Tommy Brown offers insights from his book, The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money. He outlines those seven types, unpacking their strengths and weaknesses, and offers couples advice for working through their financial disagreements. (Part 2 of 2)
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Pastor Tommy Brown: You're bringing something to the financial table. We have to play nice in the same bank account. You're bringing something to the table that I need to value and affirm and appreciate. And if I can gain empathy for you, it's going to make us come together, and we're going to see, uh, God's presence in our finances in a whole new way.
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John Fuller: Pastor Tommy Brown joins us once more on Focus on the Family, as we'll hear about understanding your money type.
I'm John Fuller, and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.
Jim Daly: Last time, we started a great conversation on understanding how God wired each of us uniquely when it comes to how we relate to money. And we're going to continue that conversation today with our guest Tommy Brown. Uh, here at "Focus on the Family," we want to see you thrive in every area of your life. You know, John 10:10 says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and life to the full. And that's what we're talking about today. And money is one of the major subjects in the Scripture. It says so much about who we are, what we are. Don't turn the dial. Don't turn it off because this is a winsome way of understanding how you approach money. And our guest has taken seven personality types out of the Scripture. And we've covered three. We're going to continue with the other four today.
John: And we'll have the list, uh, of those basic personalities online and a link to a quiz that you can take.
John: OK, an assessment...
John: ...If you feel better about that, uh, that you can take. And you can, uh, discover your own primary personality with regards to money. Tommy is a pastor, a writer, a speaker and a financial expert. And his book is The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money.
Jim: Tommy, welcome back to Focus.
Tommy: I'm so happy to be back. Thanks for having me.
Jim: Are you sure?
Tommy: I really am.
Jim: Because you're traveling all the way from Salem, so it's a big trip. And you left your wife Abraham, which...
Jim: She's one of the money types.
John: Now, listeners, you need to understand...
Tommy: If you're just dialing in...
Tommy: ...You just went off the farm...
Tommy: ...From a context standpoint. So yeah, it was quite a flight, but...
Jim: Well, it - last time, you talked about, uh...
Jim: ...Three of the personality types...
Jim: ...With money.
Jim: Abraham was one. And you've confessed that your wife is an Abraham type, right?
Tommy: Yeah, yeah.
Tommy: So she resonates with the Abraham type. That's really all about hospitality. So, uh, this type loves to use money to make other people feel special or noticed.
Jim: How does her spouse feel about that?
Tommy: Yeah, I've come to appreciate it, you know. And...
Jim: But you had to learn it.
Tommy: I had to learn it. Yeah, it was - it was - you know I was brought up in a day and age where there's, uh, certain things that this is how you're supposed to act, think and feel about money, and everything else outside of that is just wrong, or strange, or unusual. And I didn't realize there are actually seven different ways that are good, God-uh-designed ways to relate to finances.
Jim: So Abraham's about hospitality.
Tommy: That's right.
Jim: And, again, if you missed these, you can get a download or, uh, download the app for your smartphone. You can listen that way. But it was really good, and I'd encourage you to get that program last time any way you can. Uh, what was the second one?
Tommy: Second one was Isaac. And, uh, I came out and said, this is the one that I most strongly resonate with, which of course makes it the best type, right? Everybody always thinks their type is the best type.
Jim: OK, fess up. What are the strengths and weaknesses?
Tommy: You know, they love to use, um, money - they love to maximize money. They're going to make the most...
Jim: What does that mean? - like, save...
Tommy: ...Of every dime.
Jim: Yeah, save.
Tommy: Yeah, I mean, they have to get the best deal. So my son resonates with the Isaac type, right? He will negotiate with a checkout clerk at a - the big-box toy store and, uh, try and get a better deal on the Lego set. And I'm like - he's 6...
Tommy: ...OK. And so that...
Jim: That's amazing.
Tommy: ...Just comes naturally out of him. So you want to win with money. You want to make the most of it. You hate whenever you don't get the best deal. You love to save - all of that.
