Start with a no-judgment mindset. Remember that you love your partner. Understand that you each grew up learning very different things about money. The feelings and behaviors we’ve learned become very deep-seated within us. A lot of our money beliefs are subconscious too, so you will have to have patience with each other as you […]
Start with a no-judgment mindset. Remember that you love your partner. Understand that you each grew up learning very different things about money. The feelings and behaviors we’ve learned become very deep-seated within us. A lot of our money beliefs are subconscious too, so you will have to have patience with each other as you begin the journey to getting on the same page with your finances.
Review this together now or schedule a “money date night” with your partner to go through the steps.
Step 1: Discuss why it is important for you to get on the same page with your finances. Use this as a chance to get in touch with your feelings.
Step 2: Share your financial goals. Pay down debt, save a certain amount, spend more in specific areas, etc.
-Each of you can share your individual goals and list them in order of priority. These should be written down. If you have drastic differences in what you feel is most important, then discuss your reasoning further. This can perhaps be done over a few days. You can each share your reasons, listening to each other, give it a day and reflect on what your partner said. Remember that there is no right or wrong and you can work together to find a compromise or work on both top goals.
This exercise is to get you thinking about what’s important to each of you financially.
Step 3. Next, think about the ways your feel financially frustrated and share this with each other.
-Remember to come from a place of love. This isn’t a time to get defensive or criticize the other, but to truly try and understand where the other is coming from. This is deep stuff and it’s hard to talk openly about finances, so be gentle with each other.
-IE one person may say- It is upsetting when you judge/nitpick my spending. I work hard and want the freedom to spend freely.
If this is your partner’s feeling, then try to understand where they are coming from (no one likes to be micro-managed) and share ways that this would be easier for you. IE- I am sorry I have made you feel that way. It would be easier for me to stop doing this if I knew we had set priorities/goals that we are committed to taking care of first before either of us “spends freely”.
Also, when sharing your frustration think of ways that you can help with a solution too. If for example you are frustrated that a large portion of your budget is going towards food, then work with your partner on ways this can change. IE you both agree to eat out for lunch or dinner a set number of days and create a meal plan for the week incorporating large meals that can be eaten over a couple of days and don’t forget to eat your leftovers!
While expressing frustrations
Revisit goals and make sure each of you is represented in the goals. If one person wants the freedom to spend freely as the main goal, then create “pre-goals” to help you both feel comfortable with that. Be creative.
Let’s say you have years before you’re out of debt, if you create a debt paydown schedule where you put more towards debt than the minimums, maybe every 3-4 months you take a month off from paying extra and split the money to spend how you wish. It will obviously take you longer to get out of the debt, but it could be a compromise if one or both of you feels deprived
Step 4. Create an action plan to work on your goals. Create a timeline for when you would like to have each goal accomplished.
Step 5. Create a schedule for when you will check in on your goals. I would suggest you do this at least once a month. The end of the month is a great time to see how you did last month and even go through the steps again of talking through your goals, frustrations, and make changes to the plan if it was too rigid or didn’t work well for whatever reason. If it didn’t work because it was simply forgotten about, then remember why you want to do this again and talk through ways you can help each other stick to plans.
This will all take some time to get used to so remember that and keep revisiting these ideas to get comfortable opening up and working through your finances together.