Love, as they say, makes the world go around. To go places, do things, this love does need money!
Speak kindly to each other, talk gently and considerately about money and you will be a formidable team in making your life dreams go places!
I have compiled a list of five tips that I have learnt while doing Life Planning.
1. It’s never too late or too early to have courageous money conversations
We so often avoid just talking about money in our relationships.
These conversations are difficult, emotionally charged and often come from a place of extreme discomfort and fear.
This is because we all have a different relationship with money. Each of one us has our very own money story that was formed in our childhood, and often, we still carry the same emotions and beliefs about money in our hearts through to adulthood.
I have learnt to talk about money when the relationship is going well. Don’t confuse relationship troubles with money troubles. Have regular conversations and integrate these conversations into your married life.
The resentment and conflict are often precisely because we don’t have these conversations. Keeping your emotions and feelings in check because you are too afraid to speak about money is not healthy.
2. Share your money beliefs
Everyone has a different relationship with money, and even if you believe that you and partner have most things in common, it is unlikely that you have the same money story.
Our relationship with money starts when we are young and the money messages we hear from our parents shape our money story. By the time you reach adulthood, your money story is so ingrained in your belief system that it functions on autopilot.
Partnering with someone who has a very different money story to you can make things even more complex.
Consider asking your partner these questions:
- What is your first memory around money?
- What formed your relationship with money?
- What is your fear or money trigger?
The answers to these questions will help you understand how the money memories from childhood impacts on your partner’s belief around money today.
If you take the time to understand how each other’s relationship with money was formed, you will have a much clearer picture of how this impacts their behaviour and choices around money today. And importantly, you will understand what their money fears and triggers are.
3. Plan your goals and dreams
This is where you get to have some fun together.
Work on a list of goals and dreams together and have fun doing it. Just by having the opportunity to talk about your life goals makes it feel attainable. And listen to your partner’s goals and dreams.
Perhaps you will find some common goals, and perhaps you will find yourselves more easily accepting of each other’s dreams, even if they are different to yours.
If you both know what you as a couple want to spend money on, or how important saving is, or how much time you want to allocate to enjoyment and having fun, or even what your Bucket Wheel items are – and if you both buy into the plan, then you can start working towards common goals.
4. Money is a combined responsibility
Responsibility can be a burden, especially if you take it on alone. It’s the same with money. It’s unfair to make one partner responsible for the financial well-being of the entire family.
Work together, work towards the same goals and dreams.
Your Financial Plan must enable the life you envisage together. And if you are not comfortable with financial management, learn and empower yourself.
Support your partner by engaging and participating in the financial responsibilities.
5. Don’t manipulate and control with money.
Remember, money has no power other than the power we give it.
Using money for this purpose, either by withholding it, as a means to punish, to show love or as something to be respected for, is the wrong place to put money in your relationship.
Money is just money – it has one purpose only, to enable the life you and your family dream of having.