Every couple starts out with big hopes and dreams. Then over time you find yourself fighting about money. You’re stressing about the present, and nervous about the future. And money seems to be at the heart of it all. But, take heart, how you communicate about money with your partner can change the nerves … to nirvana!
First, the day-to-day decisions you make about money, as a couple, forms your Money Relationship. We’re not talking about “finances” -- investing and retirement plans and such (while very important) -- we’re referring to the day-to-day decisions you make where money is involved. Do you grab a latte on the go or a cup of Joe at home? Do you eat lunch out or brown bag it? Do you take neighborhood walks or a buy a full-service gym membership? Couples often struggle to see eye-to-eye on these day-to-day decisions and the pain can pile up, especially over time.
Over the past two decades, in our work as financial planners, we saw couples fighting about money even when their finances were just fine and they had plenty of cash. We determined that finances were not at the center of couples’ money issues; it was their differing day-to-day approaches to money.
Every person looks at money differently. Most of us think our spouse thinks about money the way we do, but everyone deals with money in a unique, personal way. After years of research and work with a statistical scientist, we compiled these differing money approaches into five categories , so couples can communicate more effectively and positively about their hard-earned cash.
For example, let’s take a peek at the Money Personalities of some of the familiar faces at "Fox & Friends." While we were on set recently, both Steve and Gretchen took our free Money Personalities Profile and were intrigued by what they discovered.
Gretchen Carlson is a primary Risk Taker with a secondary, Spender , Money Personality. Since Gretchen is an accomplished anchor, who travels the world, interviews presidents, and reports on the dynamic news every day, the Risk Taker Money Personality didn’t necessarily surprise any of us, but she was surprised to learn her secondary was Spender. After we later discussed her day-to-day money habits, she realized that although she doesn’t spend a lot of money on herself, she loves to spend money on others, so she hadn’t necessarily thought of herself as a Spender. A person’s secondary personality is fascinating and so important!
Steve Doocy’s Money Personality popped up right there on screen during our interview . When I mentioned that Scott and I are both “primary Spenders,” Steve said laughingly, “You’re primarily broke.” Steve is a Saver /Security Seeker .So his very honest remark is a perfect example of how a Saver approaches money. They think, if you spend too much, it will be gone before you know it. Savers don’t enjoy spending.
There is no right and no wrong Money Personality. Each one has its strengths and challenges that can help you make great decisions or could have the potential to get you into a bit of trouble. But the more you know about your Money Personalities, the easier it is to stop arguing about money, heal your Money Relationship, and reclaim those “I do” dreams. Who wouldn’t love that?!
Our new book , The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language explains all of the primary and secondary Money Personalities, opposite dynamics, financial infidelity, weekly tools to use, and how to master this new language to establish new patterns and to work together happily in your Money Relationship. Please check out the great info, free Money Personality Profile , free Financial Relationship Index , and lots of tips at our website www.TheMoneyCouple.com.
Make it happen!
Scott and Bethany Palmer, the Money Couple, are the authors of The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language (Thomas Nelson, 2013). Follow them on Twitter @themoneycouple, and get your free money personality profile here.