James W. Frick, former vice president for development at Notre Dame University, once said, "Don't tell me what your priorities are. Show me how you spend your money, and I'll tell you what they are."

Your habits and attitudes about money can support or sabotage many aspects of your life, career, relationships and financial goals. By discovering your money personality, you can discover why you spend, save and share money the way you do. Understanding how your spouse approaches money can help you improve your marriage relationship as well.

A new program from the Ellis County Extension office will help you explore your "money habitudes" -- your habits and attitudes about money -- at noon Oct. 17 at the Ellis County Extension office meeting room, 601 Main in Hays. Enter the rear door from the north parking lot; bring a lunch to eat during the meeting if desired.

The class is free but limited to a maximum of 10 people. Register at the Extension office, (785) 628-9430; first-come, first-served.

Not only do decisions about assets and debt have financial consequences, they have consequences on couple relationships, too. Research studies indicate partner spending behaviors influence relationship satisfaction.

Spending without consulting one's partner decreases marriage satisfaction and creates tensions about money that can contribute to disagreements and divorce.

In a long-term study that followed a group of married couples through six years, debt problems ranked high for overall marital discord. As debt increased, fights about money increased, husbands worked more hours, partners spent less time together and marital satisfaction decreased.

Accumulating assets can ease feelings of financial pressure and decrease conflict in relationships. Paying down consumer debt, such as credit card debt, might decrease conflict in marriage.

Paying off or remaining free from consumer debt is linked to increased marital satisfaction.

In short, your money behaviors can directly affect your happiness with your spouse.

George Lorimer, past editor of the Saturday Evening Post, once put it this way: "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."

Plan to attend the Extension program "Discover Your Money Habitudes" on Oct. 17 to learn about your money personality and how you can use money behaviors to strengthen your marriage and family life.

Linda K. Beech is Ellis County

Extension agent for family

and consumer sciences.