Do you and your spouse fight frequently about money? Are you on completely different pages when it comes to spending money? Do you feel like you are being heard? You should start the conversation now by having regular meetings with your spouse to discuss your financial plan. If you are ready to win with money in your marriage, listen to this episode of Best in Wealth!
Outline of This Episode
- [1:42] How are you surviving Coronavirus?
- [4:42] 3 reasons married couples fight about money
- [9:32] Step #1: Actively listen to your spouse
- [13:00] Step #2: Respect what your spouse said
- [14:11] Step #3: Compromise to find a middle ground
- [15:53] Step #4: Commit to a spending plan
- [20:11] Where are you in your marriage?
Three common reasons married couples DON’T win with money
Most couples that fight about money fall into one of these three categories:
- You have debt: One or both of you have debt. The higher your debt the higher the chance you are fighting about it. Debt breeds stress which leads to more arguments.
- Different values: Do you and your spouse hold different values about money? Does one of you find comfort in saving money and the other like to spend money on comfort? My wife enjoys spending money on vacations while I am more of a homebody. Neither is bad—just different.
- Income disparity: Does one of you work outside the home and the other is a stay-at-home parent? OR does one spouse make more than the other? Sometimes, the spouse that makes more starts referring to the household income as “my” money—which is dangerous to get caught up in.
Everyone comes from different family backgrounds and has different beliefs about money. But there are some steps you can use to overcome those differences to get on the same page.
Step #1: Actively listen to each other
The first strategy is to actively listen to each other. Spend time talking about short and long-term goals for your future. What is important to you? When do you want to retire? What amount do you need to save monthly in order to retire when you want to?
To win with money, I recommend setting monthly “money dates” where you meet in a low-tension setting to discuss your budget for the month and where your money will be allocated. It is important to set aside time for each other to talk and listen.
Step #2: Respect your spouse’s feelings
So you have set aside time to chat with each other about your money goals and have listened to your spouse’s desires. Now, you need to take it a step further and respect what your spouse said. Just because something is not important to you does not mean it is not important to your spouse. When you take the time to actively listen and comprehend what your spouse wants to do with your budget, and respect their opinions, you are less likely to fight.
Step #3: Compromise is KEY
Once you have practiced active listening and chosen to respect your spouse's opinion you move on to find a compromise. Compromise will allow you both to feel comforted with how you are handling your money. Compromise is powerful. It shows that you really listened and are willing to make sacrifices so that each person is happy with the decisions you land in. Do not let the connotation of compromise be negative—compromise is a wonderful way to build a foundation of trust in your marriage.
Step #4: Commit to a spending plan
The first step of commitment is putting an action plan in place. Write it down so you do not sink back down to where you were previously. Need help setting a budget? Review episode 137 to help define a spending plan (budget) for your daily expenditures.
The second part of committing to a plan involves creating a retirement plan—what I like to call your financial freedom plan. We all aim to be financially free by retirement age, even if we do not plan to retire. Let these monthly meetings be times where you dream together about your future and what you want your retirement to look like.
I go in-depth on each of these strategies to help you and your spouse win with money. Be sure to listen to the whole episode for more detail!
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The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.