The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking The Same Love And Money Languages, by Scott Palmer and Bethany Palmer
[Note: This e-book was provided to me free of charge by BookSneeze, and has not affected my review in any way.]
As someone who is greatly fond of understanding my personality and its strengths and weaknesses and that of other people, and knowing the importance of harmony in one’s life when dealing with people about monetary concerns, this book greatly intrigued me. As a single man, I am not part of this book’s target demographic, which is very openly and very clearly focused on married couples who are facing serious conflicts over money. Nevertheless, I found the book greatly useful in understanding my own personal view of money (a Flyer with a secondary security-conscious personality, combining a generally nonchalant and laid back attitude towards money with an eye towards providing for the future in an unsafe world) which relates to my personality as described in other ways and has caused conflicts with others who have very different money personalities. A reader should know, though, going into this book, that it is designed for couples.
The book itself is divided into three parts, with the first part dealing with explaining the money personality and asking the couple reading this book to take tests at their website (www.themoneycouple.com) to determine their level of financial trust as well as to work through the book chapter by chapter over a period of 90 days. The second part of the book examines the core nature of money personality conflicts in our own lives and in our relationships with others, as our good intentions are often misinterpreted or can lead to problems in the face of monetary realities, or can lead to problems of trust and control. Particularly important in this section is an examination of the concept of financial infidelity, which is any kind of non-transparent behaviors (private accounts or credit cards or funds) designed to gain freedom from the scrutiny or control of the other partner, and which demonstrates an extreme lack of trust. The third section, on reclaiming marriage, focuses on some techniques the authors developed through their anecdotal experience that can help couples decrease tension and rebuild trust in financial affairs (which touch all aspects of our lives). These techniques included an annual money dump, where couples commit to discussing all the financial issues they are wrestling with without blaming the other partner, as well as monthly meetings where couples evaluate their debt and savings, discuss their needs and concerns, and then work on shared dreaming and planning for the future, as well as give some advice on how couples can “fight fair” by the technique of “stop, drop, and roll” to avoid starting a fight prematurely and dropping misconceptions and assumptions while seeking information about the financial behavior of their partner.
A particular strength of this book is the fact that the authors make no claims to be presenting Gospel truth, but rather are seeking to provide techniques for couples to deal with the stress of money problems in today’s world. This is a book that deals with practice and is not a book that is interested in deeper conceptual matters aside from its focus on the deep roots of financial personality in our makeup and experiences. At the core of this book are deeper spiritual matters that the discerning reader can pick up on, including the importance of trust and open and honest communication between spouses. Those couples who are committed to honesty, kindness, and openness will find this book particularly appealing. Those looking for citations of biblical verses will be disappointed, although this book as a whole is a demonstration of the Golden Rule and the Bible’s frequent calls for mutual love and respect among spouses, as well as a reflection on the serious nature of our covenantal obligations to spouses. For those couples who are married or looking to get married, this book is an excellent read to help overcome and limit conflicts, as well as understand the origin of our partner’s financial behavior in their personality, which should make this book of use to many peoples as long as they are willing to commit themselves to open communication that seeks to understand others rather than accuse.