Money and Couples – Talk About Your Finances

Money and Couples – Part 1

Most all “know” that the main reason for divorce is because of finances.

Many people have plenty of struggles dealing with their own money, but adding another person into the mix can make it even more challenging.

Over the next few entries, we’ll talk about some money basics that help alleviate some of the stress related to money; being on the same page with your money can help couples be happier in their relationships.

The first step is to open up and be honest with each other. In other words, talk about your finances! Whether you are dating and thinking of a long term relationship or if you’re already married or committed to each other and are reluctant to talk about finances, get talking.

Start out the discussions by choosing a positive event around which to start conversing – a promotion, a great work opportunity, a wedding, or a happy time in your lives.

You’ll need to be super honest and go over what you own and what you owe. For example, if you own a home, that’s a “what you own”. The mortgage on the house is “what you owe”. The difference between the two is your net worth. Retirement accounts, investments, cars, boats, credit card debts, student loans, etc. are all items that you need to reveal to each other. Ideally, you’re working toward that number being a big positive number so you can eventually retire.

It will also advantageous to create a budget so you’ll know where you spend your money on a monthly basis. Having that budget makes it easier to prioritize as a couple, and to save for larger goals such as retirement.

Next,┬ádetermine your and your mate’s financial goals and “must haves”. Pick approximately three common objectives so you can work on them together as a couple. If you have too many financial goals it can become overwhelming and eventually bog you down and keep you from attaining any of the goals.

Talking about your finances may initially be uncomfortable, yet you may discover that it is actually liberating. Developing financial goals as a couple and finding ways to work together to make them a reality can be empowering. So, talk about your finances!