Managing Relationships and Money

Money and Relationships- can they really mix?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read about money management and relationships.

Like many in relationships, the topic of money can be a very tough topic to discuss for various reasons. You would rather eat broccoli than talk about money! Plus, who has the time between getting the kids ready for school, work, mowing the lawn and driving the kids to all their soccer games? But as you know it is important that you and your partner have some key conversations about money.

We can help you with this conversation and help provide some financial tips to strengthen your relationship. It is important to have the conversation if any of the following warning signs of potential financial strains apply to your relationship:
• There is no plan with your money. As you earn it, you spend it;
• You have not set any goals on how you want to be living over the next 3, 5, 10 or 20 years;
• No emergency funds or any savings available;
• Items around the home need repairs but you cannot afford to do them;
• Spouse has no idea of your monthly payments and history with credit.
If any of these apply- you need to continue reading. Now is the time to try to address money and your relationship.

Make time to have the Conversation:
Money effects every aspect of your daily life to buying groceries, school activities, driving to work, vacations, family celebrations, etc. You need as a couple to decide what your household is about in ways you spend money. Meaning what are your priorities: helping pay for your kids’ post-secondary education, sports activities for the kids, retirement and living debt-free are some common examples. It is important you figure out a realistic lifestyle within your means and your goals.

Remember, life is also about being willing to compromise too. We cannot get what we want all the time, but if we are willing to compromise, then the major goals may be more within reach. For example, you may want to help your kids with their education and may want to retire early. You may need to compromise and decide to hold off on retirement to a later age so you can help your kids’ education costs. Another compromise may be if you want to be able to support your kids with their sporting activities which involve travel, you may elect to not do annual family vacations or not do a home renovation.

Make a Plan:
Once you decide on your goals and priorities with your money, you also need to review the money coming in and expenses each month. Track over a 3-month period what your costs are in your household. Be honest and realistic. Also- ask yourself is this typical for throughout the year or does your income and expenses change at certain times of the year. Can you truly afford all your priorities? Do you need to make any adjustments and cut back on anything? Make a plan on how your will spend your money. Remember to include everyone in the planning and to share the in responsibilities. It is important there is agreement by all, flexibility built in and regular conversations on how your household is being managed to make your plan successful.

It all sounds good:
Perhaps you have done all this before in trying to manage your money and things are still tight and life is very frustrating. You cannot seem to cut more corners and household priorities really cannot change. You are living an average life like your neighbors but are just barely making it. Arguments with your spouse about money are common. Life seems to be on a downward spiral and you are not able to control it anymore. If this is you, then please call us for help.

Your relationship is important. Do not let your finances put a strain on your relationship. Come in to see us today to help you put a plan together to be financially healthy.