Jim: So if you're uncomfortable with that negotiation, what are you? I mean, if you're that type of person that goes, it's not worth it - that's kind of like me.
Tommy: Yeah, I mean...
Jim: I'd be going, you know, what? I don't want all that hassle. How - what's the top dollar I need to pay to not talk to you very long?
Tommy: You just want to get the best thing, pay top dollar, make the problem go away, whatever it is.
Jim: What is that?
Tommy: You know, it - you - I - you - I know a little bit about you, um...
Tommy: ...From what you're putting (unintelligible).
John: He's not lazy, although it could sound like that.
Jim: Is that a Moses? Or we're going to get to those in a minute, but...
Tommy: We'll get to those. You know, I don't want to - I don't want to guess on something like that because the point is any type can want to get the best deal, any type can want to give all those types of things. The question is why do you do what you do? And that's the motivation that we want to get at, because our emotions, our heart, drives our relationship to money. And if you're having trouble, you're making the same mistakes, you find yourself going over budget, you're just tripping over yourself, I would stop for a minute and say, why am I doing these things? - which is about more than what you're doing in terms of, uh, dollars and cents and practical management.
Jim: Which is why I like the book so much because it's not just a budget book.
Jim: And it's not just a must do this kind of book. It talks about the why.
Tommy: It's the money book for people who don't like money books. You know...
Tommy: ...This is - I can sit in a room full of people and discuss this topic and never once have to say how much I earn or how much in debt I am. And those are important things that you can deal with.
Jim: Because that's not the most important thing with what you're doing. So you got Abraham.
Jim: You've got Isaac...
Jim: ...The best personality type...
Jim: ...Which you self-describe as...
Jim: ...One of.
Tommy: Humble. Yeah, I am.
Jim: Next would be...
Tommy: Uh, next is Jacob. And that's about beauty. And they love to use money to create pleasurable experiences, uh, to create extravagant - just over-the-top...
Jim: So they're the spenders.
Tommy: ...Everything with - you know, they are going to spend, but they're going to spend in such a way that's going to make things just come to life.
Jim: Spend with purpose.
Tommy: Hopefully they're doing it in a way that aligns with the way that God would have them to use money. So even in these moments where they're really extravagant, hopefully they're doing it to draw attention not to themselves.
Jim: OK, so that's a good review of what you missed last time. And if you want more - because we spent 30 minutes talking about those three types - uh, get the download, get it on your smartphone, whatever you need to do, as I said. Let's move in now to Joseph. I mean, I love Joseph.
Tommy: He's a great story...
Jim: He's a great story...
Tommy: ...In the Scripture.
Jim: ...All around.
Tommy: He's pure drama all the time, never - you just turn the page. It's like, oh, what is he into now?
Jim: Not self-imposed.
Jim: It's like it just keeps happening to him.
Tommy: You know, there are no plastic saints in the Scripture. It tells the good, the bad, the ugly, the mishaps, all those moments. And life kept happening, but life kept happening under this greater narrative arc of where God is teasing it forward toward the good.
Jim: I would...
Tommy: And Joseph even says that at the end of the day.
Jim: Yeah, and I would say Joseph had quite a degree of confidence (laughter). I mean, you know, dad kind of favors me. I'm the youngest born and...
Jim: ...Did you see the fancy coat he made me?
Tommy: Yeah, look at what...
Jim: All those kinds of good things.
Tommy: Looke at what the Jacob type made me - ta-da.
Jim: Just being a younger brother, I understand how Joseph totally irritated his older brothers...
Jim: ...Because I tended to do that as well.
Tommy: You know, he may have broadcasted his, uh, perceived future a little early.
Tommy: And you never want to come out of the gate with, uh, y'all are gonna be bowing down to me one day.
Jim: Yeah. Could you imagine that discussion? Hey, bros, let me just tell you, you're all going to be bowing down to me someday.
Tommy: Yeah, don't say that.
Jim: That probably didn't go down too well.
