Financial Therapy – Like a Walk in the Park

When my son, Kyle, jogs with his dog in the park, he sets a steady pace along the trail, but Sam runs ahead, stops to sniff a clump of grass, and then darts after a squirrel. When I shop with my daughter, I always head straight for the department we need. Crystal starts out with me, but something always catches her attention, and she frequently veers off into the racks, then scurry to catch up with me. Inevitably, she darts away again to look at something new. We shop the way Kyle and Sam exercise!

Park outings are more successful for both Kyle and Sam if they each do it the way it comes naturally. If Kyle keeps Sam on a leash, the dog would constantly be tugging, slowing him down, and tripping him up; also, Kyle enjoys seeing the squirrels, rabbits, and other wildlife Sam flushes out. Without my focus, Crystal and I may wear out before we find what we’re looking for; but I also enjoy watching her delight in her discoveries. And sometimes she spots a treasure that I would never have seen.

Couples with different money management styles often find themselves at an impasse as they each insist on budgeting/saving/spending their own way. Money management, like walking the dog and shopping with a friend, is often more successful when both spouses can contribute in their own way. Taking advantage of unexpected bargains and opportunities can be an effective way to save money on things you need or were already planning to buy; making it possible to methodically saving toward a goal. Learning new ways to achieve your objectives can be very satisfying, and attaining a goal you might never have achieved by yourself can be exhilarating. Acknowledging the value of your partner’s point of view and trusting his/her instincts and abilities will build a stronger relationship at the same time it helps you achieve your goals.