3 Ways Couples Who Live Together Can Protect Their Finances

These days living together before marriage is a common practice among couples. But are couples really prepared to co-habitat successfully with their money habits? Check out 3 ways couples can protect their finances here.

A Very Simple Way to Manage Your Finances

The most simple solution to managing your finances better is answering this fundamental question: what does having enough look like for you?

When you’re able to define what you want and what’s really important in your life, you will no longer have a disconnect with money.

Learning to get rid of things that waste your time, money, and energy will be life changing. Start using what you have (knowledge, skills etc.) on worthwhile and fulfilling things.

Hopefully you’ll realize that spending time and money in doing what others are doing is an endless cycle of unhappiness and frustration.

Source: A Letter to Those Who Want More…

Am I Ready to Change My Money Behavior?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s and President’s Day off. February is such a short month that the days just fly by.

I ended my last article saying next I would discuss how we can retrain our brain now that we’ve learned a little bit about how our brain works.

The Model of Behavior Changes

But before I can begin that discussion, we have to talk about a theory called ‘the model of behavior changes’. This is about assessing our readiness and willingness to adopt a new and healthier behavior before we can successfully do it. I can show you how you should retrain your mind but if you don’t have the willingness to make the changes–and they are not always easy–you are not ready. The information will go in one ear and out the other.

In the theory of modeling changes, for us to have healthier and lasting behavior changes, we progress through 6 stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

When people come to me they’re usually ready for change. If they really aren’t then it’s going to be obvious by their responses after our discussion or by the nature of their follow ups. But some clients have been either contemplating (over-thinking) or trying to ignore making changes to their money behaviors so that by the time they reach out to me they are understandably on the fence. When they’ve exhausted themselves going back and forth, they either progress to the next stage (reach out for help), give up altogether, or continue to stay in the contemplate/ignore stage. After all – ‘ignorance is bliss’ as the saying goes.

So where are you in your model of behavior changes? That must be determined. Are you still contemplating or are you ready to move on and make lasting changes in your life? The changes will make a big difference but we’re at a standstill until you’ve worked out where you are right now.

(Check out Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model for further details:http://stepupprogram.org/docs/handouts/STEPUP_Stages_of_Change.pdf)

Don’t Go Broke This Holiday Season

Farnoosh Torabi, a senior contributor for Daily Worth online publication, writes a fantastic article about how to be budget conscious this holiday season, without being a Scrooge. Read the article by clicking here.

Are you a Money Martyr?

By Vanessa Pearson

December 2015
With the holidays here, what better time to discuss the next Money Archetype:

The Martyr. (Bet you know one.)

Am I One?

Money Martyrs live to serve others despite the suffering it may cause them. Be it monetary, emotional or both. Somewhere in life, Martyrs learned that serving others brings not only satisfaction but a quiet pride. It feels good. The more success they have, the more they believe their aid is necessary because not only do they feel good doing it, they are the only ones who do it ‘RIGHT’. It becomes their pattern. It feels natural. Perhaps they were relied on heavily in childhood. Maybe as the oldest child they were expected to care for their siblings or even an adult. Whatever the circumstances, as adults their behavior manifests itself in a need to care for others whether their services are necessary or not. In fact, they become so busy with their care-taking that Martyrs neglect their own needs. Often in denial of needing any help at all.

Haven’t you met or heard from friends or family members who tell you how constantly ‘busy’ or ‘tired’ they are from solving problems for family or friends? But offer to help and you will generally be turned down. After all, it’s a hassle to explain how to do it and you couldn’t possibly do it ‘right’. Martyrs are perfectionist with high expectations of themselves and others, so they’re bound to be let down when others don’t meet their standards. And this is the cycle. It allows them to secretly feel superior over and over again. In this self-fulfilling cycle they form an unconscious attachment to their own ‘suffering’ caused by ignoring their own needs. They become silently resentful of their self-sacrifice and the only relief is to be in control and to control others.

“The only gift I have to give, is the ability to receive. If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me.” – Jarod Kintz

Can I stop being a Martyr?know yourself - lettepress type

First: What drives the Martyr’s behavior?

The cycle, the pattern, drives it. Constantly relied on, the Martyr’s own needs are forgotten or neglected. They’ve grown used to this. It feels natural. They have justified the lack of support or care from others by forming perfectionist standards that allow them to rationalize their behavior and confirm once again that they are simply more capable than most. Sadly for the Martyr, it becomes unnatural for them to ‘receive’ help. It feels awkward when attention is focused on them or when they are asked what they need or want. They feel shame in asking for help. Especially when they are so capable for others, how could they need any help at all?