Tommy: No, you don't say that.
Tommy: Hey, look, I just got a promotion.
Jim: But in the money type and the personality type...
Jim: ...Of Joseph and handling money, what do you see?
Tommy: He's a connector. I mean, he is - he's really the one who is able to connect the dots. So wherever Joseph finds himself - he's thrown into a pit. He gets out of the pit. He goes into Potiphar's house. What happens at that point in time? He creates systems. He builds relationships. One relationship tried to be built with him in the form of, uh, Potiphar's wife, and he shunned that, gets thrown into jail. And so at that point, they say, uh, who can interpret pharaoh's dream? So they call him up out of there. And, uh, the dream basically - you know the dream.
Tommy: But it's that seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. And pharaoh's like, well, what do we do? And Joseph says, well, here's what I would do. I would do X, Y and Z - 20 percent off the top of the grain - and he creates these systems. And pharaoh trusts him to the point that he says, actually, uh, you're going to be the vice president of Egypt. And he put him in charge of all of the resources in the known world...
Jim: That's just...
Tommy: Is that absurd...
Jim: ...When you think about that.
Tommy: So from the pit to the palace, as they say, right? So you have Joseph. His ability to be entrusted with other people's resources, to create systems and to make connections. That's what set him up to win. You're Joseph types are basically the mayor of whatever they do. They're the mayor of the local Starbucks. They know everybody. They're always doing coffees and lunches. In their workplace, they're the connector - if you fall out of work and need to get a job, you want to connect with a Joseph type because they use their money in order to make connections. I'm not talking about bribes. I'm talking about they're just spending their resources to keep making connections. I'm going to sit on this board. I'm going to give to this charity. I'm going to build this relationship. And they just weave this web. And think about this - there came a point in time to where, uh, the tides turned for the children of Israel after they got into Egypt. And it said that there arose a pharaoh who did not know Joseph. Isn't that interesting?
Jim: Yeah, he was the man.
Tommy: He was the man, right? And things turned. And so that ability to make connections and provide for God's people in that way, his brothers and others, is what sustained the children of Israel, and it's the reason their story was able to continue.
Jim: Yeah, I'd never thought about it in that way, because once Joseph was off the scene...
Jim: ...That's when they started to struggle.
Tommy: Times got tough.
Jim: Ok. That's Joseph. What about that shadow side of Joseph?
Jim: OK, let's bring that up.
Tommy: They are such people people. They can read you, and if they're not careful, they will manipulate you in order to get what they want, rather than what is best for you and what is best for the relationship. So, uh, Joseph types might be name-droppers. Uh, you know, the other night, I was having, uh, dinner with the president of the company and - OK, got it, right? You're an important person. And they can manipulate you. And often times, they're dropping names, and they're just wanting to make connections. But sometimes, they're not even aware of their own ability to manipulate.
Jim: So they could be the "me" monster.
Tommy: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.
Jim: Oh, man. How does that person - how does that Joseph see that they're over the line in a Christian context, you know, when you have faith in Christ...
Jim: ...And you're going, OK, maybe I shouldn't be the name-dropper? How do they - if it's core to their personality type, how do they pull that in...
Jim: ...And be more...aware?
Tommy: It's not always bad. And so with the right intent and imagination, anything can be used for God's glory - whatever it is...
Jim: That's true.
Tommy: ...Right? So we talk about sexuality. We talk about finances. We talk about politics. We talk about, uh, connection and the ability to make connections (unintelligible). If I'm doing it for your good, if I'm doing it for the good of the organization, at that point in time, I'm in the clear. But when I find myself wanting to do it just for my own benefit and especially at your expense, I don't have to win at your cost. And your Joseph types, this is all about awareness. I mean, how's the how-to list on how to do these things? You just have to grow in your awareness, trust that the Holy Spirit is leading you and be aware in these situations.
Jim: I think one of the terms coming to my mind is being comfortable in your skin...
Jim: ...In other words, how God created you.
