Home - Denise Hughes Author Speaker Money Coach




Talking about money? I must say this is an art and a bit of a science too. Talking about money in a way that is good for both my husband and I took time, patience, practice, and stick-to-it-iveness. I find in working with couples, talking about money in a way that feels good and is solutions driven is the biggest challenge as well.


For starters, it isn’t a habit. In the pie chart of life, most couples haven’t created a slice of pie for talking about money. Money conversations usually get fit in at the end of a day, when we have the least amount of energy to connect over it or when some financial crisis or unexpected event happens. Then we scurry to talk about finding solutions to money problems.

We come from a reactive space rather than a responsive space. Over time, our nervous system gets conditioned so that talking about money is stressful, our blood pressure increases, our stomach gets tied in knots and we will avoid talking to avoid this stress.

We have to be careful to not blame or shame our partner, which ends up in a stuck conversation. Here are some tips that work for us:


  • Keep emotion out of the conversation. Emotion can overwhelm your man and the focus of the meeting can get derailed.
  • Instead of money meeting, think household business meeting
  • Cut to the chase, make the point, move on. Here is a really great 1 minute video on the differences of how men and women process things. Women are more into details, men are not. Click HERE to view. One of my husband’s favorite phrases that tells me he is checking out of our conversation, is “TMI, which is his code for too much information.”
  • Keep an agenda, stick to it, minimize tangents. While a woman’s brain likes to connect the dots (bigger corpus callosum), a man’s brain likes to stick to one topic at a time. Click HERE for a humorous video on the difference between men and women’s brains.
  • Focus on the solution, not so much on processing the problem. Understand that men like to communicate to fix or problem solve.
  • Feel your feelings but don’t act your feelings out on him


  • Be mindful of your body language and tone of voice, women pick up energy and emotion quickly and interpret your non-verbal communication regardless of the words you are saying.
  • Before you jump into fixing any problem, ask her what she needs from you. Ask her how she FEELS about what is going on. Don’t fix, solve or jump to an outcome. Just listen.
  • Ask if she wants solutions before you give them.
  • Understand that women communicate to “connect.” Give her space and time to connect with you. Don’t rush communication.
  • Repeat back (in your own words) what you hear your partner saying. Help her to feel heard and understood by you.
  • Creating space to talk about the problem first reduces stress levels in women. Give space for this, then move on to finding solutions together.



  • Understand your partner’s point of view rather than defending your position. Here is a communication tool when a disagreement occurs. Say to your partner, “I’m not sure I see your point of view, however, I want to better understand your thinking on this and how you think it will work.
  • Consider the needs and safety of your partner equal to the consideration you give yourself.

A book I highly recommend is WHY MARS and VENUS COLLIDE, by Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. John does a great job of explaining the science, differences between men and women’s brains, and how we can bridge brain wiring gaps in talking about money.

Categories: Couples and Money | 3 COMMENTS





Debt is usually a symptom of a core issue rooted in your psychology and money management skill-set. Examples of core issues are: under-earning, impulse-spending, living in a money fog, not being able to save money, and not being on the same financial page with your partner.


Go Macro

Go Macro means, get down to the finest details of where you spend your money, what you spend it on, why you spend on what you do and compare that to how much money is coming into your checking account each month. This in itself is an eye-opening exercise. To help you get to this macro level, you might want t purchase the MoneyMinder on the Financial Tools Blog.

Uncover Financial Genetics and Psychological Blind-spots

Examine your financial genetics, your psychology! Often, we live in behavioral blind-spots and this gets us into real trouble. Your early money training may be ruling your money habits. If you feel that money is controlling you rather than you controlling your money, this is a tell tale sign you are living in a blind-spot.

Examine behaviors that keep you in debt. Examples of debt behaviors are ways you think, feel and act to support staying in debt and growing your debt. Here are some examples of psychology and debt behaviors: (1) using your credit card to purchase what you know you can’t afford and what will become a revolving balance on your account (2) telling yourself you deserve things, you work hard and you should have what you want (3) that you “can’t take your money with you when you die” (4) that saving money isn’t important because you are going to work until you die.

Identify Your True Needs

We all share four psychological needs besides the physiological need of survival. Those four psychological needs are: love and belonging, fun, freedom and power or influence in our lives. Ask yourself what psychological needs (which are internal self-esteem needs really) you are financing with your money. This is important because you will need to learn to finance these needs in a different way, with different skills rather than with your money. The reason is, money doesn’t fill the need, it only grows the “emptiness” you feel inside and empties your bank account at the same time…so you then are growing a bigger emotional and financial hole.

End Dependency Behaviors With Your Card

You have a relationship with your credit card whether you realize it or not. Most likely, your card(s) have been there for you in times of low cash flow. They’ve been your back-up in tight situations, maybe they’ve saved you from embarrassment when you’ve been out with your friends. They allowed you to live beyond your means and actually have given you the illusion that you have more to spend than you do. They’ve allowed you to purchase your wants regardless of the amount of money in your checking account.

If you think you don’t have dependency issues with your credit card, then take all of them out of your wallet and observe how you feel. See if you can live life one day at a time without your cards.

As a final thought, mind your psychology and debt behaviors and be willing to do the footwork to regain basic freedoms in your life.

Categories: Psychology and Money | 1 COMMENT




Psychology and money are deeply woven together and most people don’t understand how important this relationship is to their overall happiness.  Your financial picture is greatly influenced by your internal attitudes and beliefs (your psychology) you hold to be true about money? Most people don’t know this and live in their sub-conscious blind-spots way too long.

Do you know your intelligence has little to do with how financially successful you are? Your financial success is more determined by how well you can break through emotional blocks, limiting beliefs and patterns of behavior that distance you from your relationship with money.

The thing is…most people don’t have all that great of a relationship with money, because they project onto money negative thinking and emotional states. Negative thinking and emotions are fueled by fear. Fear causes us to avoid, neglect and procrastinate. Are you beginning to see the link between psychology and money?

Some people earn great money but can’t keep it. It’s almost as if they have a teflon coating with money. Others have a hard time earning and receiving. Some people struggle with saving money. Others spend beyond their means. Some people have chronic patterns of getting into credit card debt, getting out and then going back into credit card debt…never seeming to be able to live debt-free, even if they are high earners. These are examples of money problems fueled by one’s psychology.

Sometimes, we try to finance our internal self-esteem needs with money, which doesn’t work and only grows a deeper empty feeling inside of us. If we don’t know how to truly meet our internal human self-esteem needs (love and belonging, freedom, personal power, and fun) then we can spend enormous amounts of money trying to finance these needs. Here yet is another link between psychology and money.

Your Psychology and Money Portfolio

Your unique Psychological Portfolio is made up of your beliefs, money history, attitudes, experiences and current day behaviors you practice that help create your current money picture. Your Financial Portfolio is made up of your investment and savings account, debt balances, net-worth and earnings. Your psychology and money are linked by an invisible umbilical cord. Your psychology is the blood flow that feeds your money picture. The blood flow is made up of your money mindsets, emotions and financial habits.

Psychology and Money Questions

Ask yourself these questions in order.

  • What behaviors am I willing  to let go of in order to create the financial picture I desire?
  • Would letting go of this behavior help me to reach my full potential?
  • What support and resources do I need to reach my goal?

If you want a different financial picture, begin to examine the relationship between your psychology and money!

Categories: Psychology and Money | 1 COMMENT