ATLANTA - Ever feel like when you're talking to your significant other about money, he or she talks a different language? Well, according to money educator Tarra Jackson, you're right. Money problems are a leading factor in divorce, so it's worth fixing this lack of communication.
Jackson authored, "4 Financial Languages," and says the spender, the giver, the investor, and the saver need to change their words a bit.
"You don't tell a spender not to spend. Budget, when we hear the word budget, we hear diet, die, deprivation. A saver needs safety, security, and control," she said.
And often these two people live under the same roof sharing the same money. But relationships are more than a spender and a saver. There are the investor and the giver. How to make these combinations work, Jackson says, is to try to speak the other person's language.
"A spender says, 'I can't budget. I'm not good at math,' but if there's a sale, you know that math," she says. "A spender needs to know and name those dollars and create a spending plan on what we want to spend the money on that's where the fun begins."
So try this scenario. The spender wants to go on vacation. Spender says to saver, "Hey can you help me plan this trip? You are so good at finding deals." Saver, you say, "I want to go on a vacation, too, so let's save more so we can do exactly what we want and not have to scrimp."
Both sides feel included, not excluded, in the decisions because they are speaking the other's language as Jackson lays out in, "4 Financial Languages." Also in these pages she addresses the giver and the investor.
"An investor wants to spend the money because they know the reward is relative to the risk. Because, if they lose their money, they can invest again and make more money later. A giver, we keep telling them to stop giving, but they're going to give behind your back. So, you have to tell a giver, I'm appreciative but give to yourself."
Liken it to the oxygen mask on a plane. Give to yourself first so that you can give to others. Use your investor partner's language, "Let's set this money aside so we can invest in a vacation, invest in education."
And obviously, we can all be a little of this and a little of that. So, talk to your partner. Set your goals and figure out how the investor, saver, spender, and giver can contribute to getting there without that person feeling too deprived.
"We need something that's going to bring us joy," Jackson says.