So how would you react if you decided to take inventory on your financial behavior. Ask yourself how you’ve handled your money lately, and if you’re pleased with how you saved or spent. Would you make the same decisions over again, if not, then how would you change things.
Did the money spender in you happen to spend too much recently, and once the bills eventually begin to arrive, is that remorse that you feel. Is the “thrifty” saver in you not as generous as you’d like to be, depriving yourself of what you want or deserve.
Do you feel good or bad about your monetary decisions. What is your station in life, where are you based on how much money you currently earn. Whether your income happens to be modest or substantial, what you have are choices on how you feel and handle your money.
For the holiday season or birthdays for instance, do you budget for spending. Do you discuss among yourselves the types of presents or the price range when it comes to exchanging gifts, or even whether you’d be exchanging at all.
Money Can Be Taboo
Money is always a difficult topic since the majority of us don’t place much thought into the mechanics of it, like it’s out of bounds, this in regards to our attitude or how we value money logically.
We usually learn about the value or significance of money from our parents, usually by observing how they behave around it, and then it advances through our schooling. What most will do is replicate how our parents treated it.
If you’ve happened to grow up in a household where the gift giving was extravagant, and then witnessed your parents suffer the burden of debt paying for them, then you as a youngster would think that was normal.
Or if you grew up in an environment where things were frugal, the presents were small and commodity driven such as underwear or socks, you would also adopt that as normal.
Then as adults, once it becomes appropriate to make your own decisions while taking off your emotional blinders, you then begin deciding for yourself where your true values of money lie.
The Value Of Money
Those who were lucky, their parents spoke about the true value of money, teaching them about the economics of spending, what to buy, know what the luxury items were, how to save money.
For those who didn’t get this lesson, all they did was observe, while viewing firsthand the consequences, the discomfort levels concerning their financial decisions, such as debt leading to scarcity.
It becomes difficult to be logical about how you handle money once your decisions about your spending habits turn subconscious. The conclusions that you arrived at may be the same or be radically different than the ones that your parents had.
What we do is inherit, absorb the behavior and the life experiences from them and it’s reinforced by our educators, this our fears and aspirations about spending and saving money.
If your parents happened to lose a portion of their savings, or their jobs during an economic recession, regardless if they discussed the event or not, the consequences affected you long-term on multiple levels.
You Marry And Not Discuss Money
Once you find a mate and become a couple, get married, your undefined attitude towards money can align and then maybe not, this when it comes to your partner’s feelings about spending money.
The potential for conflict becomes extremely high, as for couples, discussing each others philosophy about money is one of the last things that they’ll do. It has the potential to escalate and may become complex, this since we all have different viewpoints, opinions, and experiences which become exposed.
The biggest arguments will stem from how the money is being spent, and what’s more difficult is determining where the sentiments around these money attitudes come from, and what the financial consequences means for both.
Money is an emotion similar to love, success, self-esteem, freedom, security, anxiety, and everything else in between. So it becomes important to understand the motivations driving your attitudes.
At times, we don’t know or understand the exact language or the concepts on how to get in touch with these emotions. It can loom large once we don’t understand our partner’s habits, and they not understanding ours.
The Power Struggle
The biggest issue is when one partner earns more money than the other, this because on a conscious level, the other feels that they’re equal, and they both should be making the money decisions together.
However, for the one who’s earning more, although the other person may not be aware of it, assumes that they should have more control when it comes to making the major financial decisions.
Or, if one likes to save money, they may have a reaction once their partner has a habit of spending too much, thinking that they’re violating an “unspoken” limit on spending.
Another instance might be that the free spender feels that they’re being scrutinized or controlled too much, the other spoiling all the fun, this especially when exchanging gifts.
Just Keep Track
What’s suggested is keeping a journal, this based on what you want or plan to buy along with the major purchasing decisions that needs to be made. Then both will become more aware of the conditions leading to the purchases, if either is in agreement or disagreement of the others intentions.
Also note down the conflicts and the resolutions that you have regarding your money spending needs, and your saving and investing strategies. Realize all the previous experiences that you’ve both had, and come to a common ground resolution.