The biggest challenge couples face is their ability to talk about money, agree on spending habits and priorities, and how to plan for retirement. Most people think it will work itself out until they realize it doesn’t. Don’t wait until your in trouble financially or your marriage or relationship is struggling to talk about what you need and how to make it happen!
When you met your partner you were swept away by the romance and excitement of this amazing person you decided you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. When you are first in the throughs of romance the little things like, money, seem inconsequential. After all money can’t “buy you love” and “love is all you need”, right? WRONG! The number 1 reason for divorce in America today is actually money problems. Have you read the book, “The Millionaire Next Door“? The deciding factor that makes or breaks a family from accumulating any type of substantial wealth is the spending habits of your spouse.
If you are mindful of how you spend and invest your money but your partner or spouse has a different agenda it can not only cause disruption in your relationship it can and does effect your sex life, your respect for your partner, and your desire to spend quality time with them, eventually leading severe debt, bankruptcy, and even to divorce. The most important and powerful thing you can do for your relationship is to TALK ABOUT MONEY!
The most important thing to remember when having this conversation is it’s not really about the money but what the money means to you and what you believe it can bring to your life. In general Americans have a very distorted relationship with money. We have an overall belief that it’s not ok for money to be important to us, that we are shallow if we place too much emphasis on the importance of money, it is a deeply held belief that putting to much emphasis on money makes us a bad person. This is supported through our religion that says, “money is the root of all evil” and through the paradigm of the Robing Hood fable “steel from the rich to give to the poor and the concept that rich people are inherently bad.”
The reality is the religious saying is actually “the love of money is the root of all evil” not money itself. The love of money is the obsession of acquiring as much money as possible at any cost simply for the sake of having money. Having money doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t make you greedy what it does do is give you freedom. The more financially secure you are the more options you have available to you and your family or the people in your life that you love.
There are a few areas you need to explore before you begin having the conversation with your loved ones about money:
- Uncover your personal beliefs about money. Do you feel guilty about wanting more money, spending money on yourself, or what may be considered “depriving” your family members from spending money on things that are not necessities?
- Does it make you uncomfortable to talk about money? If so why do you think that is?
- Do you know what type of lifestyle you would like to have and how much money it will take to allow you to afford this lifestyle?
I recommend you begin to think about these areas before you talk with your partner and as you and your partner begin to explore these basic concepts while talking about them with each other you can uncover together your personal hopes and dreams for the future. Having this conversation can assist you in planing for the future and growing together as a couple instead of growing apart or not growing at all!
Answering these questions together after first exploring them individually can bring passion and excitement into your relationship that has been lacking or dwindling due to frustration over the security of your future. There is much much more to talking about money with your partner and your family. These few suggestions are a great jumping off point to get the conversation started! I have put together a series of programs to assist you through this difficult process allowing you to come out on the other end thriving as a couple and a family! And to put you on the path to financial security!
You can explore these porgram on my serivces page and in the mean time begin the process of thinking about what money means in your life and open up a dialouge with your partner and share you expeirnece with us here! If your not quite ready to talk to your partner and want to explore yoru toughts nore before you share them with your spouce feel free to begin your exploration right here by sharing with us on this blog. I’m exicted to hear your thought, hopes, and dreams so feel free to share! Looking forward to sharing this journey with you!
enthusiastically Yours, Janine