Have you ever seen one of those cheesy photos of a couple leaning over with their arms around each other, looking at a bank statement with big smiles on their faces?
Yeah, those are stock photos. They aren’t real.
Unfortunately, for many married couples, the thought of money and finances brings up quite the opposite reaction.
In the early years of our marriage, we simply avoided the topic. Denial seemed like a pretty good solution until we woke up $54,500 in debt with our first baby on the way.
How does money impact your marriage? Does it create tension, stress, arguments and maybe even some dishonesty?
I hope that’s not the case, but the good news is that money doesn’t have to be a strain on your relationship.
Believe it or not, money can (and should) create happiness in your marriage when you handle it right.
Not creepy stock-photo happy, but coming together around your finances to achieve your dreams can actually be an awesome way to express your love and enthusiasm for your future together.
Just don’t smile at your bank statements…who has printed bank statements anymore anyhow?[NOTE: Don’t miss the end of this post for some very exciting news! 🙂 ]
It’s easier than you think to change the conversation around money with your spouse. And if there is no conversation, that’s probably a good place to start.
Check out these 5 moves that are proven to bring happiness to couples who make them happen.
What are your dreams as a family? What will it take financially to make it happen?
This is where a plan becomes essential. It doesn’t require anything fancy, but it does require a good, open dialogue about what you actually want out of life and a goal-oriented game plan for how to take action to achieve the dreams you share.
In our case, it was a “money date” and a lot of conversation that helped us realize we both wanted deeply for Bethany to be a stay-at-home Mom for our kids. Once we set that as a big goal, we were able to plan a path forward to make it a reality.
If the “B-word” makes you cringe or throw up in your mouth a little, have no fear.
A budget (you can call it a family spending plan if you’d like) can actually be really simple and still be effective. There are also lots of great tools to help you get going painlessly.
But the bottom line is you do need to get your income and spending down on paper so you can get real about your cash flow and where you’d like to direct it.
As our friend Dave Ramsey says, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
I know this one falls squarely in the “easier said than done” category, but it’s going to be easier than you think once you get going with a motivating plan (#1) and a simple budget (#2).
As freaked out as we were to realize how deep we had gotten into debt, we were also really pumped up to get it paid down so we could realize our new-found goals. And it truly made us happy (freakin’ ecstatic really) to kill debts as fast as possible and celebrate when we met that monster goal of debt freedom!
This is probably an area you’ll need more specific help with – more on that in a minute.
I know investing isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but it’s extremely important to your long-term success and happiness.
If you don’t already know why Albert Einstein called compound interest the most powerful force in the universe, you should look it up for some great motivation to start investing as soon as possible.
It’s never too late and never early enough to start putting some money into high-quality investments that will bring you peace of mind for all of those decades of awesome married life that’s ahead of you.
Like so many important things, the key to successfully managing money in your marriage is good communication.
The happiest couples have an open and ongoing dialogue about their income, spending, saving, investing and their goals.
This very likely won’t come naturally, so it’s important to have regular “money dates” where you spend some time chatting about money…and more time drinking wine and enjoying the financial peace in your relationship!
These 5 steps are pretty simple on the surface, but of course implementing them can be a challenge. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve teamed up Ann Arceo, an awesome couples financial planner from The Savvy Duo to create an easy-to-follow program called “How to Get Control of Your Money & Create the Future You Desire Together”
We walk you through these 5 key money moves and showing you exactly how to make them happen in your marriage.
Plus, you’ll have the help you need to overcome the other money frustrations you’ve probably encountered…
…from trouble getting started (or staying on track) to a reluctant spouse. And we’re giving you all the cool tools you need to make it as easy as possible!
The best time to start your new smart money plan was yesterday – the next best is TODAY so don’t delay. 🙂