February always equals “relationships” in my head… even though Valentine’s Day is a manufactured holiday, I can’t help but take stock of what I like or don’t like about how things are going in my relationships. And when you add money issues into the mix, things can get spicy, because no two people EVER do money exactly the same.
The Creative Money planners and I were chatting about this recently, and I asked them, what do you think is the best thing couples can do for their shared relationship with money?
Here’s what they said:
“A great way for couples to build a healthy financial relationship is by acknowledging their unique money quirks and embracing both partners’ perspectives. A small, but surprisingly effective, idea is to build a “fun money” allowance for each of you into the budget, stashed in individual accounts. This way, it doesn’t feel like our partner is judging our spending (like the targeted ad purchases I can’t resist!). Open communication is key and creating a space for guilt-free spending leads to more relaxed money discussions, letting you focus on common goals instead of sweating the small stuff.”
“Be open and honest. Money is a stressful topic but avoiding the conversation might eventually lead to bigger issues. You don’t necessarily need to share accounts, but I do suggest adding each other as authorized users on credit cards. You earn more rewards that way and it helps develop a healthy relationship with your spending.”
“TALK!! Seriously, communication is the key to everything in any relationship. Well, communication and compromise. 😛 Talk through various scenarios – pie-in-the-sky dreams, stuff you’d eventually love to buy for your hobby, vacation ideas, your goal-setting approach, what matters most when it comes to your money, and everything in between.”
“I’d say shared knowledge is key; understanding how each of you views money, wealth, and financial success. What does financial security mean for you individually and as a couple, and what keeps you awake at night while your partner’s blissfully sound asleep!”
“Be open and honest about values and desires. It’s quite common for individuals in a relationship to have different perspectives on where money should be going…one person might love shoes and another experiences. It can be frustrating for the non-shoe lover to see so much of the hard-earned money being spent on something they don’t see any value in. Creating a budget for each person to work within while keeping the common goals on track can be a great solution.”
There you have it. Is gaining financial clarity as a couple a priority this year? Then I recommend you chat with us sooner than later… you can find out more about that here.