Marriage and Money: Couples and Their Money Personalities
How do you view and handle money? Is your tendency to spend or to splurge? Were your parents indulgent and bought you everything you asked for, or did they require you to save up for what you wanted? Were your parents constantly arguing about money? Our experiences, the way we were brought up and the values inculcated by family all contribute towards our “money personality”.
Money personalities may include one or the combination of the following:
– Spender. This is one who thinks that money is to be enjoyed and that things you buy can be used to enhance your life. Shopping is a thrill. The spender has no compunctions about swiping that credit card.
– Saver. This is one who feels the compulsion to cut corners to increase savings. The thrill is in getting a good deal. Thus you will find the saver armed with coupons and would be first in line during sales.
– The Play-It-Safer. Risk averse personalities would invest but choose something that has low rewards but low risk as well. They like seeing money grow slowly but surely.
– Budget-beaver. This is one who likes to ensure that everything is by the budget and expenses are well-planned.
– The Gambler. Gamblers are not scared with the toss of the dice – investments that have risks but yield high rewards.
– The Dreamer. This is someone who has certain goals and is willing to work and save towards these goals.
Marriage and our money personality
And we bring this money personality into our marriage. And often, this is what causes conflicts between couples. When two individuals with differing money personalities unite and decide to combine finances, you can expect conflicts to arise. A husband may raise his eyebrows at the credit card statement that shows a wife’s shopping spree. A wife may complain about the household expense account. A spouse may feel that the other partner has unrealistic expectations on savings. There may be disagreements about how much to spend, whether to have separate or joint accounts and so on. A couple may need time to adjust to each other’s money personalities.
So how do you deal with the differences in money personality? Here are some tips:
– Recognize that there will be differences. You can’t expect you and your spouse to have the same money personality. What is key is for you to understand you and your spouse’s money personality and that each personality has its own advantages and disadvantages. This is your starting point as you and your spouse discuss how you can deal with your differing personalities. It is also important to recognize that money personality differences can be helpful if you are able to communicate and deal with your differences effectively.
– Discuss money personalities prior to marriage. Ideally, money personalities prior to marriage. This is where pre-marital counseling can help.
– Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Your spouse is not there to make things difficult for you. His or her financial decisions are driven by his or her money personality. Recognizing this will help you communicate better and avoid accusing.
– Talk about money while there is no conflict. Schedule times when you can both sit down and discuss your budget, investments and bills. It is best to have these discussions while emotions (and tempers) are not running hot. It will also be helpful for you to set guidelines on how you will handle your money.
– Understand your spouse’s needs and expressions of love. Your money personality will also point towards how you perceive love. For instance, a spender will take delight in showering his spouse with gifts. However, if his spouse is a saver, it will only annoy the spouse to see that her spouse is spending money on “unnecessaries”.
– Get counseling. Oftentimes, it is helpful to go for couples counseling in Provo when the conflict becomes too complicated for you to handle. Therapy can help you gain deeper insights on your and your spouse’s money personality.
Marriage therapy in Provo, Utah
For Provo, Utah marriage therapy in Provo, Utah, you can visit Dr. Triston Morgan. Dr. Morgan has years of experience in helping build relationships and providing couples counseling. He is a marriage and family therapist licensed to practice in the state of Utah.