Because my passion and specialty are personal finance for adults and children, I propose today to talk about the couple and “cashcaval”. Because the latter is the main cause of stress and divorce in our country. Because hundreds of thousands of families broke for financial reasons, with painful consequences for partners and children.
Is there anything we can change in the relationship with our partner and our money? First of all, we would like to discuss this topic more openly and to understand that a person’s relationship with their money is an excellent indicator of their personality, values and beliefs. So that…
… Before you say “Yes!”
I recommend to the partners that, before marriage with a minimum of 6 months, an exercise of money management should already begin. This starts with making a couple budget (available for free at financial-minimalist.com). This budget will show you some new and real aspects of your partner’s personality. It is, first and foremost, an exercise in sincerity and trust. We all know how to “do good” when we are in love. But there is a saying: “Show me the statement of account and I will tell you what your habits and priorities are in life.” Money and financial discussions are an excellent magnifying glass with which you can see those unseen sides, areas without a foundation, gel hair and fine perfume. There are deep discussions about values, goals and habits, which you should know well in advance.
You will discover in the partner, perhaps, a SPENDER – a wasteful spirit borrowed from all sides or, on the contrary, a hardened SAVER that holds the teeth of each lion. Wouldn’t you like to know in advance if he has expensive passions, gambling, car tuning or impulsive shopping? Wouldn’t you be suspicious if you found out that, although he is making good money, he has no savings or borrows monthly from his parents? That means a long-term lack of vision. And marriage is a long-term project. So, I invite you to propose to him to imagine some scenarios of how your future will look like in 5-10 years (of course, without this sounding like a corporate interview). Because… for nothing you now understand the type of scanner you share, if you have completely different views on your future.
Why are we arguing for money?
After I trained several thousand people in the courses I hold in companies, I extracted and presented the 3 most serious mistakes that lead to the scandal:
• We do not have a common budget – that is, we do not know what money comes into the family in one year and what also goes calculated on 12 months. You will definitely have some surprises when calculating in the long run.
• The money is not the same – that is, the percent for the home loan is not the same as for the coffee with the colleagues. The money must be divided into categories and sent each in its place. I use a family of 10 envelopes in the family, which helps us to allocate the amounts for each category, conscious and balanced. You can use several envelopes or accounts, but keep in mind the principle: You are the trainer of your lions and they must listen to you! Also, it is very important that the splitting be done at the beginning of the month – not to ask yourself on the 20th date the money was taken. Then it is too late and this is a new occasion for reproaches and misunderstandings.
• My envelope and your envelope – Although the money is managed together, after the couple eliminates their small debts, I recommend the allocation of reasonable, individual funds (like 200 – 300 lei) that each partner can spend at their discretion. You will thus eliminate 90% of the minor reasons for the dispute: “Did you really need that drill …?” Or “You still have a turquoise blouse …”.
What’s mine is just mine …
I always recommend that, after marriage, the partners manage their finances together. Because there are a lot of benefits if I do. And because there are many alarm signals, if they don’t. Let’s take the benefits in turn:
Two incomes put together and oriented in the same direction can achieve far more important goals than if each one rows in his own boat, possibly in opposite directions. From major acquisitions to savings and investments, everything is easier to build, when we manage money jointly, consciously and responsibly.
More balanced decisions
In a previous article we showed that we are complementary, that we see things from different perspectives. Personally, I did the biggest financial nonsense when I didn’t advise with my wife. Because he has excellent intuition and sees dangers or opportunities that I am completely blind to. Consult constantly and you will have a clearer and more balanced picture of your choices. I would even recommend, for example, that any financial decision over EUR 100 be taken only after consulting the partner.
Transparency and trust
In couples where each is with his or her money, after a while an unhealthy fog is connected to the actions of the other. Sharing money brings a clear, transparent context and helps build trust in the couple. Do not allow the thought of “What does the spouse do with the money?” To plant poisonous seeds in your relationship. Because the imagination will choose the worst scenarios and soon cracks will appear in the foundation. We learned that the 5 minutes spent with the wife on the 1st of each month, in which we divide our income into the 10 categories / envelopes, are extremely valuable for the unity of our family. We are both aware of what money is coming in and what is going on, making common decisions and advising. For 4 years I have had no quarrel to leave money. And that makes all the money!
The habit of managing your money together gives rise to discussions. Sometimes lighter, sometimes calmer. But each such circumstance will be an opportunity to define, propose and support your goals and values. Weather and politics are topics for conversations with strangers. With the partner we have those deep discussions about the future, children, career, homes and vacations. And all this has a lot to do with money. So put them on the table and take them in turn, with responsibility and a dash of humor.
Good example for children
At home, children are involved in money management. I think it is a good example to see two parents united, aware and transparent, regarding the financial health of our family. They have acquired a sense of reality and value. At the same time, we ask their creativity to find solutions to various “wishes” that the family has. Because open discussions help us get to know them better, and they give them an extra sense of security and confidence. Learn.
Danger in front!
When your partner does not agree to manage your money together, you should follow a few “red flags”, which are waving in the direction of your relationship:
Lack of trust in the partner – “For the money separately, for fear that the other will waste them or, on the contrary, limit my purchases.”
Lack of communication – “What is the point of talking about the goals or desires of each of us? Rather than quarreling … “
Lack of maturity – “I want that and I’m not going to change. That’s the way I am, who doesn’t fit … “
Arrogance – “I earn much better than my partner … why should he spend my money?” Or “Husband does not have to go with the money …”
Lack of transparency (I also call it “financial infidelity”) – in general, it hides unhealthy habits (gambling, betting, etc.), debts, losing investments or even hidden future plans (for example, divorce).
Money is a tool. You can use them in the couple as a strong adhesive, which welds the relationship through communication and common vision. Or you can let them dig at the foundation of your love, as a toxic mold that stretches and can hardly be removed.
Financial education is about life, not about money!
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