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.
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.
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.