00:00:00 – 00:00:04 – Musical Intro
Kristine: Hello and welcome!
So you’re out shopping with a friend and you find an outfit that you love, you really love it and you try it on and want to buy it, it’s a good price, it looks good and you actually do need it. You never did lose that baby weight and you know, like right there in front, and you’ve got to face facts and get yourself some new clothes and your girlfriend urges you to buy it. She’s just like buy it, oh it looks great on you, it’s a really good price, you should get it, you should get it. And you know what, you think it’s perfect too, it’s perfect.
But money is one of those things that you and your husband fight about a lot. You know if you come home with that new outfit he’ll feel stressed out about it. He won’t get angry or really yell at you, but he’ll have that stress look on his face and later you’ll have to talk about it and justify it to him and explain it to him because, unexpected expenses just catch him off guard and stress him out and you’re just not in the mood for a fight. So you put it back on the hanger and you don’t buy it and your girlfriend can’t believe it. She says, I can’t believe you didn’t get that. You want to go back and get it? No, no. And you don’t feel like explaining it to her, and you really wish now that you could just quit shopping, because it’s so hard to explain to somebody else all the things that have to go through your head in order for you to buy something and feel comfortable about it.
Or you’re out with the guys and have a couple of beers and one of them says hey, let’s head over to the boat show at the convention center. And you think that’s a great way to spend the afternoon and you walk through those really big doors and you’re thinking and you see all those boats, and you’re thinking man I would sure love to have my own boat someday. And you think about how much fun you had when you were a kid when you learned to water ski because your dad had a boat. And you think about fishing with your grandpa.
Wow, it has been a long time since you’ve been out on the water, you haven’t been fishing in years, the kids have been fishing and you think the kids would love fishing and I could teach them to ski. And you know your wife likes to water ski too but you also know she would kill you if you came home with a boat. But maybe she would like it, she will get used to the idea, it’s a whole family thing and you’re looking at boats and you’re seeing all these beautiful boats, and you find one. It’s the perfect boat, and you can afford it and you can make the payments, and you’ve got a plan in your mind for how you’re going to do this thing, and it’s going to be a wonderful family memory, fishing, skiing, getting out of the house away from video games and cell phones and television, and all the way home you’re telling yourself all this stuff. It’s going to be great but in the back your mind you know there’s going to be a fight. You know you shouldn’t have done it, but you did it. Your heart’s in the right place but you’re going to pay.
Bethany and Scott Palmer are financial consultants and they’ve dedicated their lives to helping couples figure out finances. Financial difficulties are one of the top three reasons that couples decide to get divorced or at least it’s the reason that they give. They say, we’re having financial problems, we can’t agree, we fight about money all the time, we want to divorce. So it’s a really big deal.
Have you ever had a fight about money? Yeah, you’re nodding your head, even if you’re single. It’s possible that your parents are still telling you, you should buy this, you shouldn’t buy that, don’t spend your money that way, do spend your money. Do you have an investment? Have you started an IRA? You’re getting it from all different directions. The way a person views money and spending can make or break a relationship. So if you’re having problems it’s only smart to get help. In their work with couples the Palmers have identified five money personality types and how each one of those can affect a relationship. You’ll probably see yourself in one of these.
So the first money type is called the False Saver. The False Saver has plenty of money and his goal is to keep it, every dime. The False Saver is super alert to sales and discounts and slick deals, and only buys something if the price has dropped a lot. So unless it’s on super sale, he won’t buy it. That feeling of getting a bargain gives him internal satisfaction. But you know that sales are often just a marketing strategy and sometimes a discount is a fake discount, and you’re not really saving all that money. But it’s that hanging on to money and only spending it and only giving himself permission to spend unless something is on super duper deep discount, gives the false saver a good feeling inside. He’s overly attentive to sales, that’s what the Palmers say. That’s where conflict and problems arrive. There’s nothing wrong with being thrifty, but it’s when you get an internal feeling that is the thing that’s regulating and ruling how you spend.
Sometimes you need to be generous to do something magnificent and spectacular with your money, because someone’s in need or someone you love deserves a wonderful gift. A False Saver can become really selfish and controlling because generosity does not give him that good internal satisfaction. So it means he may pass up opportunities to do good, to help others and he may try to impose his thinking on the whole family, you should all be like me. The False Saver hates to spend money so much that he may really push back at giving gifts, even to the people he loves. He’d rather not spend a dollar on them. He’d rather show them love some other way. The False Saver, do you know anybody like that?