To stop the martyr cycle, they must own up to their wounded self. They must recognize their own neglect. They need to recognize their motivations in rescuing others. Is it an unconscious desire to help themselves? Is it a familiar pattern, a knee-jerk reaction that helps them to be in control? Is it simply the need to feel superior? Once Martyrs can identify their hidden wounds, learn to heal and let go, then they will be opened to receiving from others. Maybe they will realize that it is okay, even normal, to let someone else take charge occasionally, that they are not always obligated to do so. Recovering Martyrs need to set boundaries and lower their perfectionist expectations. When they learn to open wholeheartedly and receive what they compulsively give, then they will be the wise and compassionate archetype that they’re meant to be.

So during the upcoming holidays, stop for a minute and think about what motivates you when you are shopping and planning for family or business events. Are you martyring yourself for others? Have you lovingly set boundaries on what you can and can’t do? Can you accept help and receive it comfortably? If you can, it is a great and life affirming gift.

Until next time, peace and joy to you and yours.


“The only gift I have to give, is the ability to receive. If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me.” – Jarod Kintz

Financial Coaching – What’s That?

By Vanessa Pearson

November 2015

In this month’s issue, we’ll start at the beginning. Why is Money Coaching important?

What is it about?
We are the wealthiest country in the world and yet our society is fraught with fear and anxiety about money. These feelings affect all social and economic classes though the symptoms may vary from person to person. Still, nearly all of us suffers from some form of money related stress.

In my years as a financial advisor I’ve witnessed this stress first hand and I’ve counseled clients on how to deal with it as it concerns the well being of their spouses, siblings, children, etc. I’ve come to realize it’s not just about the necessity of financial planning that’s important. It’s the relationship we have with money that is fundamental to the planning and ultimately to financial security. Without knowing our money behaviors and patterns, we continue to operate with a money mindset that can, and often does, prevent us from fulfilling our dreams and desires.

My hope in money coaching is to educate you in understanding the different Money Types that exist and help you find which types drive you. Then we can assess the impact it is having on your life, your relationships with others and your finances. That said, let’s explore the first Money Archetype – The Innocent.

Innocent – Who, me?
Recognize any of these traits? Trusting? Happy-go-lucky (outwardly) but fearful & anxious (inwardly)? Indecisive? Seeks security? Financially dependent? Non-confrontational? Feel powerless? These are common characteristics that define an Innocent archetype. Keep in mind these traits are not necessarily one’s personality but rather behavioral patterns around money.

The Innocent takes the ostrich approach to money matters. Innocents often live in denial, burying their heads in the sand so they won’t have to see what is going on around them. They are easily overwhelmed by financial information and relies heavily on the advice and opinions of others. Innocents are perhaps the most trusting of all the money types because they do not see people or situations for what they are. They are like children in the sense that they have not yet learned to judge or discern other people’s motives or behavior. While this trait can be very endearing, it is also precarious for an adult trying to cope in the real world. We all start out our journey in life as Innocents; however, as we grow and develop, most of us shed the veil of innocence and replace it with our experience in the real world. The Innocent’s goal is safety at all costs. The primary fear is of abandonment. – Excerpt taken from ‘Money Magic by Deborah Price’.

What to do?
The answer lies within the Innocent who must learn to claim his or her own power. They need to recognize that they are more capable than they give themselves credit for. Only when this is achieved will the fear of abandonment and the need for security lessen. As corny as it sounds, it was Yoda who said it so well. ‘Feel the Force’ within you.

Hold that thought and stay tuned for the next Archetype.

Until next time.


“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

Reopening the Bank of Mom and Dad, to Help Adult Children

This article in the New York Times is an interesting insight into what is a reality for many families. Click on the photo for a link to the original article:


7 Signs Your Spouse Is Financially Unfaithful

This is a great article by Deborah Price – The Money Coaching Institute on money Infidelity. It is a must read.

Angry Couple

7 Signs Your Spouse Is Financially Unfaithful

What Happens When Money Secrets and Marriage Collide?

Why couples don’t always talk truthfully about their finances.

By Daniel BortzFeb. 13, 2013 | 11:20 a.m. EST


The Beatles may have told people all they need is love, but many couples who have experienced monetary conflicts in their marriage would disagree.

Surveys over the past decade consistently point to financial arguments as a leading cause of divorce. However, money habits lying beneath the surface of a relationship can create as much—if not more—financial friction.

