Research shows that 45% of couples fight over their finances. They often disagree about their spending habits. Money means different things to different people. This idea has been termed your “money personality.” The way people handle their finances is often based on their values and beliefs. To discover your Top 5 Values and Priorities go to www.supportivetalk.com (Under Personal Growth)
Everyone is constantly making choices on how to handle their money. Do you buy lunch or do you pack one, invest in a nice house or buy a better car, go shopping for clothes and gadgets or just buy what you need? Give your money to charity, relatives with their hand out or make children a priority? Save for a rainy day or live in the NOW? These answers are your spending choices and part of your “money personality.”
In relationships, opposites attract. Tightwads can marry big spenders. Here are some tips on how to blend your dissimilar money goals and become a united financial team:
- Define your emotions about money. Finances bring out feelings. What do you believe about money? Does it mean security, happiness, necessity, freedom, survival, measure of success, good luck, or conflict? A positive financial team will incorporate and respect both partners’ feelings about money matters. If you have different goals, you may need to figure out Win/Win solutions (article in supportivetalk.com (Under Relationships). For example, maybe half of the tax return can go into savings and the other half can go towards a nice vacation. You can choose to loan money to family or friends but with stipulations.
- Outline your financial goals. To become a financial team, you need to plan out your financial future. Where do you want your money to go? Step 1 is to cover your bills and today’s financial needs, but then prioritize where you will put your disposable income (left over money after your bills.) Do you put it into retirement, a car, home, clothes, vacations, entertainment, children, the bank, gold, or something else?
- Become knowledgeable about financial matters. Together a couple should learn about budgets, interest, bills, mortgages, balancing, cash flow, taxes, checkbooks, stocks, saving plans, debt, IRA, and investments. Not knowing the basics of money management can be detrimental to your family financial plan.
- Set up an action plan. Goals and plans are great, but they don’t do you any good if you don’t put them into action. If there are money matters you don’t understand; take a class, read a book, or have someone teach you. If you want to save more money, have a portion of your check put automatically into a savings account. If you want to own a house, find out what price range you can afford, learn about mortgages (15 years vs. 30-year mortgages, PMI’s, etc.), and become pre-approved to buy. Whatever your plan may be, make sure you are actively working to make your money plans come true.
If you follow these 4 major steps, you will have the monetary tools to achieve your financial goals. If you both talk out your future money decisions, set up a plan and put the plan into action, then you will become a successful financial team! Once in a while, you should have a couple’s meeting and see if you are following your plan. If not, why? Make changes you both agree upon. Every plan needs tweaking once-in-a-while. Using these tips, both love and money can be a mutual foundation to your marriage. Instead of letting money matters rip you apart, you can use this article to empower each partner to work together towards a happy future.