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The Time Personality Quiz

Be Well Versed In Your Financial Future

Your ability to be financially healthy depends upon your time personality — something you've probably never heard of, but impacts every decision you make. Take our quiz to discover your time personality and learn how to start making better financial decisions.

Your attitudes towards time have a profound impact on your life and your world, yet you seldom recognize it. Moderate attitudes towards the past, the present and the future are indicative of health, while extreme attitudes are indicative of biases that lead predictably to unhealthy patterns of living.

What is The Time Paradox?

In The Time Paradox, Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd reveal how our attitudes towards time impacts how we make decisions. The book describes different time orientations: past, present and future.

The Past

Your attitudes towards the past matter more than the events themselves, and how you remember the past can significantly impact the decisions you make today. You can have positive and negative views of the past. If you have a positive memory, then you will likely remember family rituals, successes and pleasures. These warm feelings can provide happiness and a sense of security. If you have a negative view of the past, then your memories will be like a visit to a museum of torment, failure and regret. In the ideal time perspective, you have a mostly positive attitude towards the past.

The Present

For someone focused on the present, all that exists is the here and now. You can either enjoy the present (hedonist) or feel trapped in it (fatalist). Hedonists can be a lot of fun. They like to enjoy life and can be “good friends, lovers and party guests.” But, when taken to an extreme a hedonist is more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, gamble, or use drugs than future-oriented people.

Fatalists feel like their life is dictated by influences out of their control. If you are a single mother, without a college degree and working for the minimum wage than it is difficult to think about anything other than today. Resignation and cynicism overwhelm hopefulness and optimism. For people with a strong present orientation, decisions are responses to what is happening in their immediate physical and social environment.

The Future

The mantra of a future orientation is “Meet tomorrow’s deadline, complete all the necessary work before tonight’s play.” Tomorrow’s anticipated gains and losses fuel today’s decisions and actions. Gratification delayed for greater reward is always a better bet for futures, who will trade a bird in the hand for a flock in the future.

A healthy future orientation means that you will eat well, exercise regularly, schedule preventative doctor’s exams and have a successful career. But, when taken in excess, a future is so busy working for tomorrow that they completely miss out on today. They will regularly sacrifice family, friends and sex for success. You can identify the person who is excessively future oriented by their tired look and long to-do list. People with a strong future orientation will base their decisions on expectations of future scenarios.

How Does This Affect Your Financial Health?

We conducted a study across 6 countries, and our findings are amazing. Your approach to time has a big influence on your financial health — and that makes sense. Your financial health is the result of countless decisions you make over time (to buy or not to buy the car, the dress, the house, the dinner), and the way you make decisions is largely determined by your approach to time.

Do you live for the now? You probably spend like it.
Addicted to building a better future? You probably invest, buy insurance, set goals.
Are you stuck in the past? That may keep you from investing.

The key to financial health is making good financial decisions. With this work, we want to focus on how to help people make better decisions: which means a healthier approach to time.