The Roller Coaster of Risk

Ryan Eidson  —  May 9, 2016

The following is an excerpt from the study guide portion of my latest book, A Couple with Common Cents.

As I observe marriage relationships, I find that one spouse likes to take more risks than the other. This is true in my own marriage.

But each spouse also has his and her own ways of taking risks that the other person does not.

Perhaps you love to travel, explore new places, or climb mountains like my wife, Lori. When you take a first glance at us, you might think she’s the one prone to more “risk,” if you just look at what she likes to talk about or how she drives the car.

Or perhaps you can handle more fiscal risk. You spend money on investments or opportunities that don’t have a clear guarantee. There’s a huge upside if it goes right, but there’s also potential for loss.

In your marriage, I would bet that one of you is financially more conservative than the other. One of you likes to save, while the other one spends. One of you will give away all your money, while the other one says, “Slow down!”

Whether you are the one who is able to take more financial risks, or wants to save more money back, this is one area that you need to discuss.

The roller coaster of risk is different from person to person. It also changes over time: as years go by, you may hold on to your money tighter, or let it go easier. This is another good reason to have this discussion with your spouse. Things may have changed since you last talked about how you handle risk.

Here are some questions for you to consider together:

How do each of you handle risk?

Do you understand why the saver likes to save, and the spender likes to spend?

Do you take calculated risks?

How can you reconcile these differences?

Ryan Eidson


I have the unique ability to make complex ideas easy to understand. I am the author of A Couple with Common Cents and live in rural Missouri.