiple casual jobs.
But all this squirrelling doesn’t necessarily mean they’re cheap, just sensible. On ya, Daneses.
The Jordan Belfort
The Belfort, while often displaying prominent McDuck and Gatsby qualities, couples them with a slightly alarming lust for money and power.
Nothing is ever enough, so Belforts have lots of irons in the fire from a very young age and are blessed with an unnaturally high tolerance for risk.
They love leveraged share investing, property development, high-stakes poker, and breeding racehorses, and if possible will practice them all at the same time (and here’s the kicker) using other people’s money.
You’ll find them drinking champagne from the bottle on yachts, hanging out in the VIP areas of ritzy nightclubs or hitting golf balls off the roof of their Las Vegas penthouses. We all kind of want to be a Belfort, but most of us haven’t got the golf balls.
The Mother Teresa
Mother Teresas can’t help but dish out their money to make the world a better place.
Warm and generous, no one ever pays for dinner when Teresa’s at the table, and good luck buying them a drink.
Philanthropy comes easily to them; their pay cheque gets decimated every month from all the automatic charity donations that roll out.
And they love nothing more than gifting over and above what society, their income or common sense normally dictates.
Teresas are generally very broke, but very happy.
The Richard Branson
Money doesn’t mean much to a Branson, except as a means to an end.
They’re experiential, love to try new things and can’t help but challenge themselves every day.
Unlike the Danos, they didn’t just mow lawns in high school; they started a business and employed people to mow lawns for them. Then they sold it for a mint six months later.
Bransons could make or lose a million in a day and still be up at 6am the next morning to head out for a quick surf before kicking off their next business venture.
The Great Gatsby
Their parties? Lavish and often. Their clothes? Bespoke. Their wine or scotch? Old and rare. Their watches? Worth more than your car. The furs they wear? Real and endangered.
Alright, that last one is an exaggeration (hopefully), but picture rich mahogany and seven-star hotels and you’re on the right track.
You’ll often see a Gatsby… Actually, you’ll never see them, because unless you’re a Gatsby yourself you can’t afford to be in the same place.
Forget every single one of the other financial characters, it’s the Gatsby we all really want to be.
A little bit of all these financial characters
It’s probably a good thing to have a little of all of these financial characters within us. The trick is to know when to spend, when to save and when to splurge. After all, money is simply a tool that helps us live a good life. Only you can define what that good life looks and feels like for you.