I have been married for over 18 years and have experienced many up and downs. I wish I could say it’s been all roses after we said I do, and we have been winning at life ever since…. but that would be just a bold-faced lie. One of our main issues has been money and as we develop as adults, we are a work in progress…. Even as I write this, I think about our last money fight … yes as a licensed therapist and a relationship coach we are still having conflicts about money.  It is one of the main issues I deal with in my private practice and with coaching clients. Many of them ask me should we have a joint account, should we have one person who controls the money, should we get a financial advisor. My answer is never no to those questions. My answers are always maybe that could possibly help it depends on personal situation.  If you desire a happy financial life you have to have the same money mindset. After your money values are in place, then you and your partner can choose the tools to manage your finances together as one. Once you gain the mindset and tools you may still have money disagreement, but you will know how to solve them.

1.     Decide on the Goals

You are in this relationship, so you are on the same team. Being on the same team means you both want to win, as a team you need to decide how you are going to win and need a game strategy.   When the Dallas Mavericks play basketball ball their goal is to win the game by continuing to make baskets in the correct basketball goal. Can you image if people on the team were not in agreement on what the team goal was … what a disaster that would be for the team. They would never win and there would be conflict on the court. Getting common agreed upon goals are important.  Whether the goal is to buy a house in 5 years, go on a special trip, pay for a family member expenses these things need to be discussed and a strategy needs to but in place in order for goal to be achieved.

2.     Holding Each Other Accountable

This is a couple’s issues at times, but it can also be an individual issue. At times, we have good intentions but do not follow through. We have a built-in accountability partner in our marriage holding each other accountable can be easier that we believe is possible.  Setting up systems such as online savings accounts and automatic deductions from paychecks can be helpful.  Also using budgeting apps in order to keep each other accountable and budget planners is often a game changer.  A good budget Planner is a good way to bring you together as a couple and gives you something common to share and review during your financial discussions. One of my favorite planners to use is https://relationshiprevitalization.com/Erin Condren Budget Book. This allows you to be comfortable with discussing financial issues on a consistent basis.

3.     Allowing Your Partner Independence with Their Finances

Sometimes when we get into a relationship, we feel that everything needs to be done together with everyone’s approval. I hear this commonly that couples need to let each other know when they make huge purchases. I do agree communication is important, but I feel having a system in place is also important. I am a free spirit and I like to do what I want and having to call someone every time I want to spend over 100 dollars is not the life I am hoping for and screams scarcity to me. I think another way to frame it is to have a budget that allows your significant other to spend independently but still work towards your goals. Allowing each other a certain level of financial independence is an important aspect of a healthy financial relationship. If you can budget, you can spend money.

4.     Understanding that hard times will come

Money is a tool that is often misused in our society. It is used to impress, please, and sometimes to control. When money is scarce in a relationship you can see how the team responds under pressure. People often feel that money tears relationships apart but it’s often not the money issues, but the lack of resiliency they have in their committed relationship and their ability to work together when money is not readily available. Understanding that money flows and sometimes the flow is strong and sometimes it is a drip and structuring your life with your partner around that idea helps you endure some difficult financial times.  It is important you and your partner have a liquid account that gives you time to process these hard times. Having an emergency fund that allows for a runaway of 3-6 months gives you and your partner to strategize and not be in a hurry when an emergency comes into play.

 In conclusion, there are different variations of money management that should be unique to your situation. This is a salient topic that should be discussed before entering into a long-term relationship and while in one. Subscribe to our website so you can get information on upcoming courses and free information to have vibrant relationships.