Money touches each and every aspect of our relationship: where we live, where we eat, where our kids go to school. Money discussions can easily turn into “money fights.” Every couple has them. If we are going to fight about money, we better learn how to fight fair. Use the acronym, F.A.I.R., next time money tension starts to bubble up.
F – Forgive - Holding grudges ensures every fight will become bigger than it needs to be. Move forward, together – don’t dwell on the past. Honor each other, admit to any Financial Infidelity, and trust your partner with your emotions and views about money.
A – Assess - Know your Money Personalities. (Saver, Spender, Risk Taker,
Security Seeker, Flyer). Determine how these Money Personalities are
affecting this “money struggle”. Can you see the situation through their eyes?
I – Input - Take a deep breath and give each spouse an opportunity too offer a solution for the money situation. Differing viewpoints can balance out a relationship, if we are willing to listen to each other.
R – Respect - Your relationship long-term is important. Respect your spouse and their different approach to money. Their Money Personality is part of who they are. Respect the balance and perspective each of you bring to your relationship.
This might sound familiar:
Steve and Sarah are dating. She is a Saver and he is a Spender. Steve buys her flowers, candy, and takes her out to nice restaurants. She is enamored by all of his spending because it’s so different, fun, and exciting. Then they get married. She doesn’t find the spending so exciting anymore. She makes some “digs” and does some “damage”. But then, she decides to “Fight Fair”.
- Forgive - Sarah says, “I am sorry for putting you down for being a spender”.
- Assess - She realizes he is a Spender and this is how he shows love. She knows since she is a Saver all this spending makes her nervous.
- Input - She says to him, “I know you are a Spender and the way you show love is by buying me all this, but as a Saver, it makes me nervous - would it be alright for you to take me out to dinner once a month and buy me flowers once a quarter?” He says, “How about I take you out to dinner once a quarter and buy you flowers once a month?”
- Respect - She says, “sounds like a great compromise.”
Steve and Sarah will continue to talk about love and money in their relationship. They may even still fight about their differences, but now they can fight fair. Discover your Money Personalities by taking our free, scientific Money Personality Quiz in less than 15 minutes. Then hand the mouse to your spouse and ask them to do the same. Knowledge is power!
Make it happen!
Scott & Bethany Palmer
The Money Couple®