Before you have that heart-to-heart discussion
regarding dollar signs, acknowledge your secret envies, Mellan advises.
Appreciate your partner's style. A hoarder usually envies a spender's
freedom and a spender often envies a hoarder's restraint.
To get a really good idea of where your partner
is coming from, step into your partner's shoes -- "to be the
other personality" for a while, Hayhoe says. "Let's say
you're married to a spender and you're adopting that role for a
while," she says. "You don't actually have to spend the
money, but if there's a hoarder and a spender, the hoarder should
take the spender role. It gives you an appreciation of where the
other person is coming from. You can essentially come to a meeting
of the minds. The idea is that you'll be better people in the long
Looking at spending personalities is one way
for couples to approach the subject of spending. "Another way
to handle it is to discuss how their families handled money,"
Hayhoe says. "What you liked about how your parents handled
money and what you didn't like about it -- talk about those things."
If you prefer not to battle to the death over financial matters,
it might help to figure out what kind of spending personalities
you and your spouse have. Just about every expert in the field has
his or her own list of spending personalities; Olivia Mellan defines
them in terms of pairings.
Zimmerman agrees that you and your partner should
discuss how you learned about money in during childhood.
"How were allowances handled? What did
your parents fight about? If they fought a lot about money, you
might have grown up believing that money was a subject to avoid
talking about," she says.
In Zimmerman's self-published
book "The Money Rascals: Changing Troublesome
Habits From the Inside Out," she says you should
||Things to discuss:
||How your family physically handled money: when cash, checks and credit cards were used
||The emotional component: "The feelings and sensations that people get based on what's going on in their financial world. They might be fearful or confident or feel some other emotion about money."
||Beliefs about money, such as how much of an income is enough and what makes a person a financial winner or a financial loser
||How you spend money when people are around. Do you or your partner try to impress people with your spending? Does one of you always wait for someone else to pick up the check?