Financial fights are one of the leading causes of divorce. Many couples find it difficult to effectively communicate with each other about money matters because they are actually speaking different financial languages. That’s right! Finance is a language, and unfortunately, most people are not financially bilingual. It is actually more difficult to speak or understand someone else’s financial communication when you don’t really understand your own financial language.
In 2004, Gary Chapman introduced the concept of Love Languages to help people improve their relationships through communication. In my upcoming book, 4 Financial Languages, I explain that financial languages are identified by behaviors and words that represent an individual’s financial value systems. By understanding these behaviors and words, couples can improve communication and establish a collective financial value system.
Put the two concepts together and you have financial love languages.
Learning how to speak in your mate’s financial love language will not only help you avoid money misunderstandings, but it will help you and your mate enjoy the journey toward your financial goals.
The 4 Financial Love Languages
Financial security is usually the primary concern of people who speak the dominant language of saving. A Saver primarily saves money because they like to see their money grow like a strong tree.
Some savers also save to protect themselves and their family from financial hardships and emergencies. It is vital for them to be able to help their loved ones financially — now, and in the future.
One of the best ways to communicate with Savers about money matters is to talk about how much money they will save or including them on a purchase to find the best deal.
For example: “You are the best at saving us money. Can you help me find the best deal on a big screen TV so we can stay within our budget?”
People who speak giving have a philanthropist’s heart. For most givers, giving is an expression of love. They give their time, money, resources, etc. to help those in need.
Givers should be cautious if they find that they are giving out of an act of insecurity in exchange for an emotional connection or to be liked.
The best way to communicate with givers is to praise them for their giving spirit. In most instances, givers simply like to feel appreciated.
For example, “You have such a wonderful heart of giving. Let’s find some more ways to give where it will be a bigger impact.”
Those who speak investing take relative risks and enjoys watching their money grow as well.
They like to invest in the stock market, retirement, business opportunities, education, or other people.
The best way to communicate with investors is to discuss transactions or opportunities as “investments” and as well as share the potential return on those investments.
For example, “We could make some great contacts for our business if we invest $200 in attending this conference.”
Spending deals directly with the pleasure principle. Whether the spending is for someone else or themselves, spenders find ultimate pleasure in spending money, usually on stuff.
True spenders can be rebellious when they feel financially deprived or restricted.
The best way to communicate with a spender is not to judge, but rather give parameters of spending.
For example, instead of telling a spender they can’t spend because of the budget, tell them, “We have $200 to spend this month.”
Understanding financial love languages will aid in having more effective financial conversations with your mate. If needed, seek help from a financial professional to mediate your cash conversation. Finances, just like love, can be a beautiful experience when both partners respect and appreciate the other’s language.
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