Research shows that the number one thing couples fight about is money. Friday Financial Minute is going to do a multi-part series that can set the foundation for a much more harmonious relationship with both money and your partner. Today, let’s start where it all began. What were your experiences with money growing up? Kids soak up everything! Including how their parents handle issues of money. If you had great role models, you might be fine! More than a few of us, however, should let go of some of the lessons we picked up. When you’re five, 10 or 15 years old you don’t have the ability to really question your parents in the way an independent adult can. Reflecting will help you look at some of the lessons you picked up, but through the eyes of an adult. Take a sheet of paper and write down your thoughts.

Here’s some prompts that could help guide:

  • How many wage earners were there in your family? Did the source of income affect your family?
  • How did your parents relate to money? Was money really important? Or, did your parent “look down their nose” at money?
  • Did you always feel like you had enough? Or, did you feel like you were never secure?
  • Were your parents “savers” or “spenders”?
  • What lessons that you picked up do you value today, if any? Do this with your partner and give them time and space to consider their backgrounds. Try not to jump to any conclusions too fast.

Our money habits and attitudes don’t just pop out of nowhere. They come from somewhere. And, knowing where they come from can help you decide if they are still helpful.