Marlow and Chris Felton are the authors of Couples Money and The Prosperity Factor, and the husband and wife team who help other couples get on the same financial page at Couples Money. We are so pleased to introduce them as they give their best tips on how to approach money as a couple to minimize stress and maximize harmony.
When seeking a mate, research shows that many couples overlook their fiscal differences. In our society, however, a relationship’s security is significantly reflected through financial stability and compatibility. Overlooking these monetary incompatibilities leads to arguments, trust issues, and even divorce. Getting on the same financial page as your partner is critical to finding harmony and coming to a financial consensus.
We understand just what it is like. We too were once one of those couples whose marriage suffered due to our financial situation, but we have since overcome our struggles. We developed patterns of communication that helped us grow to be more financially like-minded. From our own experience, we have learned how to help other couples become more fiscally compatible with each other.
Here are our top 6 recommendations for you and your significant other to find agreement and unity for your financial ideals:
1. Segregate some money for each of you. We don’t believe that couples should keep their finances from each other at all. In fact, all of your money in all of your accounts should be openly discussed. However, one strategy that has worked for us and many other couples is segregating some funds for individual fun. Many call it a ‘fun fund’ or a FUNd, and it protects both individuals from financial cheating. It’s a small amount of money that he can use however he wants, and an equal amount of money for her to do what she wishes.
2. Set your goals, together and apart. All couples need to make goals so they have a road map of where they are going and what they want to accomplish. They should discuss these goals regularly, openly and honestly. You should have goals that you make as a couple, as well as your own individual goals. If you both want that dream vacation, save for it together. If she is dreaming of a new car but you aren’t, let her save for it herself. You can surprise her with a trip to test drive to show your support. Have your own goals to save for and indulge in.
You don’t have to both want all the same things simultaneously. Supporting your partner in what they are passionate about can help build trust and keep the relationship harmonious. And if it is something you both want, it can be bonding to work towards that goal together.
3. Utilize each other’s strengths. Maybe one spouse is better with keeping track of the expenses. Maybe the other is better with negotiating the best price. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work together to meet your financial goals. It is still good to know how your partner’s financial role is accomplished, but if one person prefers it over the other, allocating roles can help alleviate unnecessary daily stress.
4. See money as a positive force. People too often think money is bad. Your relationship to money is based on your upbringing and your outlook. What did money ever do to you? Money is nothing more than the value people give paper. View money as the exchange of positive energy. Move beyond the all too common scarcity mindset. Seek to live in a state of financial abundance, and your money relationship will shift to the positive.
5. Hold each other accountable. Keep each other in line with the goals and values you share. It is easy for anyone to become impulsive if they desire something. Spouses need their goals and spending aligned with one another. If an individual veers off course, their partner quickly gets them back on track for the sake of the team.
Be open to communicating with your partner about purchases. They might need to genuinely run something by you for validation. Give your honest opinion and remind them of your mutual standpoints.
6. Have multiple streams of income. Harmonious couples build their streams of income in various channels. They diversify the income to roll in with passive outlets. Multiple income streams are easier than ever to create in today’s digital world.
Don’t live paycheck to paycheck. Look for different ways to make money with products and services that serve people. Be creative with your approach and provide for a market that has opportunities available. Utilize your connections and network to gain access to different markets.
It is hard enough to maintain a harmonious relationship, but the stability of sound financials can aid the journey. Discussing your goals and expectations with your partner are a key point in the relationship. Develop a plan and hold each other to it, but don’t forget to have a little fun too.
Many thanks to Marlow and Chris for sharing these words of (wealth) wisdom. For more resources and information, visit them at Couples Money.