“Honey, where is our money?” I overhear a woman ask her husband on my Delta flight bound to Atlanta. She’s scrolling through her phone, and I assume their bank account was hacked.
I am wrong.
The conversation heats up, and it becomes clear that the husband has been spending their money on large discretionary items without her knowledge.
Financial stress and disagreements are frequently identified as leading sources of marital conflict and break-up. But how can couples avoid financial disagreements and live stress free?
Here are four tips that can lead to financial well-being for couples.
Know the Value of Your Money
Couples should define the value and purpose of money in their lives, including how it affects them as individuals and for the relationship as a whole. Knowing how each partner values money enables couples to have clear financial objectives for both the short and long term.
The Money Personality
“M-O-N-E-Y” is only five little letters, but it’s a big part of a relationship. Spend it. Manage it. Save it. Invest it. Donate it. It’s important that each partner identifies his or her money personality. Who is the spender, saver, or planner in the relationship? A spender might have trouble becoming a saver, and it seems like a big mistake for the spender to handle the couple’s – or family’s – finances.
Have a Money Talk
Work, taking care of the kids and all the other responsibilities of adult life keep us busy, but it’s vital that couples make time at least once a month to have a “money date.” This is to assess their current financial situations – everything from spending to retirement – and make sure they are on target with their financial security goals.
I love it when couples are accountable to each other when managing their money or spending. Especially if you have a spender and a saver, it’s important to set spending limits. A simple rule can be: neither partner can spend more than $40/ day without the approval of the other.
Being in the know, discussing, and doing financial planning as a team helps couples find a more perfect financial balance, and avoid questions like, “Honey, where is the money?”
Financial happiness for couples and families should start with protecting assets, managing debts, and building emergency funds. As Warren Buffet advises,