It happens every winter. At some point, usually after the first of the year when things have gotten good and cold around our neck of the woods, I start to realize that I'm just hot. I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating. I start wanting to wear shorts around the house. Then, I remember to check the thermostat...which has been set to 72 degrees and HOLD at that temp.
My husband has monkeyed with the programmable thermostat...AGAIN. That really burns me up, both literally and figuratively. You see, it makes sense to me that when there's a slight chill in the house, to grab a sweatshirt or a blanket...NOT turn up the heat. Sweatshirts and blankets are free sources of warmth. The ancient behemoth in our basement is not. In fact, our utility company regularly sends us these notices with lovely colored bar graphs showing how inefficient we are compared to our neighbors. My hands are tied, really. We rent, so replacing the furnace, the old drafty windows, upgrading the insulation, and installing solar panels is not up to us. And living with a husband whose first inclination to being a little chilly is to crank up the heat...well...like I said, my hands are tied.
I've been frustrated, winter after winter, by the fact that my husband would rather pay the utility company more money than put on another layer or grab a blanket when he gets cold. Especially when he enters RIPSCO in the checkbook when paying our NIPSCO bill. You'd think he'd not want to give them any more money than we already do. So, I was delighted to have an A-HA moment when reading this book. The problem is in our differing money personalities. We just don't think the same about money.
The 5 Money Personalities by Scott and Bethany Palmer is an incredibly enlightening look at the different ways we are wired to look at money. Just as in "love languages", we usually have a primary money personality and a secondary. Sometimes the two compliment each other, sometimes they can cause tension. And when you have a spouse in the mix, it can really get complicated if you both have opposite styles of money personalities. Learning to understand how your partner thinks about money can help you begin to communicate better and improve your finances.
I found this book to be very helpful, as I finally got that my "flyer" husband cranked up the heat because he was only concerned about being cold in the moment, not that he didn't care that we'd have to spend more money later on. He can see that the reason I'm like the Utility Gestapo around here is because my "saver" nature doesn't want to spend more on utilities now so we have more money later.
The book was a bit slow for me in the beginning, because they gave copious examples of different money personality conflicts...after a few I got the picture and was ready to move on to "what do we do about it". There is a quiz on their website that you need to take to discover what your money personality is before proceeding on in the book. I would have preferred that it was included in the book. There is also a money fidelity quiz you need to take online, and again, I would rather have it in the book itself.
This is not a book to tell you how to manage your money or save for retirement. It won't create a budget for you or tell you how to save money with coupons. What it will do is give you insight into how you and your partner think about money, which can help you avoid fights about money and help you work together to improve your overall financial picture. Over all, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone, especially young couples starting out, although anyone of any age would benefit from reading this book.
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