How a Deck of Cards Can Stop Fights about Money

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on How a Deck of Cards Can Stop Fights about Money

Using Money Habitudes to improve financial communication

For lots of couples, pooling financial resources and sharing financial goals is a significant part of their relationship. Of course, not all couples pool their money. However, even a couple maintaining separate finances usually still have to at least talk about money matters. The following financial talking points are fairly common:

  • Couples have to discuss who’s going to pay what.
  • You have to consider how your expenses align.
  • Agreements regarding monetary goals like material items, vacations and more have to be worked out.

Conversations about money are inevitable. Still, while most couples say they want to talk about finances, they find it is a difficult thing to do. Research shows that money is the leading cause of conflict in marriage. And the degree to which a couple is able to discuss financial matters well is the degree to which the relationship is determined a go or a fail.

Fighting about money is among the leading causes of divorce as well. The prevalence of recurrent fights about money is one of the best predictors of whether a couple will make it.

Life Coach Syble Solomon invented a teaching tool to help people talk about their finances in a constructive way. The tool is called Money Habitudes.

Money Habitudes comes in two forms: a physical deck of cards and an online format. You may purchase either version at moneyhabitudes.com. They both have the same information. The deck of cards just provides written information regarding interpretation whereas the online version interprets for you.

What is Money Habitudes exactly?

This tool asks you to sort about 50 statements into different categories. For each financially-related question, you’ll answer one of three ways:

“That’s me,” “Sometimes,” or “That’s not me.”

Examples from the website include the following kinds of statements:

“I think things will work out so I don’t worry about money”

“I will spend a lot of time and energy to get a better deal.”

The process of sorting and counting the cards takes only about 10 minutes, and thus, not a big time commitment.

Once that process is completed, people are asked to further sort the cards in the ”That’s me” card pile into 6 money habitude categories. Again, you may do this yourself with the cards or allow the online version to do this for you.

There’s no perfect combination of cards. There are no right or wrong answers. Sorting simply serves as information. Every category, or habitude, has unique advantages and challenges associated with it.

As with most things, too much of anything can throw things out of balance. In the case of financial habits and attitudes, reliance on one particular financial behavior or thought process can be a problem.

What are the 6 Money Habitudes categories?

  • Security: Money helps you feel safe and secure.
  • Spontaneous: Money helps you enjoy the moment.
  • Status: Money helps you create a positive image.
  • Selfless: Money helps you feel good when you give it to others.
  • Free Spirit: Money is not currently a priority.
  • Goals: Money is a tool to help you achieve your goals.

Why I recommend this tool

The Money Habitudes system really helps finances seem more concrete for couples. It is an approachable activity that you can use to sort your thoughts and structure more productive discussions about your money.

You can also use this tool to work out any underlying financial biases as well as your motivations surrounding spending, saving, goals etc. Often, people aren’t aware of these internal factors. You may like donating to charities but not recognize that selflessness drives you monetarily (and may come at the expense of your savings goals or personal security). In other words, you can gain some financial insight, which is a good thing.

These tools help determine what kinds of changes you want to make when it comes to financial discussions or handling money as a team.

Syble Solomon’s Money Habitudes provide a good dose of clarity and conversation that can highlight how your attitudes and beliefs about money can complement or conflict with that of your partner.  

Of course, execution is as important as talking things through. However, understanding patterns and tendencies can foster solutions as these 6 categories help you better understand each other’s financial styles and help fuel better cooperation. This can then lead to healthier and more balanced monetary compromises between you, fewer financial fights, and less upset in your relationship.