What's Your Financial Style?
Money! It’s everywhere. Who likes to talk about money? Not me. But, it’s important to live in reality and know our money styles. Whether we are spenders or savers, money matters. It’s a subject that is difficult to talk about, in fact it is one of the top reasons for divorce.
In his book, Never Enough, Ron Blue describes contentment as a “game-changing choice.” He says that contentment puts us on a solid path to be able to think clearly and make informed choices.
One of the best places to begin to understand finances, whether you’re single or married, is by being informed. Do you know your money personality? Click on the links below, to discover your money style.
You’ve heard the saying, “Opposites attract?” That is why it’s important to know your money personalities and that of your spouse. There are advantages of having a saver and a spender as a couple. If two people are savers, they might have a difficult time doing things, like going out or taking vacations. If two people are spenders, you might not always keep to a budget. Since spenders live in the moment, they might have a difficult time saving for a rainy day or they might run into debt issues. If a saver and spender are married, try to set regular times to talk about money without bringing your emotions into the conversation. Create a budget and communicate expenses to keep you on solid ground.
Risk takers are all about the possibilities and they are quick to make decisions. The possibility of a new adventure may lead them to a new a business opportunity or an investment. They are great when it comes to thinking about the future, as they want to continue to improve their finances. The risk taker can be blinded by possibilities, though. It’s important to include your spouse in financial dreams before making money decisions. Flyers, on the other hand, are satisfied with their life. They are not motivated by money. Flyers might also put relationships over money. If you are married to a flyer personality, they are probably really easy going when it comes to money. The difficulty in a marriage with a flyer might be that lack of planning can lead the couple into debt. Again, it's important to keep each other informed about every day money matters, as well as planning for the future.
In our marriage, my husband is a better saver than I am. My two top money personalities are security seeker, I like to have a plan in place, and spender, meaning I like to give generously. Because these are my top two money personalities, it means I do like to save and as a spender I am not going to go overboard on a purchase. I will consider cost, quality, and life span of the purchase before making a decision.
I used to work at a university and my office was located on the same floor as the little mini mart, bookstore, coffee shop, and dining areas. It was easy for me “not to think about money.” Although I was thrifty with my spending, the dollar here and dollar there added up. One day, my husband said to me, “Hey, babe, what have you been buying on campus? Why are there so many little charges?” I jokingly said something like, “Just chips and mochas.” He said, “Well, that dollar and three dollars and change here and there have added up.” He told me how much I had spent in a month and I gasped. I was so grateful we had that talk. I was able to set financial boundaries for myself when I was working, so that I didn’t buy something without thinking.
When I do premarital counseling with a couple, one of the topics I always bring up is finances. It’s better to be informed now, before they even say, “I do.” I advise them, as they discover each other’s money styles, to make money talks a regular habit.
Are they bringing any debt into the relationship?
Do they know how much money each of them makes?
Do they have any savings they are bringing into the marriage?
What are the expectations as they go into their new life? Buying a house, kids, vacations . . .
What are their financial fears?
What is a specific action they can take today toward their financial health?
Financial advisor, Ron Blue, offers some suggestions for the money conversation, including biblical guidance, financial health, assessing our habits strengths and weaknesses, and giving us hope for our financial future. For example, in the areas of stewardship and contentment, he says:
Stewardship: Do you believe that God owns it all?
Contentment: Do you believe what you have right now is enough?
Questions to ask yourself:
Do you know your money style?
What are your financial strengths and weaknesses?
What financial goals have you set for the future?
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:3
It’s important to assess where you are and where you want to be. Here are some resources to get you started.