Do you and your partner talk openly and honestly about money? Money can cause a lot of late-night arguments, stress, and heartache in a relationship. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. If you and your partner are willing to get “financially naked” and have an intimate conversation about finances, you could open the door to all kinds of possibilities.
FINANCIALLY INTIMATE TOGETHER (FIT)
What comes to mind when you think about money?
- Money is taboo, OR money is empowering.
- It’s impolite to talk about money, OR money should be discussed openly and honestly.
- Money is evil, OR money is good.
- Money doesn’t come easy, OR money comes easily.
- I will always live paycheck-to-paycheck, OR with a plan and goals, my money will work for me.
- If I could just make more money, I could get out of debt, OR it’s not about how much money I have but rather how I manage the money I have.
Money is neither good nor bad; it’s neutral. It’s all in the way you think and feels about it. It’s different for everyone, depending on how we were raised and what our exposure to money was like growing up.
Don’t be the norm, be the exception!
If you and your partner have different thoughts and feelings about money, that’s normal. It’s also the norm for couples to ignore the “money talk.” Joint or separate bank accounts is one thing, but if you want your money to work for both you and your family, a joint household budget is a MUST!
For more on joint or separate bank accounts, check out my blog, “Should Married Couples Have Separate or Joint Accounts?”
No matter where you are right now in your relationship, engaged, newlyweds, or a “seasoned” married couple, start getting Financially Intimate Together. Financial intimacy is getting totally naked with your finances and being completely transparent about your entire financial picture (good and bad).
It’s creating a safe space where you really listen to each other with no judgment, sharing your thoughts and feelings about money, and where you both feel heard. It’s having an open, honest conversation about your money values and beliefs and how your financial habits align with them.
Your financial values are how you feel about money. You can read more about Financial Values in my blog, “How to Know If Your Partner’s Financial Values Match With Yours.”
Working together as partners instead of on your own or against each other when it comes to household finances builds a strong, lasting relationship. It opens the door to better communication and collaboration as a couple.
Building Blocks to Financial Intimacy
Trust, Respect, and Accountability
Build trust by being honest with yourself and each other about your financial habits. Use your strengths to help one another become stronger in areas of weakness.
Everyone thinks and reacts to money differently. We all have the same basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. However, our wants can be quite different. Speak openly about your wants and listen respectfully to your partner’s wants and feelings about money.
Find some neutral ground you both can agree on, then be intentional about following it. Take full responsibility for your actions, and don’t make excuses!
Whether you have joint or separate accounts, it’s still important to be transparent with your money and work off one budget for the household.
You may have a joint account for bills and then separate accounts where you both have some money to manage for yourselves. Just be sure you are both still making financial choices that are aligned with your mutual values and beliefs.
Integration and Equality
When it comes to household finances, you both get an equal say in managing the money. You are both responsible for actively participating.
That means when you are going over your finances, you are both prepared and ready to speak up about your wants and needs and the budget as a whole. No one gets to take a pass, and no one gets total control. This is an equal partnership, and you both must have a seat at the table for this to work.
If your partner is better at spreadsheets or a budgeting app than you, that doesn’t give you a “Get Out of Budgeting” free card. You are equal partners, so you both have to have skin in the game. Don’t say, “I’m better at budgeting so I will just do it,” or “I suck at the budget, so I’ll let you take care of it .”That’s not how a partnership or managing finances as adults works; that’s how a mom or dad parents a child.
Flexibility and Sustainability
In order for Financial Intimacy and managing the household finances to work long-term, you have to be willing to be flexible and open to change. Flexibility is the key to sustainability.
There are several reasons your financial situation can change throughout your lifetime:
- First-time home buyer.
- Starting a family.
- Losing your job.
- Disability or illness in the family.
- Kids going to college.
- Retirement needs.
Having a plan for your money and long-term goals that you both agree on helps ensure your financial habits align with that plan. It allows you both to keep your eye on the target for your future.
Happily Ever After
Financial intimacy creates a strong relationship and a healthy household financial foundation. It provides a sustainable framework you both can live by to make confident, informed financial decisions for your entire family.
Working together cuts down the time it takes to eliminate debt, increase savings and build wealth for the entire household. It increases your spending power and opportunity for financial freedom.
Stop working against each other and sabotaging your family’s future. Start working together as partners. Help each other in times of need and feed off each other’s strengths by celebrating ALL your accomplishments, big and small.
Couples that are willing to live under one roof as true partners instead of as individuals just rooming together will reap the benefits of true intimacy and a lasting relationship. Be the exception, not the norm. Choose Happily Ever After!