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Let’s talk about money

 

Money

Let’s talk about money, shall we?

 

With tax day just behind us, it only seems appropriate to connect around this topic. Particularly because it is, after all, the No. 1 topic that couples avoid talking about. What did you think it was? If asked the question, most people think that the most avoided topic in marriage is, of course, sex. That’s not the case.

 

Even if you have been married just a year or two, I want you to talk and think about money. And I want you to do so because it’s significant that you both know where you stand on the question of finances. I also want you to be aware that quantity doesn’t matter at all. And, as long as you live, the question of money will be one to come up again and again, sometimes with warning and other times with none.

 

What your rule book says about money

 

People have all kinds of ideas about how money should be handled, whether or not it should be talked about at all. We walk into our relationships expecting for things to just fall into place in some sort of magic way, and when that doesn’t happen, we end up disappointed at best, frustrated at worst.

 

Did you or did you not witness any discussions around money in your family growing up? What was the general result? Was it a conversation you wanted to participate in and (perhaps) learn from or was it instead an endeavor that you wanted to run away from at all cost?

 

Whose role was it to make financial decisions? Were your parents on the same page about things most of the time or never? Do you talk about it? Do you never talk about it? Can only one person bring it up? IS it a taboo?

 

This list is not exhaustive. Please know that. I bring these questions up because it is as a direct result of these (and numerous other questions) around the topic of money that you and I have come to believe what we believe about the value of money & the communications around it. Therefore, I advise you as a couple to sit down, on a regular basis, and talk about this.

 

How much money you have is inconsequential

 

Yes, it’s true- it doesn’t matter whether you have money coming out your ears, or whether you are struggling short- or long-term financially, the amount of money that you have (or don’t have) at your disposal will not predict how successful you will be in terms of dealing with it. Whether you are trying to go at it alone or with a partner or spouse – it’s all the same.

 

So, don’t be fooled to think that because you don’t have a lot of money (or have a ton of it), this point doesn’t concern you. Because it concerns EVERYONE. I am not kidding.

 

Some would say that the happiest people have much less money than the people we would expect to be happiest. So, beware.

 

The question of money in marriage is here to stay

 

When you first met, it was talking about who pays for dinner. Remember those days? Maybe you took a few trips together – did you divide it up equally? Did one of you pay for everything?

 

When you got engaged, it was about who pays for the wedding. Who makes decisions about who pays for the wedding. And let’s not forget the honeymoon.

 

When you had your first child, you had to figure out who stays home and for how long and who stays in the work-force full-time. You had to figure out how childcare would be covered – do you have family in town? Do you want to be creative with your childcare needs? Do you have flexibility at all in any of this?

 

After that, it’s school – do we send the little ones to public school? Private school? What difference does it make? Once you get through that, it’s college. Your kids’ travel. Your own travel. And sprinkle all the little discussions about things like taxes, weekly/monthly spending, preferences, vacations, gifts, clothing, property, investments, toys (big or small) – It literally NEVER ends.

 

You get what I am saying. The topic of money in marriage is not going anywhere. As long as you are in relationship with another person, money will be a part of it in one way or another.

 

The way I look at it, if you haven’t started talking about money, it would be well worth your while. And if the first conversation doesn’t go so well, know that it’s pretty common. Practice makes perfect. And the more you know, the better you can figure this money piece our together – and the better for you both.

 

Because, in the end, don’t you both want to get along better? Be more open about things in life that matter? Be on the same side/team and act accordingly?

 

I knew it.

 

Sometimes, starting the money conversation can be complicated. Maybe it was a taboo in your family. Maybe it was for another reason. If I can help in any way, schedule an initial phone consultation and let’s see if it would make sense to work together. I love seeing couples doing things well together.