Building Strong Financial Relationships

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Have you and your significant other thought about having a conversation about your past and current relationship with money and personal finances before saying your “I do’s” or taking that step of moving in with each other? Reviewing the pros and cons of your money personality with each other may help you beat the odds of ending your relationship because of financial challenges and stress. Knowing each other’s money personalities now can help you when life events come up and cause financial stress.

Pros and Cons of sharing your Money Personality before you share a place or life together.

PRO – This allows each of you to have a better understanding of how you think about and view money and your personal relationship with it.
CON – You may have had a problem with handling money, personal loans or credit cards in the past, and this reflects on your credit report. You may not have had the opportunity to learn about money, and this may leave you feeling disconnected with the topic.

CONVERSATION: Talking about your Money Personality openly can help you understand if you are leading towards some of the same financial goals. This may also allow you to get to know who the saver is and who the spender is. Having a spender and a saver in a relationship can lead to both of you learning more about the importance of each of these personalities.

Pros and Cons of sharing savings goals

PRO – This conversation will not only open the door to reaching your goals, but talking about where you are in reaching these goals will help you to learn how far along and how serious your significant other is in reaching them and also learn the steps taken to start these goals.
CON – You may not feel equal to your partner if one of you hasn’t started a savings plan or doesn’t feel you have been able to start one.

CONVERSATION: Talking through how you feel about a savings plan may open a lot of conversations concerning money and how each of you handles it. Many people find it hard to start a savings plan, so if one of you has had success in starting one, this could lead to you being able to save more as a couple. I’ve found that having someone being supportive and encouraging keeps me focused on reaching my savings goals. Life events come up and may wipe out a savings account or prevent us from starting one; being able to have a conversation with our significant other about savings may lead to savings plan to meet our goals.

Pros and Cons of sharing expenses and having a Spending Plan that works for both of you

PRO– Engaging in a discussion about a spending plan will allow each of you to see how connected and aware each of you are concerning the expenses of a financially healthy household.
CON – Not having a plan for how your income will support your household and personal expenses may quickly lead to a very stressful relationship with your significant other.

CONVERSATION:  Talking about how your expenses will increase or decrease when getting married or moving in with each other may lead to a spending plan that will allow for a much healthier relationship. Some of us can track almost every penny that comes in and goes out of the household budget while others may live in the moment and believe it will all work out. This can be a great time to review how each of you feels about setting up a spending plan that will cover expenses (both planned and unexpected) and also to review the periodic savings that needed in our spending plan. A healthy spending plan includes periodic savings. Having a plan for those expenses that may occur once or twice a year will go a long way towards preventing unnecessary stress, even in the strongest of relationships.

I have known and counseled many couples regarding earning and spending habits. It’s surprising how often one of the individuals has keep financial secrets from the other! It’s shocking to think that committed couples in particular wouldn’t be able to share and work together towards their common goal of financial security, but I’m here to tell you it may be more common than you may think. Talking about each other’s Money Personalities and reviewing the pros and cons as laid out above can help you be better prepared during common life events such as unemployment, increased debt, medical emergencies, additions to the family, decreases in salary, or having to help aging parents or other family members.

Having an open conversation about how we view money and our relationship with it can actually help us reach our financial goals more quickly and make us happier in the long run. In my opinion, it’s still okay to believe that “opposites attract,” even when talking about money personalities. Someone who is a careful planner and always focuses on financial security can most certainly have a successful and happy relationship with someone that is a little more carefree with their spending and doesn’t have a financial plan. It’s possible for the two distinct money personalities to have good financial relationship. Learning to save while learning to live a little in the moment may be the key to your financial health and healthier relationship with the person you have chosen to share your life with.

As always, if you would speak with one of our financial counselors about Money Personalities or any of the other topics presented here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at [email protected]. We’d be happy to sit down with you one-on-one or as a couple and help you to build and strengthen your financial relationships.

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