In every relationship, money is a major focal point and stressor. It is no secret that money is a leading cause of divorce in our country. There is a strange phenomena in our society because couples treat money like a taboo, a subject not to be touched. The reality is money is the thing couples should focus on proactively together because so much of the problems that stem from poor financial management can be easily prevented.
Money has a negative connotation in a relationship and ultimately leads to a divide between couples. But with a bit of structured cooperation and foresight it can be a positive force in creating a better relationship and an improving the quality of your everyday life.
What transpires with this divide? It creates tension, distrust, and a lack of building any type of future together. When a couple first comes to me seeking help with their financial challenges, the first question I ask is, “How often do you talk about money?” I have yet to hear one couple say, “ We sit down together at our kitchen table and discuss and track or expenses regularly.” If a couple where to sit down at minimum once a month and talk about money then divorce attorneys would need to find some other line of work.
The trend with couples these days is to stuff the subject in the closet and hope everything will work out. The closet might seem like a good escape for now, but the reality is you can’t keep hiding your problems in the closet or sweeping them under the rug.
So how can a couple let go of this taboo? The first step would be to set a date to have a conversation about money. I suggest on weekends because you are less stressed than during the busy work week. Then step two would be to actually have that conversation about money, adult to adult. Set a goal to clear the slate and let go of all the blame, guilt, and tension during that first conversation. That would be a victory in and of itself.
From there, your next step would be to work on creating a budget together to help you develop a way to have an open and easy on-going dialogue. You don’t need to have any elaborate communication skills under your belt to do a budget. You just need to sit down together, grab your favorite snack and non alcoholic beverage and start filling out a budget.
Why a budget? It is a fool proof paint by numbers approach to communicating. You are taking control of your money that was out of control. You are planning together. You are dreaming together. You are strategizing together. You are bonding together. You are working together to make your financial relationship work.
The best thing, you will perfect the budget as you go along and your communication with each other will improve to a point where you will learn how to master your money.
So wouldn’t you rather want to focus on building a stronger relationship together and strengthening your financial position at the same time? You can do this just like all the couples I have coached are doing this. I can be your guide to make this process painless and seamless.
Give this a try. And if you like I will give you a free budget worksheet and a guide to budgeting to get you started. Email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you read this post to receive your free budget worksheet and guide.