AUT finance research helps us get Sorted

04 Jul, 2023
AUT finance research helps us get Sorted
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/photoboy

Personal finances and how we spend our money can be difficult to wrap our heads around.

Dr Ayesha Scott and Professor Aaron Gilbert (Finance) were commissioned by Te Ara Ahunga Ora (Retirement Commission) to identify New Zealanders' money personalities from survey responses from 500 New Zealanders. The AUT team then helped develop a user-friendly quiz that categorises our financial approaches and decisions into one of the five money personality types: The Contemporary, The Enterpriser, The Minimalist, The Realist, and The Socialite.

Once your money personality is identified, the Sorted site unpacks your money traits and offers tips for helping you reach your money goals.

Jo Gamble, the research lead at Te Ara Ahunga Ora (Retirement Commission) which runs the online financial tools and resources platform,, said that in addition to helping people understand their spending, it was important to make the quiz easy to engage with.

"We were focused on getting the quiz down to the fewest number of questions and possible personalities, while ensuring the outcomes remained valid," she said.

"We ended up with a great result - through 17 questions users can get a clear picture of their money personality.”

Based on the response to the quiz by the media and the public, the need to understand our money personalities is high. Ayesha Scott was interviewed by media outlets across New Zealand and Australia, including by RNZ, Three Now, Stuff and ABC radio. To date, The Conversation article about the evidence-based quiz has had nearly 57K views and been republished 21 times globally including in NZ, Australia, UK, USA, Canada and South Africa.

For Ayesha, a “Minimalist”, one interview in particular will be cherished as a career high: when ABC Radio Sydney invited her on to discuss the quiz, they asked her to share her favourite money song.

“I've both been waiting for this moment my entire career AND was terrified,” said Ayesha, who was tossing up between Pink Floyd’s “Money” or The Dandy Warhols “All the money or the simple life, honey”.

In the end, she went with Pink Floyd.

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