Topic: Discover Your "Money Habitudes"
more a couple can understand their own and each other’s personal
habits and attitudes about money, the better able they are to make
good, intentional decisions about managing their money.
~ Syble Solomon
studies have shown that money is the number one topic when couples
argue. And many divorcing couples site money conflicts as the reason
for their split. For some couples, discussing their finances is more
emotionally charged than discussing their sex lives!
couples deal with finances in exactly the same manner. But no matter
HOW a couple chooses to share or separate their finances, there is
no avoiding this potentially hot-button area.
How we spend our money (or don’t spend it) is a reflection of
our money habits and attitudes. We can’t share life with another
without addressing our choices and behaviours around money.
can we increase our awareness?
recently introduced to a simple and effective tool for understanding
our habits and attitudes regarding money. Syble Solomon, an executive
coach, has developed a set of playing cards designed to reveal your
“Money Habitudes”. (See www.moneyhabitudes.com)
cards can be used by individuals and couples to enhance the understanding
of those often unconscious beliefs and behaviours that drive our actions
around money – and sometimes fuel our conflicts with our partner.
These money “habitudes” (habits and attitudes) are what
contribute to our successes and failures in achieving our financial
want money itself as much as we want what money can achieve for us.
A person who grew up in the Depression may see money in terms of the
security it can provide. By contrast, a person from the affluent 60’s
(whose security has never been threatened) may see money in terms
of the social status it represents – or the freedom it may provide.
her research, Solomon identifies six patterns that are most common
in people’s thinking and actions related to money. These patterns
reflect the “meaning” or value that individuals assign
to money. Says Solomon, these six “money habitudes” affect
our behaviour related to saving, spending, earning, giving, debting
Which of these “money habitudes” resonate for
Money helps you feel safe and secure.
2) Status: Money
helps you create a positive image.
3) Selfless: Money
helps you feel good by giving to others.
4) Free Spirit:
Money is simply not a priority for your carefree lifestyle.
5) Targeted Goals:
Money helps you to achieve your goals.
Money encourages you to enjoy the moment.
how each of these “money habitudes” might play out in
a real life situation. Let’s pretend that you just received
an unexpected end-of-year bonus at work of $500.00. Your attitudes
and habits will influence how you respond to this windfall and what
you do with it.
on your “money habitudes” you might choose to:
the money into savings. (Security)
2) Update your car/TV/wardrobe with what is “in” now.
3) Give the money to charity or a struggling family member. (Selfless)
4) Forget to deposit the cheque for weeks and give no thought to how
you’ll spend the money. (Free Spirit)
5) Use the money to pay for an educational course that will benefit
your career. (Targeted goals)
6) Take your friends/family out for a celebratory dinner.(Spontaneous)
have a partner, then your decision-making regarding your bonus may
get a little more complicated.
imagine that you prefer to save your bonus (because you value security),
while your partner prefers to use it for an impromptu romantic get-away
(because they value spontaneity). You can see how your differing money
habitudes might erupt in a conflict – or at the very least,
a need for discussion. Neither person’s approach is right or
wrong – they are merely different.
Money habits and attitudes may vary greatly from partner to
are influenced by variety of factors. According to Solomon, our personality,
family of origin, life experiences, cultural milieu, religious/spiritual
values and the influence of the media all play a part in forming our
money beliefs and choices. Small wonder that we may disagree!
a non-confrontational way to share and learn about our “money
habitudes”, Solomon hopes to facilitate increased awareness
and communication around what may be tripping us up in relation to
our money goals. We can also observe which habits and attitudes would
be more helpful to cultivate.
It’s important to explore your money habitudes non-judgmentally.
is a time and a place for each of the habitudes – depending
on your goals. Each has an upside and a downside.
the security-oriented person may at times be seen as thrifty and organized,
while at other times as miserly and cheap. Similarly, the spontaneous-oriented
person may be seen as spontaneous and fun-loving at times, while at
others times, impulsive and unconcerned with consequences. As with
most things in life, Solomon says that BALANCE is the key.
couples discover what money habits and attitudes they each bring to
the table, they are better able to brainstorm financial solutions
that include each other’s values -- and make the most of each
differences can become an asset, rather than a liability. If you work
together, you and your partner’s differences may provide just
the balance of “money habitudes” that is needed to succeed
at your joint goals.
this article with your partner and discuss how each of you would rank
the importance of each of these “money habitudes”. How
does this affect your financial goals? How can each of your “money
habitudes” provide value and balance in your financial relationship?
your habits and attitudes in greater depth, order the Money Habitude
cards and guidebook (for individuals or for couples) at www.moneyhabitudes.com
and use them yourself or with your partner.
Vollett, Life and Relationship Coach, delights in working with pro-active
individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their
work/business or their relationships. Her clients appreciate her ability
to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in moving
forward. Shirley offers a complimentary intro session for those who
want to explore how coaching works and how it can help. Click on a
link below to contact Shirley or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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© 2008 by Shirley Vollett. All rights reserved.