In a couple, money is often a source of tension and conflict. What explains that one is frugal and the other spender? Portrait of a couple comparable to the cicada and the ant.
ABC, 46, of insecure temperament, works hard to earn her precious security. At the age of 25, she had the habit of accumulating an RRSP that today reaches $ 85,000. She accumulates family allowances by transferring them to a monthly RRSP for her children aged 2 years and 6 years.
Her husband John is self-employed in the music business. He lives from contract to contract. The artist pursues his dream even if his bank account suffers martyrdom.
Try to find a job
Recently, a friend heard their thoughts. Good told her how much she deplores the lack of ambition of her spouse. “During his free days, instead of sleeping, John could try to find a job. “
For his part, John denounces the thrifty or stingy side of his wife. “Good is paying for ski trips. Why does not it help me “clear” my credit cards? He wonders aloud.
Insecurity versus recklessness?
A couple is often composed of a cicada and an ant. “Society values people as the intensely working ant. Of insecure temperament, she has a reflex to accumulate and to guarantee a security to her children “, specifies the psychologist Pierre Faubert.
“The ant,” he adds, “rakes more than necessary and leaves no crumbs to the cicada, which reminds the artist of a more carefree temperament. “
Values and control
Psychologist Nathalie Parent describes this duality. “One likes to spend and the other will try to put limits. The search for a balance occurs naturally in the couple if one is at the extreme while the other will try to bring it to the other side as a balance. “
This cicada or ant temperament often comes from family values. Dad was thrifty and mom more expensive or vice versa. In the case of ABC, her family has always been deeply economical scrutinizing the non-essential expenses such as the purchase of new clothes, movies or restaurants. In John’s case, the family, even large, never looked at the expense.
“Money often creates a control report. Someone can be very messy in his work, on his desk. At the financial level, he remains very in control. Sometimes the person even controls his children’s bank account, “says Parent.
By talking to each other, we understand each other
The two psychologists agree on one point. In a couple, the ideal is that each individual can be both cicada and ant. In this way, he can create reconciliations. The differences eventually flatten out. “We have to take the time to sit down together and ask ourselves: what is our project? “Says Pierre Faubert.
Often, he notes, debt becomes a source of stress. The couple only works to pay the debts accumulated on credit cards.
According to a recent CIBC survey, early in 2019, debt repayment is the top financial priority for Canadians. The data indicates that 39% of those surveyed are concerned about the need to neglect savings in order to pay debts faster.
For her part, the psychologist Nathalie Parent concludes: “Instead of ostrich, you have to talk to each other. At the beginning of the year, but also every month, we take stock of the budget, the debts to be paid or the amount of savings for this famous trip of which we dream. “