Love And Money: Financial Planning Considerations For Couples
By Preston Rosamond
When it comes to discussing money with your significant other, do you typically enjoy talking through your financial situation or is it a topic you tend to avoid at all costs? If you find yourself in that second group, you may find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. In fact, a couples and money survey revealed that 26% of Americans turn a blind eye to the issue of finances in their relationship even though they understand the importance of discussing it. This topic can often be loaded with tension, therefore, it’s not surprising that money is the primary reason for arguments between couples; many couples average three fights revolving around financial issues per month. And the sad truth is that these disagreements about finances are the most common predictors of a future divorce.
With both money and companionship being necessities in life, why is it so difficult for love and money to peacefully coexist? For one, finances tend to stir up plenty of emotions, including stress, which can pollute the flow of everyday life. This causes many couples to dodge the money conversations in order to simply keep the peace. In addition, most of us also have a unique financial personality, which essentially means everyone has their own opinion on what financial well-being looks like based on their own life experiences. For example, some of us are savers, some are spenders. Some of us may be conservative, while others are free spirits. And while opposites have great potential to level each other out, these differences can often cause friction and discord, which then affects all other aspects of the relationship.
While the possibility of money and love co-existing harmoniously looks dismal, there is good news! No matter what the statistics tell us, money doesn’t have to be a stress point in a relationship. Here are a few simple strategies that may help couples avoid financial friction.
You want the truth? Honesty regarding money isn’t a guarantee in a relationship. In fact, 31% of married adults admit to potentially deceitful financial behavior. Obviously, it’s vital that both partners offer full disclosure on all financial topics regardless of whether you’re married or you live together, whether you have joint accounts or separate bank accounts. You and your spouse should be aware of how you spend your money, especially when it comes to significant expenses, loans, or ongoing fees. Studies show that around 49% of financial arguments are about unexpected expenses. By maintaining an open line of communication regarding spending habits and upcoming bills, you may be able to avoid this huge cause of confrontation.
Set Healthy Boundaries
It’s important for couples to be on the same page regarding their finances. Sit down together and discuss how much can be spent per month on non-essentials. Establish and agree upon a few basic guidelines and create a structure for how you will spend and save money. If one of you is more disciplined than the other, you might consider having the more disciplined spouse manage the monthly budget and spending.
Most often, one spouse acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the household, managing all bills, budgets, savings, investments, and insurance policies. However, it can be helpful for both partners to understand their spending versus their saving. Make it a priority to sit down together at least once a month and review credit card statements, account transactions, and other bills. This gives you the opportunity to get on the same page and avoid undesirable surprises, as well as check for any possible errors as a team. This ongoing input from both partners will also strengthen your relationship overall and create a true partnership.
Set aside a portion of pocket money that you and your spouse can each spend every month on something you love, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf, or a steak dinner. Along with saving for long-term goals, set small objectives you can reasonably accomplish each month and celebrate your success.
Find An Unbiased Financial Partner
When life presents tough issues to navigate, it is often helpful and wise to seek the assistance of an objective third party. This is especially true for your finances. Sometimes the best way to ease money tensions is to work with an unbiased professional, whether that’s a financial professional, a marriage counselor, or both. A financial professional can work with you and your spouse to review your financial landscape, identify any gaps in your insurance coverage, assist you in establishing short-term and long-term goals, help you stay on track, and provide expert knowledge and advice.
Surely, the topic of finance will occasionally cause tension. However, money doesn’t have to be a constant source of concern in a relationship. Invest the time to address spending habits and savings goals, uphold transparency regarding purchases, and communicate effectively. It may not be easy at first, but don’t let that fool you. Compared to years of dissension and strife with the one you love most, it is definitely the easiest way to approach money in your relationship.
At The Rosamond Financial Group, we are dedicated to professionally supporting, educating, and providing informed direction to each and every one of our valued clients. We partner with you to see your finances from a holistic point of view, create customized strategies, identify long-term goals and the steps needed to pursue them, and track your progress as you move through life. If you have questions about your financial situation, desire advice or education on investing, or have yet to get started strategically planning for life’s many milestones, we are honored and eager to meet your needs. Call my office at 830-798-9400 or email email@example.com to schedule a complimentary consultation and start the journey toward financial harmony.
Preston Rosamond is a financial advisor and the founder of The Rosamond Financial Group Wealth Management, LLC with nearly two decades of industry experience. He provides comprehensive wealth management and financial services to individuals, professionals, and families who enjoy simplicity and seek a professional to help them pursue their goals. Preston personally serves his clients with an individual touch and a sincere heart, and his servant’s attitude is evident from the moment you meet him. Learn more about Preston or start the conversation about your finances with him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call with our online calendar.