Don’t let money be more important than your partner.
My grandmother used to say that the true love of a couple is seen in adversity. I could see it when there was a time when financial problems began to appear at home. Arguing about the expenses of the card, or the exits, or deciding if we called the gardener or that money we used to pay the electricity bill that was about to expire, has been as frustrating as it is exhausting.
Suddenly, my husband and I would find ourselves arguing even in the soup, over the vile money. Although in reality, it was not the money itself that was the focus, but the financial decisions that we had never discussed before. Some time ago I wrote aArticleabout money conversations that you should have with your partner before having children. And the truth is that we should have those conversations as soon as we begin to formalize in the couple and envision a future for two.
At one point I came to think that the best way to end discussions about finances would be for me to find a jobto leave me more money. But that would mean paying for a few babysitting hours, so it was quickly scrapped. It was not about the amount of money that entered or left the house, but the financial decisions of both that were often in conflict.
I must say that as our economic situation improved, our discussions slowed down a bit. But I recognize that in truth, the key isto converse about certain things, planning, prioritizing, and focusing on the things that are really important to both of you.
Finish discussions about money
Richard Martin says in his article on the site Fatherlythat it took him and his wife about eight years for the money discussions to diminish or find the axis. The introspection work with the help of a therapist did its thing, but above all, the author explains that what happened is that they found a formula that worked for both of them to be able to take the conversations about money to another level, without having to fight and raise your voice.
Make each one’s priorities clear: It is important that both of you have a similar monetary mindset going forward. That means determining what you both value, what are theobjectives they want to achieve and make sure the way they spend money is aligned with those values and goals.
Write down the balance: It’s a good exerciseMake a spreadsheet with money balances. They can choose a time when the children have already fallen asleep and have a head-on discussion about planning the use of money at home. Whether you have separate accounts or a single account, the important thing is to write down your monthly expenses and the money you spend on each activity. With my husband we have a notebook where every month we write down the fixed expenses and in another section the extra expenses that arise. It is an appropriate way to visualize what we spend money on.
Agree if you want to save or invest: If they are fortunate enough to have extra money, the discussion may arise about what to do with it. When we had a small balance in the account, we started to make a reform at home, knowing that we had to renew the car with which we worked. We still enjoy our beautiful yard with its improvements, but it took us a long time to shore up our financial situation to be able to buy the car. Sometimes you need to sit down and talk about when to save, when to invest, and when to spend.
Understand that you can’t handle the future:You can have the best job in the world and lose it tomorrow. Or suddenly you can get the job of your life. We have nothing insured, and knowing this can help us not only to plan with greater austerity but also to feel gratified by the contribution of our partner.
Write down the problem: If they cannot reach an agreement, it may be advisable annotate the problem on paper, to visualize it and be able to analyze it better. Then, you can write down in two columns, in which they are willing to be flexible, to give in, and in the other one write down what they are not willing to give up. They can make two separate lists and evaluate the priorities of each. Always trying to have empathy in the conversation.
Remember that family always comes first:We all want a huge pool or a dream Jacuzzi. The truth is that, if you have to pay for the children’s school, there is nothing to discuss. The family should be at the top of the list, and financial decisions made should always benefit all members of the family.
Money is a turning point in many couples. In a consumer society where possession is admiration, we must focus on the true values and axes of marriage. Always talk to your partner about financial decisions and choose what is best for both of you and the family. Money is a point for a happier life, but it should not cover the true objective in the couple, which is to always stay together, despite adversity.