Conversations about money certainly creates an atmosphere that heightens emotions. Controlling which emotions is the key to achieving an ideal outcome – taking steps toward a common goal.
How have you made it work?
My wife and I have made it work by truly understanding all of our options in front of us. Knowing the pros and cons of each option is the most important starting point because not knowing what you can and can’t do forces couples to revert to what they know. Knowledge varies from couple to couple and from person to person therefore handling knowledge in a constructive way is the most effective technique towards achieving a positive financial result.
Pressure points – Spending? Managing debt? Setting goals?
Our pressure points lay around risk management and how can we ensure we keep and grow our incomes to sustain our financial goals of an increased lifestyle and a growing portfolio. W e are always talking about what kind of income we need to achieve x, y and z. We are very goal orientated which helps. Outlining everything we would like to achieve in the short, medium and long term gives us end points to work towards. Now not goals are achieved but we understand that getting close to a goal like instead of going to Europe for 3 weeks, we can easily go to SE Asia for a month for a fraction of the cost – a holiday goal.
Positive steps taken to make the conversation easier:
The best starting point for couples is to dream of a better future. One that they look forward to. My wife and I talk about how much fun would it be if we had the choice to work rather than be forced to work. What would it be like to choose to work for 6 months of the year and pursue other interests on the other 6 months? To be able to take an afternoon off and spend time with our little ones consistently rather than leaving them in childcare for 10 hours a day. To have no mo re financial worries as our income from our investments are taking care of our everyday expenses and we are financially free.
These are the things we talk about to ensure we are taking the necessary steps and are motivated enough to stick to it! Motivation is the hardest thing to keep up and I found thinking about a better future keeps my wife and I in a state of mind where we can talk about current issues and work through the problem. The hardest part when having a financial conversation is to understand that your partner may not know the same things as you do therefore you or your partner need to be careful on how you say/explain things. The money conversation can bring out all sorts of insecurities so having a deeper understanding of your partner’s buttons will give you a good grasp of how to speak to them and ultimately influence them into being open to other ideas about money.
– Andrew Courtney