The second money personality type according to the Palmers is the Spender. The Spender lives in the moment and she thinks about spending money as a way to create memories, to have a good time and she may take out loans or run up her credit cards to buy things that appeal to her. Oh I love it, I’m going to get it. Oh I love that I’m going to get it. The Spender gets excited every time she has something new. The Spender loves to show how much she loves other people by buying them gifts. She buys you presents even when it’s not your birthday. When she visits you for dinner, she brings a nice bottle of wine, flowers, candy, some kind of gift even when there’s no big special occasion. She loves to spend, the Spender loves to spend. The Spender will buy all the coffee, will buy all the drinks, sounds like a really great friend to have, but the other side of the coin is that the Spender can be very unaware of how much she’s spending and this can cause a serious freak out when the credit card bill comes. The Spender is often close to her credit card limits and maybe hiding expenses from her husband. Not good, not good. The Spender has to learn how to control the impulse to spend and stay out of situations that create sort of the perfect spending storm, and learn how to choose wisely what to spend her money on, in concert with her husband if she’s married, to be wise with her money and not spend on impulse and to get — not just get all her good feelings from having new things and buying stuff. Do you know anybody like the Spender?
The Risk Lover is the third money personality identified by the Palmers. The Risk Lover loves new ideas, loves unexplored possibilities, loves investment opportunities, is an entrepreneur, they’re visionary, they follow their instincts and their guts and if something interests the Risk Lover, she will go for it whether it’s good for the family or good for the relationship or not. There was this great investment opportunity and I had to act today and so I spent $10,000, but look, in a year it’s going to be 20. The Risk Lover can be very impatient and doesn’t listen very well and doesn’t always examine the facts, the consequences, like making an investment or supporting a cause. The Risk Lover that can create a situation that’s really hard to live with because the Risk Lover can be very persuasive. Look I only spend this much and it’s — we’re going to get this much return on it. What was such a good cause maybe she didn’t even look into the cause to know how much of the money is going to go to the poor or whatever. The Risk Lover loves the idea.
The Risk Lover has to learn how to stick to a budget and think through the possible consequences of an expense, right? They have to learn to get counsel first especially on investments and to discuss expenditures with their spouse. Risk Lovers can be very persuasive and they need to learn to listen and to get counsel and to put their marriage first above their big ideas and their business startups, the marriage has to come first, or they can lose trust. In losing trust, they can also cause huge financial damage.
The fourth money personality is the Security Seeker. This person plans every single expense in the minutest detail and tries to figure out every single possible consequence or complication, may be studying the issue for months and months and months before making a decision, like you need a new car, and this person the Security Seeker will be reading Consumer Reports for the last year and going online and asking friends and talking in forums and checking different dealers and finding out the price and thinking about the build of the vehicle, and the thing is, you need a car. You need a car but the Security Seeker is too worried about missing something to actually make the decision.
A Security Seeker would never put an expense on their credit card unless they knew exactly how they were going to pay for it at the end of the month, and if it’s an emergency, how’s that going to happen? Problem with the Security Seeker is he wants security over everything else and this can keep him from making decisions and spending money when and where he needs to. He’s very afraid to take risks and you know what, the Security Seeker can turn into a huge pessimist because hey, there is always somebody lurking that you don’t know about trying to rip you off, so you have to be very, very, very careful all the time. You don’t know what might happen and life kind of just stinks. You know anybody like that? Do you know a security seeker?
Number five, the Palmers call this last money personality the Unworried One. The Unworried One doesn’t think about money and doesn’t care about money. Relationships come first, she has enough money but money doesn’t excite her. She doesn’t care about spending money. The problem with the Unworried One is that she may not be paying attention to how her spouse or kids or business partners are spending her money, spending the money. And this can cause serious consequences down the line, especially if she’s married to a Spender. Know anybody who’s an Unworried One? Doesn’t have any idea how much money is in the checkbook, doesn’t care, doesn’t even think about it.
You know there’s a Bible verse that’s often misquoted, it’s about money. I bet you know which one it is. Money is the root of all evil. Wrong. That’s not how it goes. 1st Timothy 6:10, the love of money is the root of all evil. Any one of these money personalities can idolize money. The False Saver hangs on to money because it makes him happy right? to have the money. The Spender loves money because she can spend it and get more stuff and give presents and that gives her a good feeling. The Risk Lover gets a thrill and satisfaction from taking big money risks, starting a new business. The Security Seeker thinks he can be in control of his money and really in control of the universe and that love of control is false control, and it’s an idol. And finally the Unworried One isn’t attached to money, but also tends to be irresponsible with it, and that’s poor stewardship.
Are there solutions? Yeah. If you and your spouse know your money personalities it can help you communicate about money and understand one another and sort of work towards solutions right, together, instead of just accusing well you’re this and you’re this. No, not for that reason, but so that you understand how the other person operates and you can start moving toward a solution without fighting and learn to live within a budget peacefully.