Jim: And it is limited. We don't have, uh, endless personality types. You see them very distinctly in Scripture.
Tommy: You have to receive. And you have to really, um, accept, OK, this is something that I can do for good and for God.
Tommy: And that makes all the difference.
Jim: I love that. OK, let's get to the next one - Moses. This is one - I tied.
Jim: And this is one of my ties. I'm a Moses-David.
Jim: We'll get to David in a minute.
Tommy: All right.
Tommy: All right.
Jim: ...Were you in that category?
John: I'm not saying.
Jim: Oh, you're just not saying.
Jim: You're going to hold your powder there, huh? - keep your powder dry.
Tommy: He's going to give me clues and make me guess.
Jim: He's going to start teasing me in a minute.
Tommy: I like it.
Jim: But I am that.
Jim: What is a Moses?
Tommy: So Moses is - uh, ultimately represents endurance.
Jim: Be kind.
Tommy: Yeah, I am.
Tommy: I'm - I know right where I am right now.
Tommy: So Moses is about endurance. You think about - this is the man who had to lead the children of Israel through all of those years in the desert. Of course, he can see the future. Of course, he can plan. But he's not going to be able to endure, unless he's well-ordered. So you're Moses types are going to love structure. They're going to love routine. They're probably very systematic in their giving. Uh, you know what to expect. I have a friend, who's a Moses type, and he has ordered his days to the point, if I were to say, OK, on Sunday at 7 p.m., what are you going to be doing? He'll tell you, I'm going to be doing my budget from that point in time.
Tommy: And they love spreadsheets, generally - not all of them. But they love spreadsheets. And some of them, on the extreme, have, like, spreadsheets for their spreadsheets.
Tommy: The Moses types have probably checked their budget during the time that we've been doing this talk here together today.
Tommy: And we - you can't endure without order. Moses was the one who received the law from God on Mt. Sinai. And he had to implement it. There is a place for everything and everything in its place. Do this with this resource. Do this with that resource. Don't do this with this resource. Six days - five days you collect this amount of manna. On the sixth day, you collect double. On the seventh day, you don't collect. I mean, the man was - he was like the COO of the children of Israel. So you're Moses types are going to be those ones - they are on point from their - they love budgets. Their love language is budgeting, right? They love that type of stuff. They're going to be very on top of their game, uh, when it comes to their finances.
Jim: No, that is great. And that shadow side is what?
Tommy: Shadow side is...
Jim: I'm bracing right now.
Jim: I'm holding the table.
Tommy: The shadow side is impatience. Um...
Tommy: ...And so don't mess with my order. Uh...
Jim: John, you've...
Jim: ...Never seen me do that...
Jim: ...Have you? (Laughter).
Tommy: They - you think about this...
John: Can I plead the fifth?
Tommy: ...Moses is up on top of the mountain. He comes down. He starts hearing something. He's like, what is that sound at the bottom of the mountain? He gets down there.
Jim: Yeah, let's kill half of them.
Tommy: He's like - and, uh, God's like, well, your people - and Moses is like, when did they become my people? These are your people. So he gets down there, and he sees that they've wasted resources. They've made a golden calf. And Moses makes them, he makes them grind it up. And then they take and they pour the excess waste of that gold onto the water, and then he makes them drink it. So I mean, resources are like - it's a serious thing.
Jim: I'm feeling his pain right now.
Tommy: You can't get to be...
Jim: I'm identifying with him.
Tommy: ...The president and CEO of a company without having some order in place, right?
Tommy: So that's going to be important. And you may not have all of those characteristics. You may be like, ah, like - but by and large, you're going to love that order.
Tommy: It's a great one.
Jim: I feel beat up now.
Tommy: It's a great one.
Jim: Yeah, we're all done.
John: All right, well...
Jim and John Thanks for listening...
John: To "Focus on the Family." We're going to end early and...
Jim: I'm going to go pray.
Tommy: I'm going to catch an early flight out.
