FINANCE EXPERTISE: How couples can stop fighting about money…

By: Jordan Niefeld, CPA, CFP

Are you constantly worried about all the bickering and blaming when it comes to money within your relationship? Well you are not alone. Follow some of these simple tips and your relationship can be improved when it comes to finances within your family dynamic.

1.       Lack of communication is one of the biggest reasons why couples have financial unrest.   One of the best ways to combat this is to set up a “financial date night”. In a relaxed environment, open communication about the family’s finances. Try and take the emotion out of the discussion and focus more on the tangible, concrete steps the relationship can do to get the financial security you both desire.

2.       Most of the time many couples wait too long to combat their financial woes when they are already in trouble. They may already be in debt, already overspending on a monthly basis, or need to decide on matters relating to the children like how are we going to get our little one through college. Great advice is to build a plan together. I call it the “One- Pager”. Write down both partners ideas on a one page paper which acts as a blue print to where your spending will be going (this can be both short term and longer term needs). Most people know where their money comes in from but have a difficult time tracking their expenses. Once the tracking of expenses takes place you may soon realize that expenses come down and you can begin saving your surplus for your reserve funds or future investments for retirement.

3.       Financial transparency is critical in the success of reducing the fighting about money. Couples should not hide from each other their financial spending habits. Be forth right on spending habits. Usually an event happens that triggers something at a critical time. That is the best opportunity to seek a qualified financial advisor or Certified Financial Planner™ that will help you through this time.

4.       Each partner should play to each other’s strengths. One partner may be better with details and so budgeting may be their strength. The other may be better with longer term outlooks like investments and portfolios. Play to what you do best within the relationship.

5.       Focus on the important things in life. Ideally, every relationship wants to be happy and build a life together. Each marriage has dreams and goals that motivate each other to provide for one another. With proper planning and advice the family can achieve exactly what they are set out to do while at the same time reducing their stress and emotional baggage when it comes to money.

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