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Finding the Strength in Your Spouse’s Financial Weakness

Finding the Strength in Your Spouse’s Financial Weakness

“We need to save more.”

“You need to stop being so tight with money.”

“Making money requires risk.”

“Look, I really don’t want to talk about it.”

You probably think about money differently than your spouse. Your past experiences with money play a role in this. So does your God-given personality. And you might even get frustrated at times because your spouse does not think like you do when it comes to money.

More than likely, you believe that your view on money is correct. And you are probably right, to a degree. But here is the thing—your spouse thinks their view is correct, too. And they are probably right as well, to a degree.

We all have financial strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, the weaknesses tend to hog the spotlight and cause fights among couples. But strength can be found in each of your financial weaknesses. So how do you find that strength? Let’s consider four money personalities—Spender, Saver, Investor and Ignorer.

The Spender

Sure, there are weaknesses.

The spender personality probably gets the most grief. The weaknesses are easy to spot. They are unafraid to swipe the card. They often spend first and check the budget later. They struggle to resist a sale. And they are quick to justify their purchases.

But there are strengths, too.

The spender personality is not all bad. If your spouse is a spender, watch for the strengths. They are willing to make the necessary purchases. Additionally, Spenders often think of others. They are the ones who purchase gifts for birthdays and holidays. Because they think of others, they are pretty good at maintaining relationships.

The Saver

Sure, there are weaknesses.

Saving money is a good thing. However, some savers can take it too far. They find security in their savings. And they never feel like their account has enough money in it. And they can be tightfisted with money. They are the ones who can afford a hotel for the family vacation but opt for a couple of tents instead (and not because they like camping).  

But there are strengths too.

If you get frustrated at your spouse’s saver personality, consider the strengths. First of all, they are less likely to lead you to financial ruin. They tend to avoid debt. They can end up creating a sense of financial stability, even when you are hit with unforeseen expenses—because they have saved for it. They have a deep concern for your current and future financial well-being. And that is something to be commended.

The Investor

Sure, there are weaknesses.

The investor is willing to take a risk with money. And they can get carried away with the allure of higher returns. So there are times when they may take an unnecessarily high risk with money. And, sometimes, they end up losing a lot of it.

But there are strengths too.

Most will never have enough saved for retirement without doing some type of investing. And investing requires a healthy amount of risk. Investors are willing to take that risk. If you are overly conservative with your money, you may end up struggling financially in your retirement years.

The Ignorer

Sure, there are weaknesses.

The Ignorer avoids talking and thinking about their financial situation. Are they saving enough? Do they have too much debt? Ignorers often cannot answer those questions. And that is not good. Even if you or your spouse primarily takes care of the finances, both need to be aware and on the same page. Because Ignorers do not voice their opinion, resentment can build up. Avoiding smaller disagreement can eventually lead to one big nuclear argument.

But there are strengths too.

Ignorers trust others. When it comes to money, they trust their spouse and financial professional. And they often are willing to forgo their preference for the preference of their spouse.

How to discover your (and your spouse’s) money personality

You and your spouse have your own money personalities, shaped by past experiences and God-given personality. So how do you figure out whether you are a Spender, Saver, Investor or Ignorer?

Consider this simple and fun scenario:

You just made a purchase at the grocery store. Suddenly balloons fall and confetti shoots up in the air. Congratulations, you are the store’s one millionth customer. The store manager brings out a huge check for $50,000.

So here is the question—What would you do with that $50,000?

Now, look back at the money personalities. Which one does the way you would use that money most align with? It’s possible you have just identified your money personality.

Talk with your spouse about the money personalities. Don’t spend too much time on the weaknesses, but use the weaknesses to identify the strengths. You both have weaknesses and strengths. And the goal is not to figure out which is better, but how you and your spouse can work together.

Want a little more science behind you and your spouse’s relationship with money and how it impacts how you navigate your money together? Dig into this quick Love & Money Relationship Assessment by brightpeak.

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