Relationships are hard work. Don’t get me wrong. They are worth the fight. But they are still work. I have seen many studies on money and it’s potentially negative effect on relationships. I talk to many couples and I have counseled my fair share of people that were having issues centered on money. If you love someone but can’t stop bickering over money, what can you do? I suggest three steps that may not change the way each of you views the finances in your relationship, but could help smooth out the arguments over the green bills.
You can take the Money Mind® test HERE. Why not take a minute for you and that person that you care about take the short quiz? Step one out of the way!
My wife and I have a practice of having what we call “Safe Zone Conversations”. These are times that we plan ahead for that helps us to open up and be ourselves without judgement from the other person. The rules are fairly simple: take turns being honest, share your true thoughts and beliefs, and no judging allowed. We are who we are and cannot help that. This same concept can be used when sharing your thoughts…and mistakes…about money. Don’t hold anything back.
I suggest sitting down and creating a vision for what you want life to look like in the future. This is where a professional financial adviser can help. It can be hard to create your future life while staring at a blank sheet of paper. Start with your career. Think about your family. Discuss retirement dates. Throw in dreams like travel, second homes, and gifting. The sky is the limit as you dream about your future. You may not be able to achieve everything but if you don’t dream it you don’t stand a chance.
Once you have a vision for your future, get help putting some numbers to it. If you both can agree on a vision and be motivated by that future, it may become easier to agree on saving for that future. If you both can agree that it would be good to take some nice trips before retirement, you may be able to agree to spend a little more money today that what you have been used to. Are you following me? Let your vision guide the money decisions. This helps put you each on the same page even though your minds may be totally different.
Relationships are hard. We need every advantage we can get to help make them fulfilling and fun. You can move through these three steps this coming weekend. Why not take action so that money is a good topic in your house?
This blog post originally appeared in The Courier of Montgomery County.
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