Financial Intimacy 101
Money is not a four letter word. Then why do some couples fight about it or even refuse to discuss it altogether?
You may have heard the statistic that money is the #1 cause of divorce, but that’s only partly true. Whether you have it or not isn’t the root of the problem, its typically what each person in the relationship thinks should be done with it that is the issue.
Some people grew up in a home where money was a taboo subject. They experience anxiety or shame when they discuss finances. Some grew up in a household where there simply wasn’t an abundance so they often heard the adults around them complaining about money. Still others experienced a life with financially savvy adults who were not afraid to discuss money, no matter how much or how little there was, it was simply a fact of life.
No matter your background, you can change your outlook on money and finances at any time you choose. Its never too late to begin discussions with your significant other about the finances you share. Here are some quick tips to get the conversation started:
-Start the discussion at a mutually convenient, calm time of day. Maybe skip that evening TV and sit down to look over the bank account together.
-Start small. Keep the conversations brief in the beginning. Have a goal for the conversation, accomplish it and move on. If talking about finances stresses one partner out, taking baby steps can keep them from getting turned off to the idea altogether.
-Keep the emotions at bay. Money and finances can make people very emotional. If you feel sadness, despair, anger or frustration start to emerge it’s time to take a break. Admit that you need a break and will come back to the topic once you have had a chance to wrap your head around things.
-Decide on regular budget meetings (or whatever you choose to call them) that you and your partner can sit down together and see that you are on the same page with your money management. This is especially important if you are working on specific financial goals like saving for a house, new car, vacation or paying off debt.
-If one person making all of the financial decisions works for your situation, then go for it. If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to speak up. Even if one person is making all of the decisions on where the money should/could be spent, it is crucial both parties stay informed of the current financial status of the household.
I hope these quick tips help get the conversation started. We are committed to your success as a couple, if you or your partner need mediation or counseling to help you through please don’t hesitate to call for an appointment.
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