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Does Birth Order Really Affect How We Handle Money?

Posted on the 18 April 2012 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl
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My cousin has three kids. The middle child has been whining about life being unfair since he was three years old. He turned eight last week and decided to run away with a lunch box full of canned soup, no can opener and high hopes that a childless couple would adopt him so that he could grow up as an only child.

His heartfelt goodbye letter was found before he made it past the front door and and he was lured back with promises of ice cream (it doesn’t take much to make him happy).

Apparently he’s right about life not being fair… especially not to him or most middle children. It does indeed suck to be him.

I came across this study on how birth order affects career paths and earnings and this one on credit scores and it rocks to be the firstborn or an only child. Here’s how it’ supposed to work:

Firstborn / Only Child – ‘The Leader

You got it made! You’re most likely to earn a 6-figure salary and become executives (CEOs, CFOs, Sr. VPs). You are also the one most likely to have the highest credit score since you pay everything on time and are the picture of responsibility. You’re a control freak though.


Middle/Second Child – ‘The Peacemaker

You’re out of luck. Not only do you get hand-me-downs, you’re the most likely to have an income of less than $35,000 and stick to entry-level positions.  Since you’re a problem solver, you like to deal with your own finances without asking for help, so you tend to move debt around and likely to have money troubles.

Last Born – ‘The Free Spirit

You’re most likely to be in middle management. You like to socialize and have a hard time cutting out social activities from your budget. So you prefer instant gratification over long-term savings. You’re known to be a bad decision maker.

But is it true?

In my case,  no.

I’m the second child and I certainly am not the peacemaker. And I’m not that bad with money… fiiiiine, I did in fact have some teeny- tiny, okay serious debt troubles, but dropped my ‘charge it and forget it‘ motto and got out.

When it comes to personal finance, I’m the more responsible one compared to my older brother. Despite my own bout of debt, I’m more of a planner for my financial future. When it comes to careers, I’d also have to say that mine has more of a focus. In fact, my brother is the more creative one of the two of us. He’s a free spirit, where I’m more controlled.

It looks like things are reversed in my family.

Is this true in your family?

Tagged as: debt, money management, personal finance

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