Financial Peace University Class #2: Relating with Money

My husband and I had our second FPU class this past week. The topics covered in this week’s lesson were all about relating with money – or rather, relating with each other about money. Money conversations can definitely stress people out, so learning how to converse about it is pretty essential to a successful relationship. What surprised me about this week’s class, is that the topic was not just about relating with money with your spouse or partner, (although this was a big portion of the teaching). We also discussed relating with kids about money.

One of the big teachings was determining what type of person you are when it comes to money. A spender or a saver. A “nerd” who loves spreadsheets, Excel, budget forms, etc, or a “free spirit” who is more spontaneous, believes in living life to the fullest, (which may include a last minute trip, a purchase “just because” and other things that can get expensive!). Neither of these personalities is wrong, but the point is identifying what type of personality each you and your spouse or partner are, and learning how to communicate, work together, and plan finances as a joint unit.

Before we even took the in-class quiz to identify if we are “nerds” or “free-spirits”, I already had my husband and I pegged. I was very much the nerd. I’ve been the one in the past with the Excel budget spreadsheets trying to lay everything out. I’ve made the “which bills will we pay from each paycheck” grids, I’ve developed savings plans, I’ve created the money goals. My husband is definitely the free spirit. Spontaneous, sees the need to have things he wants “right now” and generally just feels that we are pretty well on top of things because the bills were paid on time.

He’s right, to an extent. And I knew that was one of the things that we would learn in this class – how to develop a solid financial plan, how to work together, have these “budget meetings” to make sure we’re on the same page and working towards our goals — together. It’s not necessary to beat up the same old topic over and over, but if we follow the steps taught in FPU, hopefully we can find that nice groove.

Class #2 was again primarily video by Dave R. himself. His daughter and fellow speaker Rachel Cruze spoke about teaching children about money, and teaching children early on that money is not disposable – that it comes from work. Setting commission based chores, helping children to save money so that they can make a purchase, and also about giving, saving and spending are important life lessons for parents to teach their kids. Schools rarely teach personal finances classes anymore, so it’s safe to assume that we as parents need to be the #1 coach for our kids in this way.

We didn’t learn anything earth shattering in this week’s lesson, but my husband and I both chatted about it on the way home and realized that sometimes it’s helpful to see things from the other person’s perspective and recognize those personality traits that might be different than our own – then find a way to meet the other person in the middle during these discussions.