“He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
When you share experiences, joys and dreams… you also share expenses. If you’re not talking about it together, it will very likely cause resentment and conflict down the line. An inability to have constructive conversations can be devastating to a close relationship.
Some people have already learned to do this with their partner, but when things are financially strained (or stress is coming from other places), most of us find it extremely challenging. It’s important to have some tools or strategies in place to talk about our finances, otherwise money can quickly become a controlling force in our lives, and that’s not healthy.
We want to be in a position where we control our money, and not the other way around.
This is tricky when we’re managing a budget for a single person – and it’s significantly harder when there are two people trying to do it together. We can’t always avoid losing money, but hopefully it won’t mean losing our best friend too.
Some of the work begins with ourselves; for example: not trying to control our partner, not forgetting that we love them, setting realistic goals, and being respectful of other ideas. We also need to be kind to ourselves and avoid being defensive if we know that we’re not very good at working with money.
Four key things that we can do with our partner are:
1 – Assess your budget every month.
One of the challenges when talking to your partner about money is that it generally happens too sporadically and infrequently. This means that it’s hard to track and implement any changes that you both agree on. Having a monthly check-in, together, with your budget helps you create smaller, more-attainable goals together without allowing several months to go past unchecked and build up into larger, harder-to-address issues.
2 – Check-in with a financial advisor regularly, and TOGETHER.
Independent financial advice helps you journey forward as a couple, and not each in your own steam. The financial needs, products and planning for a couple is quite different to those of a single person and a financial planner can help you align your individual plans to consolidate excess spending and risk cover, whilst maximising the use of your combined income to reach your goals.
3 – Stay open to counselling.
Whilst there is a strong component of life coaching inside of our approach to financial planning, there are many areas that can cause stress in a relationship – even if they are vented in the areas of financial planning and management. Speaking to a counsellor can be extremely beneficial to create a robust and well-rounded approach to communicating more constructively.
Remember, our lives are intrinsically linked to our money, and our money is equally linked to our life choices. We cannot assume that managing our money can happen separately to our closest relationships, or our daily decisions. Let’s help you have better conversations about your money so that you, and your partner, can thrive!