For most couples, disagreements about money are a way of life, correct? But how, and where you spend, need not be a point of contention. Here Scott and Bethany Palmer (aka The Money Couple) share key actions steps to getting on the same page about money.
Fact #1: A money relationship and a financial relationship are not one and the same.
According to Scott Palmer, co-author of “The 5 Money Personalities,” while the financial aspect of the relationship where things like retirement planning, estate planning, and tax planning come into play and are of paramount importance, it is those day-to-day money decisions that couples make about everything from springing for that $5 cup of coffee to the $50,000 car which cause the most friction and are the biggest culprits.
Eight years ago, the popular husband and wife financial team noticed that many couples they had helped gain financial independence were still getting divorced and asked themselves why. “Many would say, ‘We’re getting divorced over money,” Scott explains. “This not only shocked us but made us ask ourselves why despite our best efforts to help many of the them get out of debt and pay for their houses early, we could not make these families better.” The surprising findings set the Palmers on an eye-opening eight-year journey, where they learned how things like financial infidelity, financial separation, and a couple’s inability to dream together were the missing link.
Fact #2: Understanding how each partner approaches money is key.
With statistics pointing to roughly 70% of couples who divorce do so over money, understanding and accepting the differences in your partner’s money personality is key to overcoming financial hurdles.
Is he a Spender, Saver, or a Risk Taker, or are you a Security Seeker or a Flyer? Taking the financial quiz will help shed light on yours and your partner’s unique money personality–and how the combination of your unique primary and secondary personality profile is key to becoming financially in sync with your spouse.
“Taking our quiz and following the action steps can be a powerful tool for building a better money relationship. Before Scott and I knew our own money personalities, we didn’t understand why (though we got along about money) we’d have these occasional clashes about our finances. But when we identified that we were both primarily spenders and that I’m secondarily a risk taker and Scott is a security seeker, that’s when we realized our opposite dynamic and we were able to address our problems,” she explains.
Fact #3: Marrying your money opposite is not the kiss of doom.
“We’ve found that 70% of all couples are married to their opposite. And it’s these opposite traits that probably attracted you to each other in the first place. When the couple is first dating he is taking her out for nice meals, buying jewelry for her, and buying her flowers and she loves it. But five years later they’re married with two kids, and she is like, ‘Stop buying me flowers! We need diaper money!’ The reality is, that’s who he is! That’s how he shows his love and appreciation. We make the mistake because we want to make it all about the budget and paying off the house early.
But are we really able to come together as a couple?
It’s important to know that hey, he’s a spender and I’m a saver, and if we can understand and work from the strengths in the relationship, it can be beautiful thing.
The kids are going to like him a lot more at Christmas than they are her. At the same time, her being able to save money is probably going to allow them to put the kids through college. Once you actually have the balancing act of the money personalities down, Scott reiterates, it should be pretty smooth sailing and your relationship can be amazing!”
Meet the 5 Financial Personality Types
Spenders believe money is meant for spending and have no trouble parting with their dollars. Sometimes they spend more money than they should or live above their means because they get caught up in the moment or see something they “have” to have. They usually spend first, think later. On the plus side, though, spenders tend to be generous with their friends and support charitable causes with ease.
Savers love to get a good deal. These fervent bargain-hunters clip coupons, compare prices and hate to pay full price for anything. As easy as it is to get Spenders to part with their money, it’s equally hard to get Savers to part with theirs. At their worst, Savers can be viewed as cheapskates who don’t tip servers well or skip out on their portion of a shared bill. They can sometime undervalue their time, as well. At best, however, Savers can be resourceful and creative, and they role-model a lifestyle that’s not focused on material possessions.
Risk-Averse personalities place security and planning as their No. 1 concerns. They prefer proven, safe investments and like to plan and research before making any big purchases. They view money as a tool that generates security. Their hesitation to part with money or seek out investment opportunities comes from their high priority on feeling financially stable. At best, Risk-Averse personalities can help a family maintain a solid financial footing. At worst, they may forgo opportunities for growth due to risk concerns.
Gamblers think money is all about the thrill of the chase. They’ll take big risks if it means a potentially big payoff, and they’re driven more by optimism and gut feeling than by details and analysis. At best, Gamblers may dramatically increase their wealth with a winning investment. At worst, however, Gamblers may lose it all.
Flyers are best described as the “doesn’t pay attention” personality type. These people simply don’t think about money at all. They don’t view money as a tool that creates security, status symbols or anything else. They’d be equally happy with a tiny or massive bank balance, and they believe that people who think too-hard about money (like Savers and the Risk-Averse) are a bit obsessive.
Most people have a dominant and secondary personality type. If you felt drawn toward two categories, this could be the case for you.
To learn more and take the
money personality quiz be
sure to visit Scott & Bethany