The people in your life who have the greatest effect on your emotions and your personal finances could be business partners, spouses, significant others, or family members you have included in a business relationship. I call these people financial partners. What most of us neglect to do is engage our financial partners so that we are on the same page. The most frequent choice people make is to avoid confrontation when dealing with money and relationships. Financial habits cause the same problems over and over again. Ignoring fiscal issues will come back to haunt you. Stop the cycle by initiating conversation.
As you become more aware of your emotions and what triggers your Money Nerve, you will be more understanding of your partner’s Money Nerve. Now with your improved perspective of your “significant other”, your conversation can be more productive. You may still be annoyed and even upset by the reactions of others—and you creating tools to strengthen your relationship. I met with several engaged couples who realized the importance of discussing finances before getting married. One young man was not sure how to address the issue with his fiancé without hurting her feelings. He made a proactive choice saying; “I have arranged a meeting with my accountant so we can discuss how things change when we are married.” Exploring new options ahead of time, allowed the couple to investigate their goals and begin thinking as a team.
Some couples never communicate about their finances. Connie told James she had sent checks for the previous year’s estimated tax payments. Imagine James’s surprise when the government filed a lien against him. It was a shock for James to discover Connie was unable to deal with taxes. Instead of responding with anger, he decided to handle their taxes in the future.
Does this lack of communication affect your finances? Does your spouse spend beyond his or her means? Do you still refuse to confront the issue? Do you have hidden money problems in your relationship? Have you ever hidden a foolish purchase from your partner? Almost every day, I hear about relationships that have problems revolving around money. Bring those issues into the light and find a win-win solution for achieving your shared goals.
Check out this money quiz for you and your partner to take together and build a more cohesive approach:
Here are a few tips to jump-start your shared financial journey:
Setting primary goals
Select the most important common goals
Set a budget for spending and saving
Define small steps to make it easier