Money fights with your significant other are no fun, and sometimes words that are exchanged can be damaging to a relationship. When we commit ourselves to our partner for life sometimes we don’t think about the impact money will have on our relationship. We may have never thought about difficulties that may arise when we handle finances differently. We must accept that as individuals we may see and feel differently about money, but as a couple, we should commit to having money goals together.
DISCUSS THE PAST AND COMMIT TO A BUDGET
Whether one of you is a stay at home parent or you both make money of your own, it is essential to bring your spending and income together in one place. That place is your personal income statement. It can be beneficial to have one joint account to pay for essentials or “must have expenses,” and then separate accounts for spending, or even better is to use cash for spending. Avoid using credit cards because that is usually where hidden surprises lurk and can cause a monster of an argument. Here is a spreadsheet you can use for your income statement and budget: personal finance spreadsheet. Update it each month or at least quarterly so you know if you are spending what you expected and if you need to adjust for something coming up.
It is essential you both discuss your past money experiences and even your parent’s experiences. Keep no secrets and talk about what you learned growing up and any mistakes you’ve made in the past. Owning your mistakes can be cleansing, but also your partner can have more compassion for your choices going forward. Use the personal income statement, so you BOTH commit to a budget. Make a fun penalty for when someone strays from the promised spending amounts; like a back rub or something 😉.
What if you just can’t agree on a budget? Maybe it is time to see a financial coach or professional therapist. There may be some other reason why one of you can’t compromise on an item. Maybe one of you has pent up feelings or trust issues that need to be uncovered and released to move forward.
CREATE A BALANCE SHEET (IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE!!!)
Creating a combined balance sheet is also essential so you can have goals that will increase your assets and any goals for paying off debt. This sheet is included in the same spreadsheet as the income statement, and you will have the opportunity to celebrate together when your financial goals are accomplished.
It is really important that one person avoids taking all the responsibility for the finances. One of you may be more organized than the other, one of you may love spreadsheets while the other hates them, but you have to talk and know what is happening with your money. Both of you do! It is BOTH of your responsibility. Keeping up with a budget and staying organized makes money far less overwhelming, and no one feels kept in the dark.
HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN
An emergency savings account is also going to save you lots of stress and arguing. When the money is available to pay for that car accident or an emergency visit to the hospital it is far easier to forgive mistakes each other may make. Compassion is more easily given when you can remain calm, and there is no need to problem solve a lack of available money.
MAKE IT A DATE!
Dedicate at least one night per month reviewing your money situation and talk about the upcoming month or any big purchases that will be expected in the future. Make it a date, make sure the kids are in bed or out of the house, and focus on each other. Looking at spreadsheets isn’t romantic but talking to each other is and concentrating on each other’s ideas can be! If you have a family, making a dedicated time to talk about money helps each parent be informed of family activities. No one feels alone in the struggle to keep up. That is so very important when you are a couple. You will also be teaching your children how to work together to manage the family money supply. They will follow your lead in their own relationships.
To keep your relationship healthy and avoid senseless money arguments you must talk and have a plan. You can’t prevent all arguments but committing to a night per month and going over your written budget will keep you working together as a team. Isn’t that what you promised each other to be?
The blog post or newsletter makes general observations about markets, business, or financial trends and may provide advice about specific companies and specific investments. It does not give personal investment advice tailored to the needs, objectives, and circumstances of individual readers. Whether investment ideas and recommendations are suitable for individual readers depends substantially on the personal and financial situation of that reader, which KIT Today, as the publisher of the blog, makes no effort to investigate. KIT Today attempts to provide accurate content in its blog and newsletters to the extent such content is factual rather than analysis and opinion, but KIT Today relies primarily on information compiled or reported by third parties and does not generally attempt to independently verify or investigate such information. Moreover, some content and some of the assumptions, formulas, algorithms and other data that affect the content may be inaccurate, outdated, or otherwise flawed. KIT Today does not guarantee or take responsibility for the accuracy of such information. Please note that investing in stocks, other securities, and commodities is inherently risky, and you should rely on your personal financial and tax advisors. You should conduct your own due diligence in connection with any investment decision. Disclaimer of Liability: KIT Today disclaims any liability for investment decisions based upon recommendations, information, or opinions in its blog or newsletters. KIT Today is not soliciting you to execute any trade. Nothing contained in KIT Today’s newsletters is intended to be, nor shall it be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities or to give individual investment advice. The information in the blog and newsletter is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation, or which would subject KIT Today to any registration requirement within such jurisdiction or country. COPYRIGHT NOTICE: PRINT ONCE —- DO NOT FORWARD—-DO NOT COPY Current and past market commentaries are protected by U.S. and International copyright laws. All rights reserved. You must not copy, frame, modify, transmit, further distribute, or use the market commentaries, without the prior written consent. Any download from a secure website or email is meant for only the intended recipient of the transmission and may be a communication privileged by law. If you received this information in error, any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this email is similarly prohibited. Please notify us immediately of the error by return email email@example.com. Although email and any attachments are believed to be free of any virus or other defect that might affect any computer system into which it is received and opened it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that it is virus free and no responsibility is accepted by KIT Today for any loss or damage arising in any way from its use.