Are you in a long term committed relationship where you share every aspect of your life together?
Is your money in that relationship too?
I’m not talking about sharing everything equally despite who earns it, and only having joint bank accounts so you both know about every cent. If you’ve read my facebook posts you’d know that I am a strong advocate of each person having a Play Money account where they can spend a discretionary amount freely without having to report to the other partner.
I’m talking about joint money goals. Goals you created together that you are both working towards, so any spending or saving is in line with your joint money values and creating future you both desire.
This is so very important to make sure you are both on the same page, and are working towards the same outcomes so any spending doesn’t breed guilt or resentment.
I had clients a while ago who were not on the same page and it nearly cost them everything, including their long term marriage.
She had massive credit card debt that he didn’t even KNOW about. It didn’t surface until he opened a letter accidently and then she came clean. Not just on that one account but all of it. I’m talking about $51,000 in credit card debt. That’s MASSIVE.
She was on the verge of going bankrupt as she was struggling to make the minimum payments and was dodging calls from the debt collection agencies. Luckily they had equity in their property so came to see me to consolidate everything, however we had to use every ounce of equity they had and they incurred over $20K in Lenders Mortgage Insurance premiums. It took a big toll on their marriage and they nearly lost everything they had been working towards. Including each other.
I encourage you to sit down with your partner and talk about money. Yes, money. Unfortunately a lot of couples never have that important conversation and yet are very much affected by the other’s decisions. I believe it should be included in pre-marriage courses. This is as important a conversation as making the commitment to spend the rest of your life together.
Book a date night with each other to do it and soon. Go out for dinner. Grab a bottle of wine and cook a nice meal at home if you are able to be alone.
When everything else is on the table, put money there as well.
Make a pact to have the conversation with respect and integrity so as not to offend or upset the other person.
Money can be a very volatile topic, so it is best to have this talk when you are in a good place with no negative energy filling the room.
I never had that crucial conversation in my previous marriage and regret it dearly. My avoidance of having THAT conversation resulted in me suffering from what is affectionately known in the industry as STD. Sexually Transmitted Debt. And whilst you may not be able to see the symptoms on the outside it can be debilitating on the inside and have far reaching consequences.
Part of my vision with She Wealth is to empower you so you don’t need to go there, so please set aside some time with your partner.
Here are a few questions to ask each other to get you going:
- How much money do you make? (you’d be alarmed to know some people don’t even know how much their partner earns)
- How would you feel if we created Play Money accounts?
- What did you hear your parents say about money while you were growing up?
- What are you interested in investing in? (you may assume you both love property but he might secretly be devouring the share market on his lunch breaks!)
- When would you like to retire? (this leads to another question – How can we make that happen for you?)
- Let’s sort out the details of our wills (if you don’t have one, or update it if you do)
- Have you ever lost money in an investment?
- What stresses you out when it comes to money?
This should give you some great ideas to get you going. If you struggle to do this together I am more than happy to take you both through a Private Intensive, where we will spend several hours together creating new Family Money Legacies, and a Conscious Spending and Savings Plan based around your family values to ensure you are both on the same page moving forward.
Congratulations on putting the integrity of your relationship above money. Send me an email and let me know how you go!