Jim: Those people - I got to get those people in line.
John: And if you're resonating at all with what we're talking about today, uh, do go ahead and take the quiz, uh, to find out your money type - seven money types. We're talking to Tommy Brown. And, uh, you're going to find that assessment or quiz, however you want to refer to it...
Jim: Don't do it.
Jim: No, I'm kidding (laughter).
Tommy: You can't fail it. You know, it's just like...
Jim: I get it.
John: There's no wrong answer.
Jim: It's all good. I'm sorry.
John: It's growing...
Tommy: You have a money type.
John: It's growing in self-awareness.
Jim: Lord, forgive me.
John: Find out more about your money type at, uh, focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call us, and, uh, we'll direct you to it. It's 1-800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And, OK, so I am a Moses, but I don't do spreadsheets. I'm not that drilled down. I think part of it's just life stage right now. We have a lot going on. I did resonate with something you wrote, Tommy, and that is, for a Moses, mind your own money and quit micro-managing everybody else's. It drives me crazy when my kids go to the fridge, open the door and then walk away. I'm thinking there's...
Jim: And the door's open?
John: I'm thinking there's money flowing out of that refrigerator.
Jim: We are Moses.
John: I've got to pay for that.
John: So that was a real exhortation to me to lighten up a little bit and not micro-manage everybody else.
Jim: You don't say shut the door?
John: I tell them...
Jim: That's money going out the door.
John: Like, 10-15 times a meal, I have to say this.
Jim: Lights on upstairs...
John: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: ...Nobody's there. Yeah.
Tommy: You know, you...
Jim: We are Moses.
John: I am a Moses.
Tommy: You Moses types are going to think a lot about money. And there's tips in the book for each type in order to help them grow. But one of the things for Moses types is you got to lighten up some.
Tommy: And that's the same for Isaac, as well, but for a different reason. But for your Moses types, I mean, they're always on whenever it comes to finances. And even if, you know, even if you're not a big budget guy, you are going to be ordered. So it isn't necessarily about having a spread - you're like, ah, I don't have a spreadsheet I don't have an app on my phone or whatever. OK, do you know how much money's in your account? Do you know what's going to happen if you spend $20 at this place and that place? I actually don't know how much money's in my account at this point in time, right? So your Moses type...
Jim: How... could... you... do... that?
Tommy: I know. I know. So...
John: We had...
John: How did you cross muster...
Tommy: ...Test me.
John: ...To get on the radio program?
Jim: This is actually an intervention, Tommy?
Tommy: I've been brought here for a reason.
Jim: The two Moses' are...
Tommy: Now it's been made clear.
Jim: ...Here to tell you...
John: We both are going to come down on you.
Jim: ...Isaac, wake up.
John: Wake up.
Jim: You got to know what's in your account, man.
Tommy: You know, your Isaac types are going have to check in because they're afraid they may not have enough. But once they've checked in, they realize everything's fine, they're just going to keep making the most of it.
Jim: No, you're thinking...
Tommy: Moses is going to be good.
Jim: ...Moses'll cover me. That's what you're thinking.
Tommy: You know, Moses types are the ones, traditionally - when people think they're quote, unquote, "good with money," that's your Moses type. They're always on point with money. So the Moses types are ones who often do end up picking up the tab for people who haven't planned well.
John: You want to do lunch?
Jim: Yeah, no.
Jim: I don't want to pick the bill up. OK, let's move to Aaron.
Tommy: Aaron is about humility. And so...
Jim: Oh, that's who we should be.
Tommy: ...Humility - oh, of course it is, right?
Tommy: And this is where you get - with the money types - is people think - they go Aaron - they go, well, humility, oh, well, that's Jesus, right? Actually, if you really study the life of Jesus, he had all of these...
