Relating with Money – Financial Peace University Week 2

by Ryan Guina

Week 2 of Financial Peace University examines how we relate with money. Dave Ramsey is fond of saying “winning at money is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.” And that statement rings true for most people.

Financial problems are one of the biggest causes of stress in relationships, and the number one cause of divorce in the US. The purpose of Week 2 in the Financial Peace University is to help people better understand how to relate to money and communicate with their spouse or whoever they manage their money with.

The key is to learn how to modify your behavior and improve your money management skills. This section is also where we see our first budget in the Financial Peace University program.

Relating With Money – Nerds and Free Spirits Unite!

The two examples Dave Ramsey uses are the “Nerd” and the “Free Spirit.” The Nerd being the person in the relationship who likes to have a budget with dozens of categories and each line item balanced to the penny. The Free Spirit is the person in the relationship who prefers not to have a rigid spending plan. These two personality types can compliment each other, but sometimes they mix like oil and water – which is to say they don’t go well together at all.

Dave has several recommendations for relating to money with the opposite personality type, and stresses the most important aspect of joint finances: decisions are made together, not only by one person.

What about singles? Dave covers this topic as well, and recommends that single people have an accountability partner help them manage their finances. Obviously it needs to be someone you trust.

Financial stereotypes regarding how people relate to money

Another interesting part of the week was the stereotypes Dave made about how men and women relate to money (they were made with the disclaimer that they were an over-generalization, but for the most part, they rang true).

For example:

  • Emergency funds: Men tend to think they are boring and not sophisticated enough; women tend to need the security.
  • Shopping: Men get better deals by negotiating, women get better deals by bargain hunting.
  • Financial problems: Men see money as a scorecard, and a low “score” equals failure and low self-esteem; women tend to link financial problems with insecurity and fear.

Week 2 in review: This was an interesting week – mostly because of the video presentation, not because of the facts presented. Dave is an engaging speaker, and his presentation offered insight and value. I highly recommend this video segment if you and your spouse have ever had issues regarding spending, saving, investing, etc. It’s extremely important to understand where the other party is coming from.

Published or updated June 9, 2010.
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