The Security Seeker – Matthew & Leslie Part 3

Time Stamped Show Notes

[00:58] Leslie and Matthew don’t agree on everything. That is not a surprise. It’s part of the human condition and disagreements. And in my opinion, life would be boring. We wouldn’t grow at all if everybody just agreed with us all the time. Disagreements allow us to open our mind and think of other possibilities. But when it comes to relationships, money and the mixing of the two, agreements, compromises at least are necessary. And these compromises look different for everyone.  They can be written, signed by the necessary parties, or put the handshake or not between friends. It also may look like what we are doing now, talking over Skype between screens trying to work through the conditions and factors that can help Matthew and Leslie come to agreement about their financial relationship and their marriage, and their corresponding roles. Remember, their homework was to write about how their money personalities meet their primary needs.

[01:53] Leslie said that it was fun doing their homework together. They got to respond to each other right away. Leslie said that he was on his laptop, and she was on the big computer. She could see what he was writing, and he could see what she was writing.

[02:16] If I basically paired their primaries and secondaries together, it told the exact story that I would think it would tell. For example, Leslie’s primary human need is love and connection and her primary money personality is a spender.  We talked about this last week. As far as you know, a lot of the reasons why Leslie, the things that she spends money on are in order to get that love and connection back.

And then with the secondary, there’s a certainty and her secondary is money personality, security seeker which also matches up quite nicely. So, obviously the security seeker is fulfilling that need of certainty.  So, I thought that was really interesting that it kind of match up just right as far as like the human needs aligning.

And then with Matthew, his primary is certainty and his primary money personality, security seeker. So again, being the security seeker is going to give you that certainty and then with the secondary, Matthew’s secondary of human need is growth. And his secondary money personality is saver.

And I think that if we think of growth in terms of growing from a financial perspective and kind of climbing the financial ladder if you will, then those two align very well. The only thing that I would say is that Matthew with his top 2 human needs is somewhat in conflict.

[04:54] Matthew explained that it doesn’t make sense. He thinks that he does that where he takes calculated risks for things he researches and makes sure that he knows where he’s getting to but he know what the risks are, getting into it. And then Leslie mentioned that he’s really into putting money away for the retirement even if they don’t have the money to put away into retirement.

[05:11] Remember that Leslie and Matthew had been together for over 10 years. They can tell when the other is sugarcoating it, holding back, or holding their tongue. They are quick to jump to each others’ analysis and filling the missing bits of info which is awesome. Matthew explained that they put aside funds for retirement every pay check, and Leslie mentioned that he wanted to put their entire tax refund into an IRA instead of redoing the basement.  In general, I’m a proponent of saving for retirement. Enough of us aren’t taking this seriously. But often times, we don’t have a realistic grasp on what it will take to retire and be able to live the lifestyle that we want to live, but more on that next time. Right now, the important thing is to be sure that we have goals we both agree on. And that we are both on board with so that when you decide that you want to achieve the goal, you are able to make adjustments along the way and nobody’s mad about it. Everybody’s on board and excited to achieve it.

[06:05] Leslie thinks that it is really good to have attainable goals and that’s why she is really into this. What they do is attainable and tangible. You can actually see it. And see the money growing. Leslie thinks that it is nice to see.

[06:21] With Matthew, the recurring theme is obviously stability. Even Leslie has the need for some stability. Luckily Leslie felt stable. Most of our lives, so it’s not as scary and fear ridden to need to feel that stability, I think it is why she can put the love and connection and spending about that. But I think that it’s a good compliment that you know you. You have these stability seeking behaviors because you know life is uncertain. And I think that you know as much as you can be prepared for those things that happen, the better within reason you have to live life in the mean time as well.

[07:42.5] H: Like I mentioned in the first episode, there are different kinds of love languages. Matthew expressed his love through acts of service. And for him, providing stability is one of those services. Leslie expresses love through touch and words of affirmation. This all factors into how they justify their human needs. Love and connection for Leslie extends beyond their relationship and household.

