Did you know that by looking at your checkbook you can determine what your values are? What? Don’t believe me? If there are $500 worth of clothing and new shoes, then it shows you are concerned with fashion. It could also be a sign that you care deeply about how others view you or even possibly shows a low self esteem. What if the checkbook shows large purchases at the Bass Pro Shop each month? Guys, you know where I’m going. You value time alone or the pride for catching that big fish. Your values are reflected in the way you spend your money.
What if you actually value something, but you are not spending towards that value? Say, you’d like your children to go to college, but you aren’t saving for that? Perhaps you just don’t have the money or you maybe you don’t have a plan to save. It could also be that in reality you don’t really value your children going to college as much as your new fishing rod and spending time on the lake. Face it we are all selfish and shortsighted.
The reason that couples fight about money so much is that in reality they are fighting for underlying values. A wife might value security, so she fights for extra savings. A husband might value and desire to retire early, so he fight to put extra money into his 401K or IRA. For a couple to come together financially, they must come together with common values and goals. When it is time for that budget meeting and you have conflict, perhaps there are values that are in conflict or desires that are not being met within the budget. Spouses, try to ask questions and determine what that value is and then perhaps you can agree on how to spend the money in question.
Are you ready to do an audit on your checkbook or online statements? Pull them out with your spouse and see if what you value is being reflected in your spending. I bet you’ll find a few areas where you can improve. At the very least, you’ll have a good discussion and learn more about your spouse. Are you ready to find out what hidden values are in your checkbook?