First off, DO you talk to your partner about money? If not, you should! Not only is it a critical part of a healthy relationship, but the stats speak for themselves… Money issues are the driving force in 90% of divorces!
Now, I’m not going to pretend like this is always easy, because it’s not. In fact, sometimes it’s really hard. But it is worth it so do it anyway!
The first thing to do when approaching the topic of finances with a partner is to go into it with empathy and understanding. Most of us have different ideas and baggage about money, depending on how we were raised, etc. Knowing that your partner could very likely think and feel differently than you, and that his/her perspective could be just as valid, diffuses a lot of tension right off the bat.
The next thing to do is to frame the conversation respective to your goals. What are you excited about in the future? What will it take, or does it look like to get there? This is important because, again, it builds that empathy and understanding, but it also puts a positive spin on things and allows you to be a united front. How can you support each other and work towards those things together?
Also, don’t wait until there’s an issue to talk about your finances. Talk about them regularly, when things are fine or going well so that no one is defensive, and you can have meaningful and productive conversation. You don’t need to–and shouldn’t–talk about it all the time. But maybe you could have a standing money date or regular checkpoints? The more you talk about your finances and build that into regular life the less awkward and heated it will become.
Some final tips…
- Find out how your partner views money, and why.
- Have and set realistic expectations.
- Choose your battles.
- Find ways to be a team/get on the same page.
- (listen to/read financial podcasts or books together)
- Make and stick to a budget! (YNAB is great for this. Here’s a link for 2 free months.)
- Don’t avoid or lie about your finances.
- Talk about how you feel ahead of time.
- (What is the threshold for purchases that don’t require mutual consent? How do you feel about renting vs. owning when it comes to housing? How do you feel about paying for your children’s education? What does retirement look like for you?)
- Bring in a 3rd party if your problems feel too big or you cannot get on the same page.
- (sometimes that outside perspective is necessary and key in moving forward)
Good luck as you start to implement some of these practices/figure this out! And, as always, if you need help finding money to save or are curious about growing your wealth, I would love to chat via a FREE connection call.
Light and love,