Love & Money: Achieving Financial Intimacy

It has often been reported that financial discord is one of the top reasons for divorce. One way to potentially avoid snags in communication when it comes to finances is to sit down and have an honest conversation with your mate about money. Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate, a book by financial coach Jacquette Timmons, aims to help couples communicate more effectively about their finances. It is a guide to money and relationships. According to Timmons, financial intimacy involves managing money’s emotional impact on your romantic relationship. She goes on to say that not possessing this skill can cause  relationships to become damaged because of financial stress. In addition, Timmons says financial intimacy is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that must be nurtured on a daily basis.

This book shows readers how to handle emotional and financial pitfalls when love and money mingle as well as how to have a productive discussion about money. Timmons discusses the impact money has on relationships and how to deal with the challenges that often arise. Although the primary focus is on women who are in relationships, this book also contains advice for single, married, divorced, and widowed women.

Timmons shares seven tips on effectively managing money and relationships:

  1. Understand the difference between transactional conversations about money (i.e. how much you spend, how much you owe) and proactive engagement (i.e. why you spend money on certain things, how your childhood shaped your views on money).
  2. Nurture financial intimacy on a regular basis.
  3. Disagreements that you might have about money often have little to do with money directly.
  4. Give yourself permission to question what you know to be true as well as what you presume to be true about  your mate.
  5. Be willing to let go of some of your long-held beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors concerning money.
  6. Establish a set time for checking in with each other so that unpleasant financial surprises are kept at a minimum.
  7. When having discussions about money, think logically but also show grace and compassion toward your mate.

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Sheiresa Ngo is the consumer affairs editor at Black Enterprise.