Interview with The Money Couple
Scott and Bethany Palmer discuss how they can teach you how to speak the same love and money language.
BY: Angela Guzman
Every couple, at some point in their relationship, argues about money. Scott and Bethany Palmer in their book The 5 Money Personalities discuss how to have a healthy financial relationship with your significant other. The couple talks about what works, what doesn’t and educates their audience on the different money personalities that exist.
In your book you say, “Your money relationship is about the daily decisions you make as a couple in which money is involved.” Can you further explain this.
To explain it a little more in depth we find that it helps to differentiate between a Financial arrangement and a Money Relationship:
Financial Arrangement — all of the topics you discuss with your spouse around finances. Debt reduction, retirement planning, investment planning, insurance planning, tax planning and on and on.
Money Relationship — the day to day discussions you have where money is involved. Questions like, should we brew our coffee at home or indulge in a five dollar cup of Starbucks (some would argue that it is a necessity). Other examples would be, should we buy our school supplies at Target or Walmart, and should we buy our shoes at Nordstroms or Payless?
Financial Arrangements can be more black and white; a Money Relationship moves and grooves every day! As you navigate your discussions with your partner this week, notice how often you make decisions together and analyze how well you discuss the money component of those decisions. Ask yourself: “As for our Money Relationship, do we speak the same Love and Money Language?”
Can you briefly describe the 5 money personalities and why they are so important to know.
It is important to know BOTH your Primary AND your Secondary Money Personality. (The 5 Money Personalities should be identified with a TM behind it like this: The 5 Money Personalities™) Don’t stop at your Primary because it is the dynamic that works between both of them that causes the internal conflict that you may experience.
1. Saver - These are the penny pinchers of the world. Hate parting with their money and think everything is overpriced. Savers like to save money and also enjoy seeing others get a good deal too. If a saver finds a buck in their coat pocket she leaves it there.
2. Spender – Love to buy, buy, buy. Some like to buy for themselves, some like to buy for others but money never sticks around to long. If a spender finds a buck in his coat pocket he runs to Starbucks to see what he can buy.
3. Risk Taker – The entrepreneurs, the inventors, the people on the cover of fortune magazine – not afraid of losing everything if it gets them closer to having everything
4. Security Seeker - If you know a planner you know a Security Seeker. They like knowing their future is predictable and planned. Whether it is Holidays, Vacations or birthdays predictability is the name of the game.
5. Flyer – For Flyers the money component of a decision is not the first thing that comes to their mind. We call them Flyers because they fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to money decisions.
What was the inspiration behind writing the book?
We meet with couples, put together airtight financial plans for them, and still see them fighting, stressing out, and even divorcing because of their money conflict. We thought once we gave them a clear financial plan, their conflict would go away. But it didn’t. We figured out that it wasn’t money that created these issues it was that they had no unifying way to talk about money and understand their differences. That’s how The Money Couple® and our desire to save marriages began.
What is financial infidelity and how can couples avoid it?
Financial Infidelity as defined by The Money Couple®:
The act of lying about, hiding, or secretly hoarding money in a relationship.
Every money relationship harbors some level of Financial Infidelity. It might be as minor as not telling your spouse what you really spent on her birthday gift or as major as keeping a secret bank account or credit card. The bottom line: no matter how big or how small the Financial Infidelity is, it is a relationship KILLER! With 70% of all divorces in America citing money as one of the major causes leading to the split, Financial Infidelity is the unspoken and undefined reason marriages fail and families split. With all of our exposure to it through the couples we counsel, or even our own Financial Infidelity (yes we have committed it), we have identified 5 triggers to help you work through your own:
• Financial separation - Many couples think if they just keep their money separate that it will not cause friction in the relationship. What we see is that this is almost an impossible scenario. How do you live under one roof with no overlap in money? Resentment and mistrust set in as bills are split up and both people in the relationship are hoping for the best.
• Overspending and Debt - Many couples struggle with overspending and debt. What we often see is that one or both people in the relationship will hide credit cards and/or purchases. This is most often done to avoid a fight.
• Lack of planning - Often couples will do no planning because they are relying on the other to do the current and future planning. Usually they will wait too long until they even address the issue. When the problem is finally discovered the blame game begins.
• Control - If one person controls the money, there is often a backlash from the other. We see this as one of the major causes for secret accounts and credit cards. The person in the relationship that is hiding the money is usually doing so because of the lack of flexibility by the other.
• Money Secrets - Money secrets can be in many forms. It can range from separate checking accounts, secret credit cards, secret investments holdings, and secret stashes of cash.
Which triggers ring true for you? Make a conscious effort to confess and stop your Financial Infidelity and stop this relationship killer today!
What’s one piece of advice that you would want all couples to know?
Know your Primary and Secondary Money Personalities and how the “Opposite Dynamic” plays itself out in your relationship. Go to www.TheMoneyCouple.com today and take the free Money Personality Profile.