Have you ever been in a conversation about a purchase with your partner, and instead of making a decision you ended up in an argument? One of you thought it was too expensive, the other said it was a bargain. The next thing you know you’re both pointing fingers at each other as to who’s to blame for your financial situation.
If that sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. It’s no secret that many couples fight about money. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of divorce. One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you and your partner are on the same page regarding your finances. Getting on the same page about money in a relationship isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to making it work. The question is, how do you do it?
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to get on the same page, and most of it is centered around making compromises. Share responsibilities, you both need to give in order to get, and so on. While there are times in a relationship when compromise is the way to go, maybe it’s time to think about this a bit differently. Instead of thinking of each financial decision as a compromise, think about what’s most important to you and your spouse. Reframe the conversation so that each of you are looking for ways to give to the other in ways that allow your money to be a resource that fulfills each other’s needs. Stop worrying about who is right, and realize that each of you bring strengths to the table that can be combined and used to create financial stability. This is the foundation upon which you can build a sound financial future together.
Once that foundation has been laid, here are some steps you can take to ensure you remain on the same page about money:
- Be open about how you grew up, and your parent’s relationship with money. This will give your both a lot of insight into how your own views of money were formed.
- Create a monthly budget together. Talk about your short and long term goals, vacation plans, and how to plan to save for retirement. A study conducted by Ramsey Solutions revealed that 94% of couples who said they had a great marriage said that they discussed their financial goals together.
- Be honest about your spending. Don’t hide purchases from each other. In the same study mentioned above, it was reported that 1/3 of people who argue with their spouse about money have hidden purchases from their partner. That causes trust issues and you can’t build a strong marriage without trust.
- Listen to each other. I mean, really listen. You will both have individual dreams, and dreams you share as a couple. Hear each other out and discover the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that drive your behaviors around money. Free and open communication will go a long way toward strengthening your relationship.
- Find a mentor or coach. Finding someone who understands and exhibits a healthy view of money and relationships can be a tremendous help. There are times when an unbiased, outside perspective can be the catalyst that sparks positive change.
Just like any worthwhile endeavor, this all sounds good on paper or in a blog post. It all comes down to taking action. Remember, communication is key and understand that you will both be setting aside your own “book” and creating a new one together. When you do that, you will be on the same page.
For help in this area and/or accountability contact me at Candice@cbfteam.ca. Wishing you all the best as you have easy or difficult conversations with your partner about money!