Finances cause conflict. This is a fact of life. There’s a reason I keep tissues in my office when I meet with clients. Arguments about money happen all the time and can even ruin marriages. How can you make sure you don’t let money destroy you and your relationship?
Learn From Experience: Money Matters
To start with, I want to share some of my story. I feel like a lot of people feel shame about their financial situation, especially when they meet with a new advisor, so I hope this will help.
I married my wife when I was 19. We quickly had two children, even though we were still in college. Money was limited. I worked a youth pastor. Our life was tight and stressful.
I had this idea in my head that if I worked really hard, I would have enough money. This was something I learned from my parents, who always wanted to make sure I was happy in the career that I chose. We never actually discussed the economics of having a job. Because of this, I assumed that every job basically made the same amount of money as long as I put the work into it.
While there is some truth to that, at the end of the day, some jobs make more than others.
It took me coming to brink of financial ruin for my eyes to open. My wife had a major medical issue, we were buried in debt, we lived with my in-laws. We hit rock bottom and we had to call a debt counselor, just so we get our heads above water. The counselor told us the only way out was to declare bankruptcy.
So I’ve been there before, trust me.
Do you think we argued about money back then? Definitely.
Do you think we STILL argue about money? Definitely.
You probably have arguments with your spouse about your finances too. Everyone does, but you don’t have to let it ruin your relationship.
Why Do Couples Always Argue About Money?
What I see often are trends and patterns in these financial arguments that happen in my office.
I’m not a relationship counselor, but my job is to help you get your money in order, which will help ease some stress in all aspects of
One of the major trends I see is that couples will argue and fight for why they’re right without ever address what the actual problem is.
Think about it in terms of football. When there’s a flag on the play, there’s usually an argument. The refs pause the game and take a moment to review the footage. By looking at everything in slow motion, they’re able to hopefully prove beyond a doubt what happened and figure how to act from there.
Just like with football, you need to review your financial plan.
The key to this is clear data. Our clients have the ability to pull up all of their accounts into one place: their debts, their bank accounts, their investments. Everything goes into one spot where they can view it cohesively, as well as use a budgeting tour to classify all their expenses.
I recently had a couple come into my office who couldn't’ figure out why they never had money available to spend. Since I had everything pulled together in our software, I was easily able to pull up their accounts and see what happened.
They began bickering in front of me, accusing each other of over spending. The concerning thing that we found is that neither one of them were right.
It wasn’t one big purchase that was pulling all the money from their accounts, but many small things they were both doing that shrunk their assets.
This technology is so helpful for this reason. It helps you see everything together. It can even help you learn how to compromise in your relationship.
How Financial Compromises Can Help Your Marriage
The key to mitigating almost every issue you have in your relationship, but especially those involving money is compromise.
You can’t go into these financial discussions assuming you’re right and your spouse is going to be to blame for everything. You need to accept that both of you will have to make changes and adapt to get to the other side of financial peace.
Another couple that I’ve begun working with came in to look at their financial plan.
As in most cases, I found the husband and wife had completely different opinions about their plan. He thought they were in big trouble in the future, not saving enough and spending too much. She though they were perfectly fine and his excessive saving was affecting their quality of life.
Through our software, we looked together at all of their assets and saw they had saved so much in the last few years through being so conservative that they had an excellent emergency fund available to them. With the amount saved, it was clear they’d be ready for any potential difficulties that came their way.
At the end of our meeting, the wife looked at her husband and told him how grateful he was that he had been so frugal. It gave them great peace of mind for their future. But she also asked if, since they were already in such a good place, they could start eating out once a week.
This is a great example of a financial compromise. She saw the benefit of his conservative spending and he understood her want to enjoy life a bit more beyond their money. It was a beautiful moment to witness!
If you want to see all of your money come together in one place, you need to sign up for a free consultation with us. We’re not afraid of your difficulties and conflict. What’s most important to us is that you understand your money and your spending. We hope to help you shine a light on some problem you could be having and make sure you have confidence going forward.