Desperately Seeking Financial Satisfaction
Mixing love and money doesn’t have to put your love life on the rocks. Get straight up with these three tips for a satisfying financial relationship with your money and your partner.
For Love & Money
Managing money is challenging enough when it’s all about you. What happens when it’s about him, too?Click To Tweet Then add disparate incomes, taxes and Social Security. Lastly, what if you two aren’t equally diligent and responsible with your money?
These don’t have to create a perfect storm, but they can throw your relationship boat into rocky seas if you don’t tack appropriately.
When I work with couples around money, holding a context (or attitude) of partnership and love is crucial for a satisfying financial relationship with your partner and your money. Most people default to fear and avoidance. But, as you know first hand, this rarely works.
Start with the facts – the black and white of the situation. This can be challenging to get to, as your perception of money may be clouded by an old money “story” you created when you were a child. In my upcoming free online workshop, I’ll get specific so you can rewrite your money story and learn my three-minute ‘trick’ to break free from the pattern that has kept you stuck.
The 1, 2, 3s of a Satisfying Financial Relationship
First, how should you handle money when one person makes more? It depends.
There are two factors to consider:
1) Income – How much each of you earns is a factor, but it’s not the only factor. Often when couples with unequal incomes divide expenses equally, the partner who makes less goes into debt (tangible) or guilt (from spending without earning). But, if the partner who makes less pays too little or nothing in the relationship, they may lose the incentive to make more.
2) Debt and Expenses – If one partner brings into the relationship significant obligations (like student loan or credit card debt) or other regular expenses, that creates a higher monthly burden for that partner. So, that partner may not be able to make as much of a monthly contribution, as certain monies are already accounted for. Instead of ignoring or resenting those needs, adjust the expectations, or that partner can end up in further debt and experience shame or financial infidelity from hiding the debt.
Second, how do you physically manage the money? Now we move onto the actual banking structure.
No one talks about this, but it is essential to work out an effective system, or you’ll have one more reason to avoid the topic. I’ll help you stop the stress, overwhelm & confusion around money in my new free online video workshop starting next week.
If both of you are earning money and committed to the long-term nature of your relationship, then I encourage both partners to contribute to a household account. Your contributions will be apportioned based on your income, personal expenses, and the combined monthly spending and saving needs.
Lastly, be careful when you attempt to “split” expenses by each paying for certain expenses. Without calculating how much each is spending, this rarely works. For instance, if one pays the mortgage/rent and the other partner pays the other bills, that may feel like an unsatisfying financial relationship if the other bills are significantly more than the mortgage or the partner’s income is substantially unequal. This troublesome situation is exacerbated when the partner’s paying the “other bills” earns less or runs a business but is not quite adequately tracking business versus personal expenses. (Spoiler: This usually ends poorly for your money and relationship!)
I’ve helped many clients extricate themselves from these complicated situations by tracking their combined expenses, with a his/hers or his/his spreadsheet for income and expenses. Once they can see the total, we can reapportion the payments and create a household account to pay the expenses together appropriately.
Going forward, regular money dates can keep everyone on the same page and create a natural forum to nurture a satisfying financial relationship consistently. Everyone wins!
Remember these three key points:
- Even – and especially – in a relationship, you need first to be sure you are taking care of your finances, know your numbers, and be in a good open space to talk about it.
- When you’re handling money in a relationship, hold a context of partnership and be sure to consider income, debt and expenses when setting up a money management system that works. Become a united team in this critical area of money through regular open and honest lines of communication throughout.
- Appreciate that how much someone earns does not dictate or validate their worth in general or regarding their contribution to the satisfying personal relationship.
No matter what course you’ve been on in the past, it’s not too late to build your skills around money and shift to your true money destiny – the one where you have the freedom, confidence, and savings you desire.
The payoff for all this effort: More peace. More fun. More Sex. The new triple bottom line.
As a Debt Free Guys reader, you can reserve your seat now for Belinda’s upcoming free online “Shift Your Money Destiny” workshop, where you’ll learn her 4-step system that’s created a collective $4 million in earnings and savings for her clients!
Belinda Rosenblum is a CPA and Wealth Expert who helps you take the worry and fear out of money. She believes life is supposed to be fun, and money is supposed to fund it for you! Belinda left her thriving corporate finance role to found OwnYourMoney.com and lead a movement to change our entire perspective on money – so we release the overwhelm and shame, take control, and learn the needed skills to be confident with money.
Belinda is the creator of the Money Makers Academy and the coauthor of SELF-WORTH TO NET WORTH: 12 Keys to Creating Wealth Inside and Out, offering a step-by-step approach to help you build your financial self-esteem and manage your own financial life. If she’s not talking about financial freedom, Belinda is likely enjoying the sunshine and chasing after her marathon-running husband and two spirited toddlers.