Tommy: ...That were flowing in and out. Uh, but your Aaron type's all about humility. And the difference between Aaron and Abraham - they're both others-centered. But Abraham loves to use money to make other people feel special or noticed. That's hospitality. You're Aaron types want to make sure that needs are met. They're very concerned about injustices. They're very, uh, much motivated by this sense of I must, or I have to. You think of your Mother Teresa type. This is the type of person, very self-sacrificing to make sure that other people have everything that they need, but they may not be the type of person who's wanting to throw the big party, the hospitality and all those types of things.
Jim: Now, is there a shadow side to the Aaron type?
Tommy: It's going to be instability. And you see this most notably whenever - we'll reference the story again when Moses came down from the mountain. He gave in to what the people wanted. Uh, the instability can be I'm so much wanting you to have what you quote, unquote, "need." And sometimes they get mixed up about what is actually needed versus what a simple desire is. So they may give unjudiciously to things that they don't need to necessarily. So their heart - they just have these - they're these big, bleeding-heart people that want to make sure that they're...
Jim: So boundaries would be an issue.
Tommy: Boundaries are very important for - and they need to rely on their Moses-type friends. And they need to rely on their Isaac type friends. Because they're so - this is the type of person, if the church says, we're going to country X on a missions trip, and it's $3,000. They're saying, I'm going to go. You ask them, how are you going to go? Well, God's going to provide. Well, your Isaac types, they're already figuring out what they could sell in order to make ends meet. Your Moses types already have a budget in place to make it happen. And your Aaron types are like, I'm just innocent toward the whole thing. They would rather not think about money if they didn't have to. You know that person - not that they're irresponsible, necessarily. They're just like, ah, everything's going to be fine.
Tommy: It's going to be good. It's going to be cool. It's going to work out.
John: Probably talking to an Aaron type.
Jim: You got a little cringe factor going there, John.
John: I do. Because as a Moses, it really irritates me.
John: But then it all comes together so easily, seemingly.
Jim: And when you look at a marital combination...
Jim: I would think a...
Jim: ...Moses married to...
Tommy: Oh, man.
Jim: ...An Aaron could be trouble.
Tommy: So you need to pay attention - whenever you take the assessment - you need to pay
attention to where your top score is and where your bottom ones are because you're going to have the most conflict with the one that is least like you, which is going to be your lowest score. You're going to have the tendency...
Jim: It's probable you married that person.
Tommy: You probably married that person. And honestly, it's probably for your benefit because...
Tommy: ...It's going to help you become a more Christ-centered person.
Jim: That's exactly right. That's the key to marriage, isn't it?...
Jim: ...Becoming more like Christ. OK, let's move to David. That...
Jim: Now, I tied my Moses...
Jim: ...And my David.
Jim: Or it was 11 points on each.
Tommy: So in some way, you're going to resonate with all seven of these of some degree or another, right? And if you were to behold a person who had the fullness of all seven operative at the same time, you would behold the Messiah.
Jim: Yeah, right.
Tommy: And not that I don't think you guys are great, but you're not Him.
Jim: No, we...
Tommy: OK. So..
Jim: I only tied on two of the seven so...
Tommy: That's right. So your David...
Jim: ...That's pretty well below 50 percent.
Tommy: David is all about leadership. He's the consummate leader, right? And David is driven by a strong sense of why. Your David types are all about the future. They're about going someplace. They're not satisfied with where they are right now. They want to be equitable as leaders, make sure that all of the boats are lifted as the tide is rising. But the why is what's going to allow them to motivate other people to go God's way together with them. You think about - in the Scripture - and most people gloss over this little part in the text. Uh, David comes out to the battlefield to bring some sandwiches to his brothers. And the giant comes out, and it says that all of the children of Israel ran. Well, who else ran? David. Before David fought, David fled. Read it. It's right there in first Samuel. And so he goes back to the back. He says, what happens to the person who defeats this Philistine? They say, he gets the king's daughters hand in marriage. He gets tax exempt. He's going to - all these great things.
Jim: Tax exemption.
Tommy: And David, that's enough alone.
Jim: Let's go.
