Early on in my career a couple, seeking a financial advisor, came in for a review of their investments. As we discussed their investing experience some deep emotions quickly surfaced. He began by accusing her of being a spendthrift who made it difficult for him to save any money. She responded that he was a selfish tightwad who would never let her spend a dime on anything.
Money can be an emotional topic in a marriage so I already had some experience dealing with these types of situations. This time, my efforts had little effect and before long, the wife stormed out and said she would happily return later without her husband. Lest my readers think coming to my office is hard on a marriage, I am happy to report the wife eventually returned and they remained my clients, and happily married, to the end of their lives.
After that experience I ordered a plaque that reads, “Wyson Family Counseling $350 an hour,” which I still keep in my office drawer. If marital tension creeps into a client meeting, I pull out the plaque. I don’t know if the attitudes change because they find the plaque humorous or they just don’t want to pay the fee, but either way I am pleased to report my family counseling service has been a great success.
Money is a very emotional topic, and in a marriage I suppose that is largely because, financially, there are basically two types of people: Savers and Spenders. Savers have lots of money but often don’t know how to enjoy it. Spenders enjoy money, and as a result, are usually the ones who find it difficult to accumulate much of it. The saver tells their spouse, “If it weren’t for me we wouldn’t have any money.” The spender spouse replies, “What good does it do us if we can’t spend some of it?”
I find that financially healthy marriages often have one of each. The saver sees to it that the family is responsible in their finances and always sets something aside for a rainy day. The spender helps the other spouse recognize that you can’t take it with you, so why not enjoy it just a little bit? Both bring a needed perspective to the financial equation.
Just as wise investors seek balance in their portfolios, they should also seek balance in the way they use those funds to enjoy their life. Investment dollars wont do you much good if all you do is count them. For savers, that number at the bottom of your statement has little value if you leave it all behind. If you are a spender, be thankful for a saver spouse who made it possible for you to have something to spend. Appreciating the value each personality brings to the marriage will make investing, and life, more worthwhile. If you find yourself struggling in this area, feel free to stop by my office. I will gladly pull out my plaque.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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