You really can’t have marriage without fights about money, it’s possible. If you want to know your money personality you can take an online quiz at the Palmer’s website, it’s called themoneycouple.com. The more you understand your spouse and yourself the way you spend in the way your spouse spends, the better your communication will be. You’ll understand the weaknesses and strengths of your spouse’s spending personality. And the more you understand what motivates you the better chance you have of changing you, who is the only person you can change and learning more about how you can adjust yourself to having money be a tool that you work with and not something that you love or hang onto, or need to control or need to spend, with gratefulness to God. Not something that can bring down your marriage.
If you’re fighting about money all the time, ask your pastor for a recommendation for a financial counselor, most parishes have one or at least there’s probably a good one in your diocese, or go check out the Palmer’s book it’s called First Comes Marriage Then Comes Money. You can get that on Amazon and they have some videos on YouTube too.
Love God, love people, don’t love money, it does not love you. Get help if you need it and know that you can change, you can get new skills and build new habits about spending. Don’t be ashamed to ask for the help if you need it. It is not a reason to get a divorce. Up next a dating expert explains why Catholics don’t know how to date.
00:13:58 – 00:13:59 – Musical Interlude
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Kristine: Welcome back. So you’re single and you’re Catholic and you’d like to get married and have kids, but you’ve got this one really huge problem, you haven’t found that right person, and there aren’t many prospects, at least it doesn’t feel that way and then you don’t get out much, and you’ve watched your friends go through all kinds of dating drama and who wants that? Also you’ve watched a lot of your friends get married and you do want that. How did they do that? You think, I’m a decent person. There has to be a decent Catholic marriageable person out there. Aren’t there like a billion Catholics? So how come I’m still single.
Cecilia Pigg is the managing editor of catholicmatch.com. That’s an Internet dating service for Catholics, obviously. And Cecilia says that Catholics don’t know how to date. That’s her take. She had an article at Aleteia called, Why Catholics Don’t Know How to Date. Maybe that’s you, or your best friend. Let’s say it’s your best friend. No let’s say it’s you.
Out there in the secular world, dating is all about what? Pleasure, having a good time, feeling good in the moment and at first, marriage is not even part of the equation at all. And in a lot of relationships, it’s not any part of the equation. Eeeuu, not good enough right? Who wants to date a person who’s out for the pleasure but has no commitment in mind? Or someone who has commitment phobia. You’re worth more than that.
Faithful Catholics are looking for marriage for life. They want commitment, you want monogamy, you want fruitful marriage, you want kids, you want all of it and you’re willing to sacrifice, you’re willing to work hard, you know marriage isn’t a picnic. You want the whole entire marriage pizza, and according to Cecelia, Catholics want this out on the table from the beginning.
Dating is the way to find your lifetime partner. It’s not just for a good time it’s not just to avoid being lonely, dating is to find your life partner. But Cecelia says, even if you live in a community with a lot of single Catholics, or you go to a Catholic college or you live in a huge city with a big singles ministry, you might be stuck because you might be running into a dating phobia of another kind, Catholic dating phobia. It’s a thing. Catholic singles are so thinking about that commitment piece that just asking someone on a date is somehow signaling to that person that it’s practically a proposal, and that it’s leading someone on and that’s a sin, because it’s mean, it’s unkind. And you can’t even ask someone out for coffee unless you’re sure you’d marry her. So it’s a dilemma right?
Cecelia thinks that this is a reaction against secular — the secular world of dating which is like hook-ups and one night stands and casual horrible sex and who wants that? Not Catholics, not you. But that’s the world you live in and so swinging way to the other way, it’s an understandable response right? So where does the single Catholic end up? Cecelia says they end up in a quote, weird commitment heavy wasteland, where single Catholics are forever stuck chatting in group settings, with no chance of a one on one actual date unless two parties are very interested, unquote. And then she says there’s another thing happening. She says, let’s say you do end up on an actual date, like you end up talking in line after church for — in the donut line and you have a nice and pleasant conversation, and you exchange phone numbers and then you end up texting each other a lot, texting back and forth, texting, texting, texting and she’s going, does he like me and he’s thinking that she like me, but you never get around to actually going face to face and spending some alone time. You never get around to meeting or you do — you finally do and then sort of awkward and you can imagine doing that again. So then you go back to texting or you dump the person completely and we never even got off to a good start. Why all these problems? Why is it so hard to get young people together?
Cecelia says, some people just don’t know how to date. Non-Catholics certainly don’t know how to date and Catholics don’t know how to date. And of course dating isn’t an end in itself, it’s a means to an end. So how do you chart a course, how do you do dating right, the Catholic way? Not just so that you won’t be lonely or, on the other hand, never dating because dating is practically like being engaged?
Dating is a skill, and any skill can be learned and improved. Think of all the skills that you know and have. All the things you know. You had to learn them from scratch. So you can learn dating. There’s a checklist that Cecelia has, that I want to share with you. It’s a checklist of questions to ask yourself about how you date and sort of examine, like is that an examination of your dating conscience.
