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Couple’s finances: Being in tune with one another.

In our article, ‘Recognising and dealing with financial stress’, we discussed that close to a third of Australians find dealing with money stressful. In light of this, one of our suggestions for dealing with financial stress was to talk to your partner. One of the reasons behind this is due to the conflicts and stresses that may arise between couples when there is a difference in their beliefs on money and/or their money personalities, and these differences are not appropriately recognised and addressed.

Importantly, beliefs on money and money personality can be interconnected.

Consequently, we discuss ways to help you with recognising and addressing the differences that may occur in both of these areas through the fostering of communication, mutual understanding and teamwork.

Beliefs on money

The experiences that you have throughout your life (and your interpretation of these experiences) can shape the way that you view the world and your engagement within it on a conscious level. Importantly, the same may be said in terms of the formation and shaping of your beliefs on money.

Briefly, your beliefs on money are protective or liberating ideas, thoughts, or opinions that you hold about money. Depending on your personal circumstances, these beliefs on money may or may not be beneficial or desirable to you as they can influence your financial attitudes and behaviours.

If you are unsure about how to discuss your beliefs on money with your partner or even what your beliefs may be in the first place, consider completing the following together:

Identifying your beliefs on money through language

  • Write several short sentences about money, starting each sentence with ‘I should…’ For example, ‘I should invest more for my retirement’.
  • Repeat above, but now change the start to ‘I believe my partner should…’ For example, ‘I believe my partner should save more’.

Identifying your beliefs on money through feeling

  • Write down how you are feeling right now. For example, joyful, grateful, hopeful, helpless, depressed, jealous, or angry.
  • Repeat above, but now write down
    • The feelings you believe someone who is financially insecure would have.
    • The feelings you believe someone who is financially secure would have.

Once done, read out your answers to one another and discuss how you both feel. Now take some time to engage in ‘perspective shifting’, in this instance, seeing your beliefs on money as ideas, thoughts, or opinions rather than truths. A simple way to do this may be changing ‘should’ to ‘could’ in the first exercise above and discussing how you both feel afterwards. By practising perspective shifting, you may find that you not only allow yourself to gain a better understanding of your partner’s beliefs on money, but also open yourself up to the possibility of replacing your existing beliefs on money with new ones.

Money Personalities

Why do you manage money the way you do? Many of the decisions you make when dealing with money, such as how you earn, spend and invest your money, may be done on a subconscious level. We explore this in our Money Personality learning module.

Briefly, your money personality is the set of preferences you have with regards to dealing with money. Importantly, your money personality, like your beliefs on money, can influence your financial attitudes and behaviours.

When it comes to preferences in dealing with money we are all unique, which is why we developed four money personality animals to help broadly describe the differences that can arise from one person to the next. Here is a brief overview of each money personality animal:

If you are unsure about how to discuss your preferences with your partner or what they may be in the first place, consider completing our Money Personality quiz together. Our Money Personality quiz assesses your preferences for dealing with money with regards to three key metrics:

 

Continue reading the article here.

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