I have found over the many years talking with men, that money…how it is understood, treated, viewed, and spent…is often a main source of stress in their relationships, and most often the least talked about between partners.
Yes, I said talked about…which means discussed in order to gain each other’s perspectives, understanding, beliefs, and fears around money. Now, it may be fair to say that money is one of the most argued about topics in a relationship, so instead of arguing about it, how about creating a framework that allows alignment?
- Schedule regular discussions: You have to talk about it.
Establish a routine, such as monthly or quarterly, to discuss financial matters. Regular conversations allow both partners to stay informed and involved, fostering trust and minimizing the likelihood of financial surprises.
- Share financial goals and priorities: Begin by listing your individual financial goals and then compare them to find common ground.
You want the Vette and your partner wants a remodel. Say it out loud, and then categorize your goals into short-term (1-2 years), medium-term (3-5 years), and long-term (5+ years).
Prioritize them together, and work together to achieve them.
- Understand each other’s money beliefs and habits: Explore your partner’s financial history, values, habits, and fears. It can be eye opening and a great opportunity to bond!
Talk about your financial role models, successes, and challenges. This understanding can help you empathize with your partner and make more informed decisions as a couple.
- Develop a budget together: Uugh! Not the B word.
A joint budget can provide a clear picture of your combined financial situation. Include all sources of income, fixed and variable expenses, savings, and debt repayment plans.
Knowing where you are doesn’t have to be scary…it is in fact empowering!
Take control of your future by regularly reviewing and adjusting the budget to stay on track and adapt to life changes.
- Create joint and individual accounts: You both are responsible for your spending behaviors.
Combining finances with a joint account can simplify managing shared expenses like housing, utilities, and groceries.
Individual accounts allow each partner to maintain some financial autonomy for personal spending or discretionary expenses.
Develop some discipline man!
- Set clear roles and responsibilities: Assigning specific financial tasks to each partner ensures that both are actively engaged and knowledgeable about the household finances.
Regularly review these roles and adjust them as needed to balance the workload and maintain shared ownership.
- Build an emergency fund: An emergency fund is a crucial part of financial planning. Aim to save 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in a separate, easily accessible account.
This fund can provide a sense of security and help you both manage unexpected financial challenges.
- Communicate openly and honestly: Transparency is key to building trust and maintaining a healthy financial relationship.
Share information about your debts, assets, and spending habits. Encourage open dialogue to address concerns or fears about money and find solutions together.
- Seek professional advice: If you encounter complex financial situations or struggle with communication about money, consider consulting a financial advisor, coach, or therapist.
These professionals can provide guidance, mediation, and tools to improve your financial decision-making and communication skills.
- Be patient and flexible: Aligning views on money is an ongoing process that may require time, patience, and compromise. Neither one of you developed your attitude and habits with money over night. Changing them takes time and practice.
Be open to revisiting and adjusting your approach as you learn more about each other’s financial habits and priorities. A strong financial partnership is built on a foundation of understanding, communication, and adaptability.
Author: Todd Gorishek
Todd is a certified Men’s Life Coach, an entrepreneur, a licensed healthcare professional, a husband, a father, and a world traveler. His mission is to co-create a strong and compassionate world by facilitating transformation through understanding, trust, and empowerment.
He received his professional Life Coaching education from Newfield Network, a certified Life Coach training school, and is a member of the International Coach Federation.