As there has been so much talk of doom and gloom about the economy and everything economy related, crashing oil prices, recession in line with the Great Depression, major layoffs and furloughs, businesses closing down and the rest of it, finances are on our minds more than ever.
This is usually a hot topic for couples regardless of recessions or pandemics. We teach our couples a protocol to get on the same page that eliminates stress and conflict around managing their finances.
Hey, if you have conflicts around money, you are not alone. And, this is regardless of your tax bracket. There is usually a more lax-about-money partner in the relationship that is partnered up with a more conscientious-about-money partner.
This should not come as a surprise as partners are usually pretty opposite in most personal characteristics… This is part of the attraction, the glue, and a source of conflict that at the end of the day serves as growth opportunities for the partners…
Their differences create annoyance and conflict for the partners who need to stretch in order to understand each other, engage with what’s in front of them and to figure out how to mitigate their gap. This promotes growth and evolution for the partners…
Money conflicts can take on many forms where the partners don’t agree how the other operates, and is affected by the other’s approach…
These are some financial areas where partners don’t see-eye-to-eye or that tend to become issues for partners:
- Level of spending
- Obsession with frugality
- Amount contributed to the household
- Managing finances and related tasks
- Carrying debt
- Taking risks
- Being irresponsible with things like gambling or purchasing luxury items
- Subsidizing addictions
- Achieving milestones
- Planning for the future
Having opposite styles, different knowledge base and management skills, and different mindset and relationship with money creates a pervasive undercurrent in the relationship that when not addressed undermines the partnership.
It behooves the partners to get on the same page about different financial topics:
- Address who contributes how much, when and how
- Create a management system
- Assign specific tasks and responsibilities
- Set goals
- Establish a budget
- Address decision making
- Agree on spending
- Set up staying current
- Address specific issues and needs (gambling, debt reduction, saving, etc.)
- Enlist appropriate professionals (to help with prenups, wills, insurances, investing, etc.)
Of course, every couple’s financial situation is different, just as is their story, their background and everything else. The protocol we provide helps partners address financial topics and collaboration despite their situation. We help partner address limiting believes, bad habits and financial relationship skills.
Obviously, we don’t provide financial or legal advice. When we have these conversations, we direct our clients to consult with the appropriate professionals to make sure their numbers and plan make sense for their life. We don’t do numbers, we do feelings, scripts and processes.
Also, when we have these discussions, we encourage the partner that is more-lax-about-finances to empower themselves with more knowledge and support that’s appropriate to their situation. They usually lack information and skills that are holding them back, in addition to the emotional and mental barriers around being responsible for their financial wellbeing… We recommend SavvyLadies for the women in this category.
And, I recently partnered with Down to Earth Finances, to assist women who are stressed about money and are lagging in taking charge of their finances. They are offering a 3-month program for Personal Finance, Legal and Self Care with live webinars every month plus to-do lists, templates, check-ins and community: Woman’s Compass: The Course — very reasonable and launches May 5th!
This is an in-depth and detailed program to help move you from “mole-whacking” to mindfully managing your finances, legal needs and overall wellness including nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. Over three months, you’ll create your plan and build the knowledge and confidence to tackle it intentionally, with direction, understanding and support … While listening to your own personal inner compass!
Finances don’t have to be a source of stress in your relationship. The key is to not to randomly address your finances, but to get on the same page about it with your partner and to have a plan.
Remember, that even though a conversation is about money and finances, relationship skills and you showing up with your best self are still needed for that conversation to go well…
ASSIGNMENT: Assess your current financial situation to identify your messes and your successes, and how you are currently collaborating with your partner:
- Celebrate your successes and give yourself a pat on the back!
- What are the items you need to address? Increasing revenue/income, reducing spending/debt, getting organized, having a system, setting goals, planning for the future, synchronizing and collaborating with your partner, consulting professionals for assistance
- Decide which item to tackle first, add it to your to-do/calendar, and commit to taking care of it!
- Invite your partner into a conversation to improve your financial situation
As things are a little nutty in the world right now, it’s important that we get our bearings and take care of our business. Step up your game today!
Here are recent Blog posts for quick reference, for you to grab what fits your current state and situation…
Complete the Assignment, and share your takeaway, insights, and results with a note in the Comments box at the end! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.
Copyright (c) 2020 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.