As published by the American Society of Administrative Professionals at http://www.asaporg.com (member only site)
The First Step for Couples to “Own Their Money”
Your relationship with money can be complicated and, added to that, a relationship with your partner can be complicated as well. Given that the two will undoubtedly combine, you can quickly predict even further ‘complications’ on the horizon. This is why so many couple relationships fall apart over the same issue: money.
No matter how complicated it seems, fixing a couple’s relationship with money is actually very simple. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many couples that have been stuck in a stressful cycle of living beyond their means for years, and I’ve been able to help them turn their lives around using a simple, 5-step process.
The one fact that has always struck me is that I’ve never seen a couple make a breakthrough or any notable change without thoroughly understanding who each of them are around money—and talking about it.
STEP 1: Both you and your partner understand who each other is around money.
If you can’t get past step 1, then the rest of the process is doomed. That’s why I’m only going to give you the first step today. If you’re having any problems with your partner around money, please read this very carefully and implement this step to start improving your relationship.
This step can all happen in one conversation. It’s important that before you have this conversation, you mutually agree to create a safe space and listen to each other fully. This will be a very vulnerable time for you both.
Start the conversation by asking each other “What does money mean to you?” and “What did your parents tell you about money?” What may become obvious is that neither of you had been formally taught good money management skills. This may have hindered your ability to make confident, smart choices with your money. You and your partner need to understand that neither of you are bad people because of poor money decisions made in the past.
From this new, non-judgmental conversation, you can both understand the beliefs and stories you are each bringing to the table. If you ask the right questions, and don’t judge the answers, you create an opportunity to develop deeper compassion and understanding for each other.
You’ll be amazed at what opening up about money will do for the rest of your relationship as well. Money problems are very tied to other areas of your lives, especially how you communicate verbally and physically. The top three causes of divorce are listed as money, communication, and sex. In effect, these three are so intricately linked that dealing with the unspoken money issues often creates an immediate improvement on the other two areas. A real win-win-win emerges.
Here are some of the most successful questions for you and your partner to ask each other to help you get started:
- What does money mean to you? (For example, power, control, love, happiness, security, freedom)
- What did your parents tell you about money? What is your money history?
- Do you have any accounts (bank, credit card, or other) in just your name?
- What do you believe we should be spending our money on?
- How do you propose we divide financial duties?
Once you open the often-avoided discussion, you will likely be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually agree with your partner around money and how much compassion you start to develop for each other. After all, couples who save together, stay together.
If you’re ready to make more, save more, and stress less about your money, get your ongoing FREE money success tips from Belinda now at: www.OwnYourMoney.com. Belinda is the founder and chief money motivator of OwnYourMoney.com and host of Boston’s newest TV talk show “Money On Your Mind.”