Relationship Advice From the Celt: How Do You View Money?

In my last article, I talked about how the Lady Celt and I interact when it comes to money.  However, I didn’t really talk about how we view money.  More importantly, I didn’t even mention how we came to view money the same way!  I’d like to brighten up that dark space – Feng Shui this topic if you will.

How relationship’s view money is a critical topic because it ties into the relationship health.  Is one of you a saver?  Who is the big spender in the group?  You need to understand these roles so you can have honest discussions.  Surprisingly, Lady Celt and more similar than separate; We’re both SPENDERS!

Spenders and Savers

Like most things in life, money is a spectrum.  Some people enjoy saving their money and some people enjoy spending it.  I am a spender.  Lady Celt is a spender.  However, on that spectrum Lady Celt is a bigger spender.  I am just fortunate enough to be strong-willed enough to stick to my budget.

Piggy Bank View Money

To Spend or to Save!?

Spenders, unsurprisingly, gain enjoyment out of spending their money.  They view money as a tool to get “stuff”.  ‘Stuff’ doesn’t necessarily mean material items.  It could be experiences or moments.  Most people, in my experience, will fall somewhere on the spender spectrum.  It’s not shocker either; it’s basic human psychology.  Our brain releases little chemicals for things that make us happy.  Whether that’s going to Disney, buying new shoes, or travelling, your brain encourages that happy feeling.

Savers however, enjoy finding the good deal.  They seek to amass and conserve the wealth they have.  For them NOT spending is as important as spending to cover their needs.  Very few people fit this description.  For them, spending creates a paranoia of sorts: ‘will I have money tomorrow?’  I would like to note that frugality and savers aren’t synonymous.  Frugal people are like myself.  Why would I pay $100 for jeans when I can buy the same quality for $45?  Frugal people are willing to spend money.  They just do so economically.

Like I said though, most people get happiness from spending money; not saving it.  Where do you think you fall?

Converging How You and Yours View Money

When Lady Celt and I first got together, we had some issues.  We’re both spenders, but I’m diligent with the budget.  She – was not.  As we progressed, I had to convince her that frugality was a benefit to her.  It sounds silly, but talk to your friends.  You will find just how many of them don’t think in the long term when it comes to money.  They “put money away”.  That’s about it.  They don’t know why, they don’t know where it goes, or why it does what it does.  So, the million-dollar question.  How did I get Lady Celt and I to see eye to eye?

I had to redefine money to her.  I had to expand her horizons.  We also talked – a lot.  For her, $1,000 just meant $1,000 in consumable goods.  I had to make her see that $1,000 as $500 in consumable goods and $500 in travel goods to Ireland.  It sounds simple.  Just snap your fingers and voila somebody can see how the same lump of money can be differentiated into separate accounts.  However, psychology is a funny thing.  When somebody has done something for a decade, it’s a difficult habit to overcome.  I gave her my tips to create a budget and then define her goals.  Now, she knows what her income ACTUALLY gets her.  It’s not just a mish-mash of “stuff”.  She knows that for every dollar she makes 25cents goes to this, 10cents to that, 15cents to this thing.  Money means something now.

It sounds simple, but it’s not.  But that’s why couples need to talk.  Converging how you two view money, and being realistic with expectations, will save your relationship.

Conclusion

On top of sticking to your budget, you may also be derailing your budget by doing silly things.  Be sure to read that article for more information.  People who are spenders and people who are savers probably will not mesh well.  However, two spenders can converge their ideas.  Everything is a spectrum, so if both parties get and give a little, then you can view money the same.  For Lady Celt, it was just defining her goals and then setting up a plan to get there.  Now, when she splurges, it’s an issue of whether or not we go to Ireland; not simply “oh well.”

We still have differences.  She thinks we should spend more on food or date nights.  I think we should spend more on entertainment and increase our savings.  However, now it’s an allocation issue – not a fundamental issue.  We view money the same, relatively, now.  It wasn’t an easy task, but most worthwhile things aren’t easy.

Celts, do you and your partner have any issues on how you view money?  Has it led to rifts in your past relationships?  Let me know in the comments below!  Be sure to like my Facebook page by clicking here.  If you’re looking for real estate in Central Florida, be sure to check out my Facebook page here.

Cash Flow Celt

I'm just a local business and finance nerd looking to help people get educated about small business, marketing, and personal finance! I write about anything and everything that I can tie into those themes. I'm also Central Florida's only Kilted Realtor, so I write about Real Estate too! Check out my About Me page to see the origins of Cash Flow Celt.

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2 Responses

  1. Cathy Colangelo says:

    Bravo! Another thoughtful column! While I definitely found myself bristling at your comment that “I had to convince her” because it sounds nothing like listening or compromising, I certainly agree that your adherence to a budge is admirable, as far as it goes. By that I mean that budget busters (like injury or a lost job, divorce or changing goals) will happen throughout life. Dealing with the changes is every bit as important as “adhering to a budget”. I guess what I mean is that one should never be so devoted to budget figures that one forgets about the needs of one’s life or happiness. There are truly many things in life that money cannot buy and, in fact, where focusing solely on money may actually prevent growth, change or happiness. Or, as my dear departed mother (who never spent money on her own happiness because she was so afraid of running out of money) said to me, “Of course money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes being miserable a lot more pleasant!” Thanks for your excellent and interesting columns!

    • As I mention in my last article it is a lot of give and take. However, in order for her and I to mature into a couple who see long-term financial goals, I did have to convince her; there wasn’t a lot of compromise on the end goal. The end goal is financial security. However, part of having a budget is being able to deal with the ‘unforeseeables’. It’s also why it’s important to talk about money a lot! Life changes. It’s okay if your budget changes too.

      And I have one that echos that tone: Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it’s a lot nicer to cry in a Porsche than a ten year old minivan. However, studies do show that money does buy happiness to a point and then faces severe diminishing returns. Right around the $200,000 a year mark money no longer “helps”. The house is as big as you want, the car as nice, and you’re already taking two or three vacations a year. There isn’t much to go forward on.

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