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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


When you are in a relationship, you’re typically in that relationship both emotionally and financially. And while you don’t necessarily have to have the same money mind set, it does help if you have an appreciation of where your partner is coming from and what is driving some of their financial decisions.

Marlow and Chris Felton are authors of “Couples Money” and “The Prosperity Factor,” and a husband-and-wife team that helps other couples work through their financial challenges. They say in order for a couple to be financially successful, they must first know their money personalities. 

According to the Feltons, there are seven different money personalities:

The controller: He likes to plan everything out, have structure to his finances and hates spontaneous spending. They can be good savers since they like the idea of a budget and can usually to stick to it because they crave structure. Controllers in a relationship need to be involved in the day-to-day finances, and may be best suited to pay the bills and keep an eye on how much money is coming in and going out.

The promoter: She loves to be liked and can spend money like crazy for the sake of having a good time. The promoter dislikes structure around their finances and will quickly throw their budgets out the window. They are only motivated to save money when they see a purpose to save.  When partnered with them, you can be the most successful in motivating them to stick to a budget by showing them how it will create more money for their dream retirement or saving to buy a new house (where they can have friends over).

The supporter: They are caring, loving people who want to help everyone and family is important to them. They can be good savers when focused on financial stability for their family but can be great avoiders of financial issues with the excuse that “it’s not their thing.”  A supporter who is an avoider can best be motivated to pay attention to their finances when it relates to the family or helping others. They are generally not structured and tend to dislike a budget unless they see how it might help their family or others close to them.

The analyst: They fear being wrong or making a wrong decision. They research everything before they act, and this can be frustrating if they are paired with a promoter who makes quick decisions.  Before they spend their money, they like data, facts and crave structure. They are generally good savers and love budgets, but can be overly conservative with their money out of fear of doing the wrong thing.  They can be avoiders of financial results by hiding behind data and fancy spreadsheets.  They are great at creating delusion. Motivate them by showing them the facts and figures, but don’t show them too much where they get caught up in the details.

The avoider: Any of the four above personalities can be avoiders, but tend to be supporters and promoters.  “Avoiders” avoid conversations about money at all cost and do not like thinking about money or being responsible for keeping track of it. They often let others handle the money or they handle it with devastating results. The irony is that avoiders also have goals and drams that cost money; however, they don’t make the connection to their avoidance and unrealized goals because they are so far in denial. They associate money and keeping track of their money with requiring superior math, investment or fancy spreadsheet skills.

The spender: He mentally spends his paycheck before it even comes. He rationalizes the purchase on sale as “saving” money even though he will just spend it on something else. Spenders blow money without regard to consequences, and when they run out of money, they scramble to create more. Spenders are detrimental to partners who crave structure and security.

The saver: They save at least 10 per cent of their income on a regular basis – no exceptions – and it is accumulating (meaning they are not dipping into it!). They have a comfortable cushion for short-term expenses and still have other savings. They also have no credit card debt.  They see saving money as fun.  It’s often hard to get them to spend money on anything, even fun and inexpensive activities. Although challenging for the spender personality, the two usually balance each other out.

You might not fit nicely into a category but it is important to understand and appreciate your type. Different personalities can live happily ever after, if they can agree to disagree. But let’s not lose sight of how important this is to get aligned financially. One of the leading causes of divorce is financial infidelity and incapability.