[08:05] For Leslie, women cannot do it all. We cannot be working full time and raising families and be good wives. We cannot do it all at the same time. We have to have help. We have to remember that women can’t have it all, the 9-5 job and the family. This is one of Leslie’s beliefs, the rope to her cow, the idea that hold her back from her financial vision.

[08:24] Leslie misses the love and affection because they are raising three children. They both working full-time jobs, and she needs help with picking up kids on days that the kids out of school early. She has like her village. She is very  into her village of people who she can text, email, call at a moment’s notice that can help in to step out because she did the same thing to them that. Example, she is like having a rough day. Someone will make a meal for her, or she will make a meal for somebody else. Or if she is going to Costco, she texts people if they want her to buy something from Costco as well. Some things like that.

[08:55] As long as they’re both onboard with those things then I think that it’s an awesome way to live life, and I think that it’s an awesome way to have a community around. Does Leslie see how the way Matthew deals with money is a form of love? She answers no. She sees when Matthew deals with love as a product of his the way he grew up and as a fear for what he sees his parents going through, and she see there’s a way Matthew likes to be in control of everything. So, she sees it as another way of control. And she knows that she loves her very very much and he loves the children and he doesn’t have to prove that to Leslie, but she doesn’t see his control of money or he views money as a form of love.

[10:06.677] Matthew says, it definitely is a form of love. It’s where if he is able to provide stability and if that stability comes through with a whirlwind of control here and there, so be it. At the end of the day, they’ve got food on the table, there is air conditioning and heat and clothing and ways to get from point A to point B, we do the things that we’re supposed to do, so yes. Matthew will own that one.

[10:43] Still Leslie argues that no, ‘cause it’s not a form of love. It’s a form of making sure that they’er covered. But it’s not a form of love.

[10:49.7] And here we find ourselves at our first disagreement. Leslie doesn’t see Matthew’s desire to provide stability as love. But I would venture to say that it is a version of Matthew’s love in the way he provides it.

[11:00.5] Leslie thinks that it’s fear. She thinks that it’s fear more than love. Matthew thinks that there’s a difference in perception from that extra. For Matthew, extra is all the bills are paid, the water’s paid off, was put towards retirement to the max.

[11:28] When Matthew and Leslie entered into their marriage, Leslie didn’t have much debt. This wasn’t the case for Matthew who has tons of student’s loans to pay. Leslie doesn’t let him forget it either.

[11:38] Leslie said that there are Matthew’s school loans she paid for.  And she knows that’s not really fair, but that’s how she views them. It’s a lot of money, and she obviously needs to shut up about it, like stop. She can’t change it. It’s when she wants them to go to a vacation. When she wants to go and get a new piece of jewelry. When I want to buy a coffee table that matches Leslie wants to decorate. But she can’t because they’ve got the student loans. Leslie will try real hard not to bring it up again and not to feel resentful. It’s a struggle for her because it was a year of law school that he didn’t even finish. It’s a lot of money.

[12:41] I can understand how it is frustrating. And I think that there has to be an aria of compromise that we figure out exactly how both of them can kind of have what they want along the way, not just in 10 or 15 years when they pay off the debt. Even loans are a reasonable thing to be conscious of when handling finances in a relationship. Leslie just wants to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, she just feels like it’s money that keeps going out of the door with no reduction in debt or and in sight. Leslie’s response to Matthew’s role in their finances seem to hit a different nerve. So, what is it that they’re feeling annoyed with in the financial relationship then in terms of like is it more like that they want to instead of paying off debt, they’d rather save to do things around the house.

[13:37]Leslie wants have money to spend on the house. She understands that they can’t. She gets that. Her frustration comes from stupid little like nickel and dime things. It is not the big expenses that they argue though.

[14:23.5] And here, we find ourselves at another disagreement, a kind of debate that seems to be an ongoing saga in their household. M&M, yogurt, and Matthew’s penny pinching tendencies.

