How to Deal with Different Ways of Spending Money

Money is a flow. How you direct the flow and how someone else directs it may be quite different.

Many Relationships Break up Over Money

But is money really the issue?

Money is just another mirror. How I handle money shows me how I’m thinking. And how others handle money shows me how they think.

Questioning my thinking around money can bring a lot of clarity.

A Client Recently Did Just That

The stressful thought about her husband was, “He doesn’t appreciate how I spend money.” Her way of spending is very relaxed. She is able to respond to changes very well and doesn’t worry about budgeting.

Her husband on the other hand is a planner. He likes to manage money with a budget, looking ahead to retirement, and not spending impulsively.

They have two very different styles of spending, and thinking. That’s fine.

But What Do you Do when You’re Married?

Money is all about priorities. And if my priorities are different than my partner’s priorities, there can be conflict.

But is conflict necessary?

It all depends on what I’m believing. If I believe that his way is less wise than my way, then my judgment and lack of respect for him is what leads to conflict.

When I think I’m right, and his way will destroy my way, I don’t give an inch. I fight.

My Client Cut Through this Quickly with her Work

As she questioned, “He doesn’t appreciate how I spend money,” going through the four questions meditatively, her mind and heart began to open. She turned it around to, “I don’t appreciate how he spends money.” This gave rise to a practical living turnaround to sit down and ask her husband about how he likes to spend money. It felt like generosity and openness. It felt like love.

A funny thing happens when someone asks me about my thinking. I stop trying to defend. I feel respected.

And if I’m the one asking, something warms inside of me. I am excited to meet the real person on the other side. It feels like intimacy. I learn about them, I may even adopt some things from them. And I’m much more willing to compromise.

The more I find respect for their way of thinking, the more I also find room for mine. I don’t have to become a doormat to be peaceful. I just have to be open enough to consider everything with an equal eye.

That’s when working together starts to happen.

Have a great week,

“For some of us, life is controlled by our thoughts about work and money. But if our thinking is clear, how could work or money be the problem? Our thinking is all we need to change. It’s all we can change. This is very good news.” Byron Katie, Loving What Is

About the author 


Todd Smith has been doing The Work of Byron Katie on an almost daily basis since 2007. He is just as excited about this simple process of self-inquiry today as he was when he first came across it. He also enjoys writing about The Work, and training others in the subtleties of this meditative process. Join Todd for The Work 101 online course, private sessions, virtual retreats, and his ongoing Inquiry Circle group.

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