It’s a new year, and now is a great time to get back to basics. This month I am sharing my money bomb story with you.
Talking $$$ with your partner
At some point, as a relationship grows and becomes more serious, questions start to arise about long-term plans and money. However, the topic is about more than dollars and cents. It is a more intimate conversation that reveals beliefs, values and attitudes about spending and saving.
Broke but in love…
For my husband and me, these discussions were skipped early in our relationship. We met when I was 22, engaged a few months later and then married a few months after that with our first baby on the way. Being a student at the time, I believe that this might have been our first money conversation and fight: “What do you mean you threw out the pop and milk containers! That recycling was our pizza money!” We were broke, but young and in love.
The way you manage money with your partner is a mirror of the ways you handle (or don’t) all kinds of issues in your relationship.
It took almost a decade for me to realize how important money is in a relationship. When I was 30 yrs old my career was beginning in finance and my life was becoming the place to practice my passion. I have learned things along the way from books, courses, professional designations, but more importantly from practice.
A few things I picked up:
There is never the
time to talk about money. You just schedule it, make a date and make it happen.
Most of us talk about money when we are deciding to buy something or when the bills come in. It can cause stress and conversation comes about because a feeling of scarcity or a shortfall of money when it is needed. This is often when the “Money Bombs” start to fall and they often go something like this, “You spent how much!! How could you have done that!!?” The “Money Bombs” hurt. By scheduling a regular time to talk, these bombs can be defused.
Make separate lists of the things you want to cover. Think of every money question and concern you can think of.
Share your goals and work to determine what is important to each of you with a vision of where you both want to be in five years.
Ensure there is full disclosure
I remember not telling my husband that I had a Sears credit card bill because I was embarrassed about having an amount owing. To my surprise, I was even more embarrassed when we applied for our first mortgage and the banker inquired and asked my husband about it. He had no idea and it caused more stress than if I had shared my circumstance.
Agree to talk regularly
Do something romantic immediately afterwards
We are not a romantic couple (children keeping us busy may have exhausted the candle lit dinners with smooth jazz playing in the background). But after a money talk, a walk around the park does bring a sense of peace, abundance and gratitude.
Next Lunch & Learn is coming up. Keep an eye out in your inbox for the invite. Our next topic will be RESP’s.