[14:34] Leslie finds it ridiculous. But Matthew finds it not.  So, the way that Matthew looks at it is of something is as ridiculous as an M&M and yogurt,that it cost as much as actually more per ounce than ice cream. A bunch of them can have it, and they’re happy cause like, it’s a decent dessert. Whereas M&M and yogurt for him is fourteen little half-cup servings and half the time, the kids don’t eat it so… That’s really frustrating to Matthew.

[15:07.8] Leslie thinks the real issue is the debt. She wants to talk about the student loans. She said that when she and Matthew make a goal, they usually exceed a goal. They will make a modest goal, and they’ll aim to get it done faster. Leslie mentioned that they agree that if they can meet the financial goals that they are going to set for themselves that they can be less nitpicky about little things. And Matthew says yes.

[16:47] Matthew said yes. When both sides share their opinion and concerns, and we gain an understanding of the concerns at hand, we are able to really talk it out and come to an agreement.

A lot of times when you have someone who is a saver and someone who is a spender in the relationship, it helps to have a sum of money each week or month or whatever that can be spent. No questions asked. I find that this gets rid a lot of the guilt hiding and resentment around spending on splurges.

Matthew and Leslie mentioned that this doesn’t work for their lifestyle. So, they tend to use their long-term goals in planning in order to keep themselves on track. So, let’s move on to the primary financial goals.

They both did a good job and I can see a progression.

And so, obviously, each of their financial goals is different. But I think that there’s a way to meet both. We just have to kind plan for it.

So Leslie’s  primary goal was to have enough money left over to buy new furniture for various rooms in the house and redo the basement, and then they kind of drill down to get to because life is short, and they  want to be happy. I would venture to add something like they want to feel pride of their home. So, I think it’s fair to find a way to work that in, throughout the time of meeting the other goals as well which, Matthew’s goal is to pay off debt. Their final why was because they want to be able to plan a romantic vacation and not fret about the loans.

[19:17] Leslie thinks that it’s fabulous. She mentions that they went away for their 10th anniversary last year for one night, and they would have gone away for a little bit longer and then more activity while they were there, but they weren’t able to because they couldn’t afford it. Then, she knows that it is something that he enjoys in…  She gets love and connection from other people, Matthew and other people. Matthew really only gets it from her, so she understands that that’s really important for him to go away with just Leslie.

[19:52 In their primary goal, Matthew wrote something about his goal being in everything except for mortgage paid off in ten years. So, the question was, is the romantic vacation like not, do you have to wait 10 years for that?

[20:16.7] Leslie and Matthew think that it is a good question.  So, they want the loans done, or some of  the next big chunk is done. Then, a nicer or much longer vacation is possible.

[20:49.5] But Leslie thinks that that doesn’t make sense. She thinks that they can do things without having to wait to live their life because then they might not love each other at that point in time. Yes, they’ve paid off the loans, but they argued and not have time together,  and they’re going to hate each other if they wait like that, and they’re going to be resentful  because she is going to be 50 by the time they’re able to go on a romantic vacation.  Then Matthew said that, then we go on vacation.

[21:53] Leslie is really looking forward when they get down to the actual numbers; that they can have it tangible.  I’m looking forward to looking at the numbers as well.

We’re going to go over that in the next episode. Numbers and actual values help us figure out how to reach joint goals. I think we’re really making progress here. Often, we avoid having these conversations because they cause strife. They cause annoyance. They cause resentment. But if you can feel comfortable to have the conversation with your partner, or have someone who will facilitate the conversation, real progress can be made.

This is why I believe that it is so important to help people begin to be comfortable in talking about money. It is why I do this podcast. Not because I help to Leslie get the M&M yogurt, but because we’re finding a way for both Matthew and Leslie to be happy and relaxed when it comes to their financial allocations.

This week’s homework is for them to analyze their bank statements and assign a color based on the type of expense. Is it necessary or is it a splurge? I find that this exercise often is very eye-opening for people to see just how much money gets spent with each month on things that are splurges. Often times, we just swipe our cards and no give it a second thought. But those $20 items, the meals, the splurges, they add up. So, join us next time where we see what their current financial situation is, including their net worth, their debt, and where money is going, and whether there’s room for the new coffee tables.