I sat down with Cassandra “Coach Cass” Henriquez, relationship coach and founder of Inspire Many, about ways to effectively talk to your mate about money. Here’s what she said:
1. Timing Is Everything
Before initiating a conversation about money, let’s take a few things off the table, which will just make the conversation much more smoothly. Your mate cannot be hungry, tired, or sex deprived during this important conversation.(Yes—get it in!)
Think about it; if you want to have a high-functioning conversation that is going to require compromise, thinking on your feet, and getting those financial goals out of your head and into your wallet, you need to be at your absolute best. So, carve out some “we” time, after everyone has had their basic needs satisfied.
2. Define Your Money Morals
It is highly likely that you and your partner have different money habits. In a relationship, one person may really value travel, while the other really enjoys the security of seeing money in the bank. Having open conversations about each person’s values and making compromises is important. Once you and your partner understand how you relate to money, the two of you can begin working out a money marriage that reflects the union, as opposed to just yourself.
Keep a record of you “money morals” and leave some space for you and your partner’s morals to evolve. As you began to focus on blending your budget, you will find that two of you are gleaning from each other.
Once the blind spots and weaknesses have been exposed, you both can leverage your flaws to really build your finances. For instance, one of you loves to shop and, prior to this conversation, would shop online and hide the bags and the receipts. Now, that your little secret has been exposed you can really deal with your habits. Your partner can really assist you in seeing how your shopping is hindering you from getting to your next goal. In this conversation, the other party may have to deal with how long it takes to do repairs on the car or on the home, and those delays may cause long-term budget conflicts.
Now that the two of you are family and sharing finances, these types of conversations must happen. As the union evolves, you will continue to learn what your mate really believe about money, abundance, lack, sharing, giving, and withholding. The goal is to take the best parts of yourself, in terms of your spending habits, to build a budget that you both will be comfortable with and proud of.
3. Clarify Your Financial Frustrations
Oftentimes, we hold on to our financial frustrations, rather than just letting them out in a way that can be confronted. Having financial agreements with people outside of the relationship can cause financial frustration for couples. Partners loaning money to relatives without their mate’s approval or buying expensive toys—new gadgets, clothes, and so on—without a prior conversation about the purchase can serve as an agitation to the problem. In those scenarios, the frustration of the money being spent and the inner turmoil that lingers can spill into other parts of the relationship. Coach Cass suggests addressing the problem head on and being totally transparent about the issue can lead to happier times.
4. Less ‘Me’ and More ‘We’ Talk
If we spend more time talking about “we” goals as opposed to “ me” goals, couples can get to their money Mecca a lot sooner. Set up a plan with your partner that gets you both excited for a happy financial future. This can be anything from saving up for a dream vacation, to setting yourselves up for a happy retirement. Remember, the goals you set not only help make your dreams a reality, but it gives you both something to look forward to. When you work together as a team, there really is no limit to what you can accomplish together.
5. Find Some Financial Faith
Getting on one page about finances can be quite the challenge, but you can lessen the togetherness process by simply relying on a source greater than yourself. Having a family that is in insurmountable debt, filing for bankruptcy, and student loans are all problems that will require you to increase your financial faith. To accomplish this goal, identify things that are already going well for your family financially, then spend some time implementing more of that. Remember that tough times can only last so long, and putting your faith in something greater than yourself can make those tough times easier.
Talking money can be difficult for many couples, but hopefully, these five simple tips will help you and your mate achieve your personal and financial goals. Team work makes the dream work!
Shani Curry St.Vil is the host of Purse Empowerment TV, and the author of 10 Things Every Woman Should Keep In Her Purse. A wife and mother of two enjoys sharing her financial failures and feats in a funny, relatable, money motivating manner. To learn more about how Shani can put more power in your purse by boosting your credit score, becoming a homeowner, and investing in real estate to create wealth, visit her website www.purseempowerment.com.