“Begin as you intend to continue.”
My younger sister, Becky, gave me this advice 26 years ago as my (now) wife and I were preparing to get married. But… who listens to a younger sister?
Smart people do… I wasn’t smart.
But, today, I’ve come to appreciate the wisdom of her statement…and now as I work with engaged couples and those who are married, I echo that advice, especially when it comes to finances.I wear many hats…teacher, coach, chaplain, and more… Through these various roles, I frequently have the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of people as they are trying to map out their futures. And if I’m lucky I can help them get started rather than help them change course. There have been many articles written pointing to money problems as being a leading factor in divorce.
The truth is, that money is the #1 that couples fight about! (Business Insider July, 7, 2019). So, if couples can learn how to talk about money, they can enjoy a greater sense of peace and calm, at least in terms of finances. This process works best when couples start to do this before the get married. However, couples who learn how to do this after marriage report that their communication, their marriages become stronger.
OK, so, how do we do this?
Meet About Money!
Set a meeting date and time. This is important. It’s a date during which you will discuss a very important part of your lives – money. Think about it. Your family is your BUSINESS… It’s Us Incorporated!
Both adults have to attend the meeting… yes, not only do you actually have to meet, but you need to be a participant! Listen, think, share and ask!
Dream and Discuss
As you begin the process, ask yourselves, ask each other, “What is our dream? What is our goal?”
It seems odd that we would need to ask this, but the truth is that between couples, partners have very different perspectives and priorities on money issues. It is so important to build consensus on financial matters. That includes issues like children, careers, living arrangements, and retirement!
The challenge here is that not only are there differences in priorities and perspectives, some folks are savers while others are spenders. Some are fact/data driven and need to see numbers while others find the details…well… less than interesting, but in this both people need to be actively engaged (pardon the pun). But the truth is this, a shared dream to which a couple truly commits, is a dream that becomes a reality.
The only way that those dreams, however, can become a reality is if you have a good plan for getting there. That plan includes appropriate savings, using a written budget, avoiding/eliminating debt, and proper provisions for emergencies/insurances. No plan is perfect and so we go back to meeting during the month, and of course before the next month begins.
Dare to dream together!
Dare to plan together!
Dare to work and pray together!
I’m here to help. Schedule a complimentary consultation today!