The majority of couples don’t agree on every aspect of the family’s finances. We don’t agree on how much to make, spend, and save. My husband and I had some extra savings the past few months. He would like to use part of those savings and add a generator to our house. It is a great idea, we lose power a lot and don’t get our power back for a long time, so I agree with him on the need for it. BUT, I don’t like taking from our investments. I feel like I am clenching the gains with my bare hands so tightly not to let go. I just can’t get over the concept of taking from our investments. SO every time he brings it up, I say sure and change the topic. Not the best way to communicate with my hubby! So guess what we’ve decided to do? Nothing, we don’t agree so we do nothing.
So many times couples can’t agree on their estate plans, so they just put them off. One couple hasn’t updated their wills since their eldest child was born. Problem is they have another child. So I explained the estate will pass only to their eldest child and not to the other one. Their youngest could fight for part of the estate in court, but that only adds more time and a lot more costs that will reduce their estate’s value. They knew this, but couldn’t agree on an estate plan so they’ve put it off for 30 years! And guess what will probably happen to their children, they will fight and their close relationship could be gone forever.
It’s similar to eating habits. My friends always laugh and say when you move in with your boyfriend you gain weight. Women tend to eat less, at least in my house. If your significant other eats terrible, such as fast food for every meal, and a case of beer for lunch and dinner, what would you do? You will either make two different meals, compromising on how healthy or poorly to eat, or eat terrible with him. So if your significant other loves spending money, but you tend to be more frugal, what are your choices? Start spending a lot, compromise, or have two different budgets?
For it to be successful and get to your goals, you need to communicate this. Talk about why you spend the way you do and what your goals and priorities are. Make sure to get his side as well. One person I work with, who is now divorced explained how he used to spend frivolously because that is how his ex-spouse spent their money. And it didn’t work out since they are now divorced and both are not in good financial shape at all. He was beyond stressed with his money when I met him. Terrified about his debt, his mounting bills, and how on earth he’ll afford everything. So just adopting your spouse’s money themes or stories as I call them in my book, isn’t always the best solution. Think about it, when you aren’t being true to yourself, you will most likely start resenting them for it, and will potentially add more stress to your relationship.
What if you depended on your husband to make the financial decisions and then get divorced or lose your spouse? You get into a new relationship, and just let the new man in your life dictate the money issues. Do you actually know if what he is doing really is the best for you and your children? Even if you lean on your spouse for ideas, input, and to take the reins, make sure you are educated on the decisions and impacts of those decisions.
Don’t simply throw your money ideals out the window to go along with your spouse’s way of thinking. You feel a certain way for a reason and need to communicate it effectively with your significant other. Sit down with them every month and be open about your expectations, your goals, and how you plan on getting to them. And please don’t start blaming them for getting you into debt, blaming will only make them shut down. Try these 3 steps when you want to effectively communicate with your spouse and get on the same page with your finances: Guess you’ll know what I’ll be doing later, the same 3 steps with my man…
And as I say in my NEW book, Strong Woman Stronger Assets:
Others get in fights with their spouses over where the money is coming from to pay all the bills, especially the one for the brand new flat screen TV you said wasn’t in the budget. Then they go to bed angry and the date night that used to be fun and sexy turns to arguing about money again. Most likely without the makeup sex, I don’t think money fights usually end with makeup sex. Let me know if I’m wrong, I’d have to rethink my husband’s and my fights. But you see, our unhappiness with our lives touches those around us. If they didn’t, I don’t think my mother would pray every night that I eventually calm down with work. I must be out lashing on her too, sorry mom.
So get back to enjoying your date nights and time you have with each other by getting on the same page with your money! To get on my book launch team and get the first few chapters for FREE and ahead of time, click the button below:
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
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