Oftentimes I find myself not only giving financial advice, but relationship advice too. Our clients turn to us to help navigate discussions regarding money. Quite often, the subject of finances is completely ignored because it will just lead to arguments. I believe you can’t have a great relationship until you can communicate and agree about money.
Larry Burkett, noted financial author, says, “Money is either the best or worst area of communication in our marriages.” I know that money and money fights are a leading cause of divorce in our country. So if you are married and have money fights, then you are normal! But if this is an area of problem for you, there is also an opportunity to improve your relationship and maybe come to an agreement where both parties feel understood and find common ground.
When it comes to money, men typically take more risks and don’t save for emergencies. Men use money as a scorecard, and when faced with financial struggles, it often affects their self-esteem. Women tend to see money more as a security issue — they want to see money in savings for a rainy day.
Men and women are different with how they view money, and it is largely because they process problems and opportunities from different vantage points. Oftentimes, what attracts us to our spouse in the beginning will be the very thing creating arguments later on. Opposites attract: typically in a relationship one is good at working the numbers and the other isn’t so good — more of a free spirit. This isn’t the problem, the problem comes in when the numbers person neglects the input of the free spirit, or when the free spirit avoids participating in the financial dealings altogether.
Marriage is a partnership. Separating the money and splitting the bills isn’t a good idea to foster a successful relationship and typically isn’t helpful to getting ahead financially. Both parties need to be involved in the finances. As you work on your money together, I would encourage listen first, be patient and really try to understand where the other is coming from. Schedule a financial date together each month to review your budget and progress towards short-term and long-term financial goals. Possibly you may need a financial coach to get the momentum started!
Anyone with questions or who needs help getting started can call us at 541-574-6464 or email at [email protected]
Julia Carlson is a registered principal with LPL Financial, and securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC.
Information in this column is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision.
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