Are you really ready to date? How are you — if you’re having problem with dating, check off some of the stuff in this list. First, are you ready to date? Are you ready? You’re ready to date first of all when you’re old enough. Do you have healthy self-esteem, so that you won’t fall for the first person who likes you? Do you have self confidence so you can say no and yes, I do like that, I don’t like that? Think about it. Your spouse will fall in love with you. Are you ready for somebody to be that crazy about you? Are you comfortable with the idea of somebody falling in love with you? Try it on. Are you actually ready to share your whole self with another person? Are you ready to open up and be vulnerable? Do you have baggage in your past that needs to be dealt with? Baggage that you need to work on, maybe in counseling. Because you know if you bring that into a marriage or relationship, it’s going to affect things. Do you have baggage? And are your real — are your expectations realistic? Do you know what marriage is really like? Look at your friends who are married and ask them. Look at your own parents. Do you have realistic expectations of what it’s like to be married? In some ways you won’t until you’re married. But are you thinking about it and studying it.
Second what are the best practices for going on a date? That’s a super good question. Skills, dating skills. How do your dates measure up? Are you texting each other so much, that you’re not actually going on real dates and spending real time together? Are your dates in places that are super noisy or real formal, so you don’t have a chance to converse comfortably? It’s really important that you’re having comfortable conversation and opening up to each other and getting to know each other, starting with the service things and as you get to know each other, opening up to the more important things. Or are your dates sort of confining or always in public places like in a noisy restaurant where you can’t even hear each other when they are 16 televisions going.
Third, and Cecelia says this is for the guys. Are you letting your fear of rejection paralyze you? How come? She says you’re sitting at home flirting in a text message, man up and ask the girl out. And then she says for the girls, are you expecting the guy to read your mind, expecting him to make the first move and you have never given him any signal that you think he’s attractive as in flirting, good old fashioned flirting? Or are you really controlling at that very first date and no guy ever asks you out again? Do you wonder why?
Finally, are you dating someone just so you won’t be alone? That’s called settling. You know that, right? Are there red flags in your relationship? If you’re afraid that you might not be seeing the red flag, usually you see them but you ignore them. But if you’re really honest and you want to know if there are red flags that you’re not seeing or you’re ignoring, ask your best friend, ask somebody who’s really close to you. Do you see red flags in this relationship? And listen, listen. Do they see any red flags? Are you compatible for life or are you just having fun together? Are you putting a lot of pressure on discerning marriage right away or are you dragging your feet waiting too long to decide whether or not this person is marriage material?
Cecilia’s says, you can take a how to class on dating at Catholic Match. It’s called Purposeful Dating. You take classes for all the other important things in your career right, all the things you know you’ve taken classes for them. Try — sign up at Catholic Match for Purposeful Dating. How about a class with a friend, or a couple of girlfriends or a couple of guy friends. Take a class together. Learn about dating. Don’t be ashamed. You’re a product of your culture as much as anybody else and you’re a product of the reaction to our culture as much as any other Catholic.
So sign up, get some skills. As for online dating, I know three couples that are online dating stories of total success. Jesse is a doctor and she’s nearing 40 and she’s a faithful Catholic goes to church every day and she all — watched all her siblings get married and then she met Michael online through Catholic Match. And they are now married. Becky is a CPA and she’s working as a CPA, very successful and not finding any guys, not going on any dates and she signed up through Ave Maria singles and she met her future husband Tom. And he’s a scientist and now they have three kids. And my favorite online dating story of course is my daughter. She signed up with Ave Maria Singles during graduate school and within a week, she had met or made contact with the man who would become her husband. You know how she did it? She saw his profile and she thought this is exactly the kind of guy I would want to be married to. And she did a thing called, Drop the hankie. She made the first move. The Drop the hankie just let him know she had found his profile interesting and so they started emailing and then he asked for permission to phone her and she gave him her phone number and he phoned, and within about a month they had their first date. A lot of things — a lot of things were in the way for them, they lived three hours apart. So he moved to her city, not in with her, he moved to her city and did commuting work for a while, so they could spend more time together and discern whether or not marriage was in the picture. And they got married in a beautiful Catholic wedding and they’re expecting our third grandchild.
So online dating has a very special place in my heart. It has been good to me. Don’t despair. Don’t sit around waiting for that right person to just fall out of the sky. You need to date around Catholic style, make some friends, one on one not just texting. If it feels weird, awkward, okay get some skills, pray, take a chance, don’t spend your life wishing. Don’t pray without action. Do something about it. Next time on Hello and welcome, you will hear some ways to become a less distracted person and you’ll hear from a woman who says she isn’t happy about how much TV her husband watches. Subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already done so. Don’t miss a single episode. God bless you and remember, no matter what’s going on in your life, Jesus is near.
00:26:12 – 00:26:41