It’s no secret that money is a major reason for divorce. We all like to think we have our stuff together, but things can get tricky when you have to share your finances with someone else (and maybe even kids). Having money conversations before tying the knot can help alleviate future stress. We know budgeting can be boring, and nit-picking spending and bills with your partner can be downright painful. To help ease your discussions, learn about the five money personalities first!
Knowing your character traits and what category you fit into can give you and your partner some insight into your habits. Knowledge is power!
The Five Money Personalities
These categories are broken down into typical money characteristics of each personality type. You may not identify with every aspect of a particular personality. Still, in general, one should closely match your traits and habits.
As the name implies, big spenders love purchasing the latest and greatest. Not usually discount hunters; they don’t mind spending money on new cars, clothes, and toys. Their spending habits can extend from their fashion sense to their home’s landscaping. Regardless, they’re always looking to make a statement.
It’s not all about spending, though; this financial type usually won’t fear taking significant risks with their investments. Unfortunately, these traits make them unafraid of debt and (usually) anti-budgeting.
Also known as the savers, this type is the opposite of a spending personality. You know the type; bargain hunters who are credit card averse and always turn off the lights when leaving the room. All this money-saving typically leaves them with little to no debt and few if any loans.
Saving money certainly isn’t bad unless you become known as a cheapskate. This type tends to be very conservative with their investments and could care less about having shiny, new things, which can be challenging for others in the relationship to adjust to.
The name can be a bit misleading. Debtors aren’t trying to rack up lots of debt; they just don’t consciously think about where their money is going. Shopping isn’t a hobby for them, but neither is budgeting. They really fly by the seat of their pants. All their daily purchases add up, especially if they’re being paid for by credit card.
In most cases, debtors have more money going out than they do coming in, which translates to debt. Just as they don’t put much thought into budgeting, investing and savings plans aren’t high on their priority list either.
You may picture someone in a suit on Wall Street, but there are plenty of at-home money gurus. Known as investors, individuals with this personality type are acutely aware of how much money they have, where it’s going, and if it’s working for them.
Not one to let their cash earn a pittance in their bank, they cautiously plan, evaluate, and invest so that one day their passive investments can become their sole income. Ultimately, they’re seeking security, which can stifle their creativity and cause them to be so research and plan happy that they never take any new opportunities.
Shoppers gonna shop! This money personality loves to spend. It can make them feel happy, less stressed, and fulfill a need. For some, unfortunately, it can turn into an addiction. Usually, they’re well aware that they’re buying something they don’t need, but they just can’t resist the fun of the purchase.
Some invest, some don’t, but in most cases, they’re either tight on cash or accruing some debt to maintain their habit. Buyer’s remorse is also common, but don’t expect them to talk to you about spending ahead of time; shoppers don’t tend to communicate well about purchases.
How Does This Affect You and Your Partner?
These categories aren’t one-size-fits-all, but typically it isn’t hard to see what traits most match your habits. Once you’ve decided on which personality category you and your partner are in, it’s time to think about the next steps.
Do your types clash? Such as a big spender with a saver (yikes!). Or do they feed off each other, like a debtor and a shopper (which could spell trouble)? There is no perfect money personality; each has a downside. You and your betrothed will likely need to learn to make small accommodations to balance each other’s habits and set yourselves up for financial success.
There are ways each personality type can make little concessions to improve their traits. Such as when a saver decides to splurge just a little every once in a while, or the debtor becomes more conscious of their purchases with a budget so they can slowly start chipping away at their debt.
But it has happened before where one personality type, usually an investor or saver, sees their life flash before their eyes when they learn about their significant other’s money personality. What will happen to all their hard work and careful planning if the man of their dreams doesn’t change his spending-loving ways?!
Enter the prenuptial agreement. You don’t have to say goodbye because your partner hates your budgeting. Prenups can protect both partners by making arrangements for property, wealth, assets, and even debt in the event of a divorce.
If you’re engaged and just learning that your money personalities aren’t a match made in heaven, a discussion about a prenup may be in order. Of course, you can always get a postnup after your vows. Still, a prenup may provide a more solid foundation heading into wedded bliss. Everything will be out in the open, and you won’t be going into marriage with any false conceptions.
The prenup talk can also enable you to have other conversations, such as how to handle the shared bills, what your family budget will look like, and how things like debt or inheritance will be handled. Having these conversations early and often is better than too late!
Finances in a relationship can be tricky but not impossible! You’re already making progress by thinking about your money personalities and how to make them compatible. Marriages with polar opposite money personalities have succeeded, thanks to frequent financial discussions, clever planning, and lots of love. Because you know what they say, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”!
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].