Managing finances as a couple can be a little complicated if it’s a conversation that has never happened before. Having hard conversations – whether about money or not – can be the key in creating a healthy partnership with our significant other for the sake of our financial goals, personal and as a couple. Tackling finances as a couple will help us cultivate a relationship of accountability and prosperity.
So what is the best way to manage finances with a partner or spouse?
Let’s get one thing straight. You are your own #1 partner to begin with. Before you add another person to the mix, it is important to ask yourself certain questions. Pedro, a Puerto Rican Financial Coach, Speaker and Author has given us great questions that we can begin this process with. Some of those are “Are you in congruence with yourself? Do you respect yourself? Do you honor yourself? Do you bet on yourself?” Truth is if you can invest in yourself, you don’t need anybody else to fulfill you financially.
Second, it’s important to understand your partner’s money mindset. Having those important conversations gives you the opportunity to see the relationship they have with money. Are they planners? Do they splurge? Do they save? Are they transparent about their credit? Do they avoid talking about money? You get the jist.
How do you begin a money conversation with your partner or spouse?
The Balance suggests that the most ideal time to bring up this topic is whenever you both aren’t arguing about a money problem. “The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no particular money issue at hand.” Create a neutral environment to talk and disclose your finances with transparency and honesty. Keep in mind that you are working for a common goal and not only a personal goal.
What about the mujeres who want to get out of debt but their partner or spouse just doesn’t believe in creating wealth?
This is a serious situation to be in. Pedro suggested being candid with your partner and asking questions like “Are we happy where we are at? Do you consider yourself successful?” The idea is to ask questions that will help you both analyze your current situation, but also give you direction when it comes to planning for the future. Mujeres in this situation need clarity. Money arguments are the main reason for 55.6% of divorces. They are the second leading cause for divorce, behind infidelity. These conversations can potentially save your marriage and it’s important to normalize them and bring them to the table as often as possible.
Do you recommend having these money conversations happen during the dating stage? Should I talk about money before getting married?
Absolutely! The earlier you have these conversations, the better. This is a great time to analyze their money mindset, before a wedding and kids come along. “It’s a great time to talk about it, even if you don’t know where to start.” advises Pedro. This is a great first step if you are serious about creating wealth for yourself and your future kids.
What should I talk about on a money date?
It’s important to be completely honest and transparent when talking about money. Your money date should include conversations about your dreams, your goals, your non-negotiables, your amount of debt, your expenses, your expectations from a partner, credit score, and even shopping habits – good or bad. Your partner could potentially be the person you merge your money with. These conversations should be happening. Do not be scared of bringing the topic up.
What if you find out that your partner/spouse is deep into debt? Should I continue that relationship? What happens if you marry someone with debt?
There is no shame in asking your partner or spouse about it. Finances are a crucial part of a relationship that should be disclosed. Create a plan with your partner to work towards being debt-free. Remember this is not only their debt. You are a team and both must work for financial freedom. “You always have to have a plan. Every level in your money journey requires that. Every stage requires a different plan and a different mindset.”
Should I pay off my debt before getting married?
There is really no right or wrong answer to this one. But if we can suggest something, create a plan! Always have a plan for any money move!. Living your whole life with debt is not ideal, but we get it, sometimes we do find ourselves having to acquire debt due to a big purchase. However, living in debt without a plan to pay it off is not good. The key is to have an action plan with due dates. Revisit this plan as often as possible and adjust it according to your habits, life transitions, pay raises or pay cuts, additional income, etc.
Pedro said it best when he said “…the moment you invest [in yourself], you start learning that in order to go further in life you have to grow your team.” There is power in a couple that can come together financially to grow their wealth exponentially. There is power in a partnership that can have raw conversations about money and discuss flaws, traumas, opportunities, dreams and goals. There is power in a couple that can find healing and rewrite their entire future, for themselves and their family.
If you struggle to find a space where you and your partner can feel safe talking about finances, schedule a consultation with Luzy. Luzy has an array of resources readily available for you and she is prepared to help you lay the foundation and initiate that important conversation with your significant other. “Say hola wealth” is made specifically for situations where you need answers and advice. We encourage you to scan through the episodes.