Tommy: David says, who is this uncircumcised Philistine who dares to defy the armies of the living God?
John: Sign me up.
Tommy: And he - you think about him - he was the eighth son. He was the runt of the litter. He was overlooked. And he saw this as a moment to change his financial future, and not just for him, but for his family. So not that David was some greedy, you know, little punk that just wanted to go out there and make himself wealthy, but it wasn't until he found his why that he actually fought. And that's an important thing for David types to zone into. It's not about you. It's not about where you are right now. It's about what is God calling you to do in the future? And you're the big-vision person that's going to be able to help us go God's way together. And they're also very motivated to see the next generation step up to win. So David was the one who actually did the fundraising for Solomon's Temple. So he's the one calling on all of his relationships to get it - and it should be named David's Temple from a fundraising standpoint. But he named it after his son who was green around the gills and didn't know what he was doing from a leadership standpoint and from a fundraising standpoint. But God gave him wisdom. So your David types - motivated by why, very equitable. They want to make sure that the next generation is set up to win. But if they're not careful, they can fall into that shadow side of selfishness.
Jim: Yeah, what are they? I'm anxious to hear this.
Tommy: It's selfishness.
Tommy: I'm sure that you have done the growth necessary to make sure that it's not operative in your life, Jim. But selfishness is where - when they get lax, when they make it a little bit too comfortable in their life, when they should be out fighting a battle, instead, they're sitting on the rooftop gazing across and encountering Bathsheba.
Tommy: No, not you. But your David types have got to make sure - they need to live in the future in a healthy way.
Jim: Well, again, that's so good. Um, when we understand our financial type and how it can change our approach to money, um, such as following a budget, getting out of debt and saving for our future, um, is that when we've got it all together and we can actually apply the personality types to those kind of remedial things of doing budgeting?
Tommy: You know, it's where those things take on a deeper sense of meaning and life. And so we all need to budget. We all need to save. We all need to invest for our future. And I want to say to the person that's out there that feels like, I don't have two nickels to rub together at this...
Tommy: ...Point in time, you start where you are. You use money in a way - no matter how much of it you have, find things that are lying around. You're like, OK, I'm given to hospitality, but I don't have a lot of money in order to lavish onto other people. Call for a barbecue in your backyard. Bring your own meat, right? And let's start where we are rather than focusing on what we are not. And so for me, whenever I understood I have these Isaac-type - these maximizer, discipline tendencies, I was able to come to my budget, not with a sense of fear - because I was mindful of that. OK, Tommy, you're probably going to be concerned that you're not going to have enough in the future. Let's be mindful of that as you come to the budget. And it also makes me aware. OK, if you're going on vacation, if you have an Abraham type and an Isaac type in the same car and two children in the backseat, you're Abraham type is going to be like, yeah, let's go over here and get, like, the $13 frozen yogurt. Why is frozen yogurt $13, first of all, right? That is sin. Not really, but...
Jim: It's like a $7 coffee.
Tommy: Or the $7 coffee, or whatever it might be. And, you know, those are the times where, as an Isaac type, I have to remember we planned for this. We prepared for this. Let's buy the $13 frozen yogurt. We might as well go ahead and do it...
Jim: Don't do it, Isaac.
Tommy: ...Lighten up a little bit.
Jim: Listen to Moses - don't do it.
Tommy: And so to me, this is about understanding why I do what I do so I can do what I do with more joy.
Jim: Yeah. Well, that's true - it takes the pressure out.
Jim: Let me ask you, in that context, uh, the person that feels in conflict in their marriage - I mean, here at "Focus on the Family," this'll be one of the top three, certainly, areas of conflict...
Jim: ...In a marriage...
Jim: And, uh, how do you understand this type and then begin...
Jim: ...To apply it in a way that lightens the burden a bit?
Jim: You can let some of the energy and the steam out of the conflict...
Jim: ...And love each other better actually.