According to a recent poll by CreditCards.com, the majority of women would terminate a relationship if they discovered their significant other was keeping secrets about their money habits—especially if those secrets had negative consequences for the family’s finances. In fact, the study found women see a partner’s inability to pay routine bills as off-putting as discovering they have a criminal record. “A lot of people view someone’s credit history as a good symbol for determining the person’s trustworthiness in a relationship,” says Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research at CreditCards.com.

Woolsey says before two people commit to a serious long-term relationship, they need to have a conversation about their finances since financial stability is a critical component of a healthy relationship. However, whether it’s due to grief, fear, or shame, experts say it can be difficult for couples to talk about money, which is often a source of tension.

“Our self-worth and net worth get very confused,” says Deborah Price, author of The Heart of Money: A Couple’s Guide to Creating True Financial Intimacy. If the conversation isn’t broached early on, financial secrets—when revealed—can lead to a breaking point. “When there is financial conflict, couples tend to stake out a territory,” says Price. “One says, ‘This is the way I am with money, and this is the way you are, and our values and priorities are just too different for us to find some kind of middle ground to keep this marriage together.'”

[Read: The Best Ways to Prevent Money Arguments With Your Spouse.]

While financial lies can be a deal-breaker, secret money behaviors often start small, says Jean Dorrell, a certified estate planner and president of Senior Financial Security in The Villages, Fla., who counsels couples about money. According to Dorrell, it’s common for couples to keep minor infractions to themselves. According to a recent AARP survey, approximately one third of respondents reported they’ve hidden a purchase from their partner at least once.

A small financial omission might include a husband who quietly pays off a speeding ticket so an argument doesn’t erupt over whether or not he’s a good driver; he may even fear his wife will question if it’s safe for their kids to ride with him. In such cases, Dorrell says people are acting with good intentions since they’re trying to stave off arguments. Nonetheless, fibs have the potential to be blown out of proportion. Dorrell says, “A lot of people will say, ‘If you lie to me about these small things, what else are you lying to me about?’

Once the act turns into something more expensive, such as buying a $500 pair of shoes, the innocence fades and the secrets escalate. “If they get away with it, it will probably magnify,” Dorrell says. An outing to buy a nice outfit can lead to a shopping spree, or a spouse may open a hidden bank account to shield where part of their paycheck goes.

[Read: Confessions of Former Shopaholics.]

Additionally, Dorrell has counseled clients who inherited money from their parents but opened a secret bank account because they didn’t want to share it with their spouse. “They justify it as, ‘It’s my inheritance—not his,’ yet they’re pledging to make everything equal and they’re really not,” Dorrell says.

iStock_000006781178SmallIn some cases, secret credit cards are used to conceal how much debt a person is accumulating. Other times, people may have their credit card bills mailed to their office so they can conceal an affair. “Hotel bills, meals, lingerie—those are all expenses you don’t want your spouse to find out about if they’re going to somebody else,” Price says.

Paula Levy, a marriage and family therapist and a certified public accountant in Westport, Conn., says financial and marital infidelity sometimes go hand-in-hand. “They often have the same causes: lack of trust, lack of communication, the inability to understand each other, or they’re just not willing to work to understand each other,” she says.

If one spouse is entirely in charge of the family finances, he or she is in a position to limit how much money the other person can access. In that case, the spouse who has little or no say in how the money is spent may lash out and engage in what experts call “revenge spending,” in which they superfluously spend money to get back at their spouse. “No one likes to feel like they’re being manipulated,” Levy says. She says revenge spending can also be triggered when someone learns their spouse has been keeping money secrets and they want to retaliate by using a large chunk of discretionary spending as they see fit.

[See Get-Out-of-Debt Resolutions for 2013.]

Others, meanwhile, may not want to know if their spouse is engaging in bad money habits. But William Snyder, program director at Evergreen Financial Counseling in Salem, Ore., says denial usually backfires: “If a husband buries his head in the sand and thinks everything is going to be fine, and then a few years later finds out their home is underwater because of how much debt his wife is in, what are the chances he’s going to stay with her?”

As a preventative measure, experts say couples need to have an open dialogue about their finances. Otherwise, there’s a chance for controversial money habits to remain in the dark. “The most important thing is there is no crime in talking about things that you want to do,” Snyder says. “You should be able to say any desire you have; it’s when you spend the money that it’s real and that it can become a secret.”

Original Article can be found here: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/02/13/what-happens-when-money-secrets-and-marriage-collide