CRAYON CONVERSATIONS: MONEY CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR PARTNER
Crayon Conversations is your chance to hear from the experts in the field, dive deep into their area of knowledge and ask your own questions. In this conversation, I spoke with founder Stephanie Pow. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Watch the original recording below.
Steph: How did you become a money mentor coach?
Lynda: I had an accounting practice, and I noticed with my clients that when things happened in life, they stopped looking at the numbers. When my own marriage ended, I responded exactly the same way. This got me curious, so I went back to university to study psychology. It turns out that 80% of our relationship with money is actually mindset-based and 20% is about the numbers.
I started working with my mentor David Kruger, which enabled me to turn my own financial life around and I became a certified coach. I still love numbers, but I use them in a very different way and wrap psychology around money to understand why we do the things we do. Often it’s how we behave with our money that makes the numbers work or not work.
Steph: What does a healthy relationship with money as a couple look like? And what about an unhealthy one?
Lynda: A healthy relationship with money is being able to communicate about it. And I don’t just mean the transactional stuff. A healthy relationship includes having those harder conversations about each other’s values, beliefs and vision for the future and a shared understanding of money’s role in this.
You also have to know your numbers – what’s coming in, what’s going out, what you own and what you owe. I do not like the word budget; I call them money plans because it’s an important part of your life plan. Money is part of your self-care, the same way you look after your health.
As for an unhealthy relationship, I can go back to my own relationship. We didn’t talk about money at all, and I absorbed all the stress because I was our money manager. We just put our heads in the sand and carried on living a lifestyle that wasn’t actually sustainable until it broke.
Steph: One in three Kiwis rarely or never talk about money to anyone. Where’s a good place to start if people don’t feel confident talking about money?
Lynda: The easiest starting point is the transactional ones. For example, “Have you noticed this?” And then you might talk about the money situation of some friends or people in the media. If you try to bring it straight into your own household and you or your partner aren’t used to talking about money, it can feel very threatening because money can bring up a feeling of inadequacy.
Another great place to start is to identify your money personality. Often what tends to happen is we fall in love with our opposite. Five years on, those polarizations can start to cause problems.
Please never hijack a date night to start talking about money!