Tommy: Yeah. Usually, we make it all about amounts. Or we make it all about what the other person is doing. And I do think it's a biblical and a Christ-centered imperative to start with yourself and to say, OK, how am I inclined? How am I wired? What's my money type? How is it functioning in this situation? Let's look at the other person. So have them take the quiz, as well. What's your money type? What are you bringing to the table? So become curious about other types, number one - curiosity. The second thing is ask how their money type is functioning in this situation. Third, always start with yourself. Next, create space for the other person to be able to use money in a way. OK, you're given to hospitality. You love to make connections. We need to carve out a little bit more over here and a little bit less over here. Um, and then for me, at the end of it all, I'm going to have to create boundaries to make sure that we are being financially responsible. But the thing that's undergirding all of this is you're bringing something to the financial table. We have to play nice in the same bank account. You're bringing something to the table that I need to value and affirm and appreciate. And if I can gain empathy for you, it's going to make us come together, and we're going to see, uh, God's presence in our finances in a whole new light.
Jim: That right there is worth it - to get the resource. Because you think about, again, the conflict - it is - it tends to be selfish in orientation.
Jim: I know the best way to do this.
Tommy: That's right.
Jim: Listen to me. And you can sit down and do your budget that fateful day in late December or January...
Jim: ...Whenever you do it. If you're a late bloomer, maybe February...
Jim: ...Or March. But it's where conflict starts.
Jim: You know, how could you be spending that much...
Jim: ...On groceries?
Tommy: That's right.
Jim: How can you be spending that much on house upkeep? I mean, it can create a lot of conflict. And I love the concept of knowing each other well enough to give each other some space. And, uh, hopefully that can come out in the budget.
Lastly, that issue about parenting. Um, because, again, if - you know, for John and I having at least partly a Moses attitude, that can be a little hard when...
Jim: Your kids, who may be more like Jacob...
Jim: ...And it irritates you.
Jim: And you're going to get in there and teach them how to be like Moses.
Jim: (Laughter) And that's not necessarily the right way to go, right? Don't straighten them out to be more like you.
Tommy: Yeah, the goal is not to make our children in our own image. The goal is to recognize the image of God in our children and help them grow into the fullness of what it means to be made in God's image. And resources, finances, money are - is that area to where we can actually help them learn very practical things. They're going to grow up, not just in the way they manage money, it's going to grow their heart. It's going to grow their character. And so I'm looking at who are they, and how are they wired, that way I can steward that wealth.
Jim: Well, I love it. And I can't wait for my boys to take the survey online. And we're going to link to that.
John: We will, yeah.
Jim: And, uh, what a great thing to do. And what a wonderful conversation for your family and to get to know each other better in that way.
Tommy, this has been so empowering. I hope you have enjoyed this.
Jim: And, uh, this would be one of those resources I would encourage you to get - and you can, uh, contact us here at "Focus on the Family," for gift of any amount to help the ministry do what it has to do to buy the airtime, create the program, do all the things on the back-end that we have to pay for. Just send a gift of any amount, and we will say thank you by giving you a copy of The Seven Money Types by Tommy Brown. And, uh, that's our way of investing in you. And I want to say thank you for investing in us.
John: Hmm.. Yeah, and when you invest in us and allow Focus on the Family to air broadcasts like this to so many people, six million people a week here in the US, and then millions more world-wide, uh... you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're equipping families around the world to help manage their money better.
And you can get a CD or instant download of this conversation, as well as uh... make a donation and get a complimentary copy of the book at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.
On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.
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Tommy BrownView Bio
Tommy Brown is the author of the best-selling book The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You to Handle Money. The wisdom he shares in this book was earned as he and his wife, Elizabeth, struggled to pay off a $32,000 debt after they graduated from bible college. They did so within a year and began teaching the principles they learned to others. This marked the beginning of Tommy's exploration of the seven money types he explores in his book. He is also an ordained minister and holds master's degrees in divinity and management. He and Elizabeth reside in North Carolina and have two children. Learn more about Tommy at his website, tommybrown.org.