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Redstone Arsenal’s financial readiness program manager is leading a free holiday finance class that will help people learn more about their own spending styles, which she says are often related to temperament.

Olivia Pierce, who has a master’s in counseling psychology and is a licensed professional counselor, said the class should be pertinent to everyone, especially couples who “squabble about money.”

She asks participants to take a brief online “financial personality test” as a first step to overcoming spending disagreements and help people learn more about their relationships with money.

The test categorizes people into four types of spenders: confident money manager, short-term strategist, value-based planner and laid back balancer.

Having taken the test, Pierce declares herself a value-based planner, while her husband, Ben, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who now works as a Department of Defense contractor, is a confident money manager.

They sometimes disagree on holiday purchases for their two daughters, Dana, 12, and Bailey, 8.

“He’s of the mindset the kids should get one or two gifts (each),” Pierce said. “I want them to have several gifts to open.”

Her spending is based on heart and connection, while her husband’s is purely practical.

“He’s buying a gift to check off a list,” she said.

A laid-back balancer buys “how the mood strikes,” and a short-term strategist shops with a plan or budget, but without long-term goals in mind.

“It’s actually your values, your beliefs, your upbringing that impacts your financial behaviors,” Pierce said.

Understanding and communication are key factors in financial success for couples, and financial personalities and long-term goals should be discussed early in a relationship.

“We have a lot of people who want retirement classes,” Pierce said. “I want people to understand that retirement planning begins at a young age. How are you going to successfully retire if you don’t even know what each other’s goals are?”

Pierce hopes the webinar “will open up a new dialogue” for people. Understanding each other’s financial personalities can help couples “have each other’s blind spots covered.”

To take the financial personality test, visit



The test is free and takes about five minutes. Pierce notes that she is not endorsing a particular financial institution.

Her two-part webinar began on Nov. 30 and concludes Dec. 7, with a one-hour segment on holiday spending. The webinar is also free and registration is not necessary.

Other topics she plans to cover are 2021 specific and include supply chain issues, vaccine mandates, and how financial issues can affect a security clearance.

To join the event, click on

Pierce is available for one-on-one financial counseling to anyone with access to Redstone Arsenal. For more information, send her an email at or call 876-6299.

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