Oh the love! When we are in this stage of butterflies in the stomach and “no, turn it off; no, you better “we want to share everything with those responsible for our insomnia … everything except our financial imbroglios.
But how important! It is estimated that money is the third cause of divorce, only after infidelity and lack of communication (thinking well, lack of communication counts twice, because it is the main problem with money), according to a study published in Mexico Quarterly Review, from the New Era of the University of the Americas (UDLA).
Our education alone is not very open to money issues: “Do not talk about money in front of children.” “It’s not good to talk about money at the table.” “Do not ask, it’s going to sound selfish or selfish.” And such learning only boosts in our romantic life.
The tricky thing is that keeping the money issue silent, instead of reducing the problems, most often causes others: debt that grows by not taking action on time, disputes over never having negotiated certain expenses, frustrations due to different goals for which you can not afford …
When should we start talking about money as a couple?
Maybe we sound psychotic if we mention the subject at the first meeting or after two months of leaving, while we are still a protocasal , then the Solomonic measure may be the ethereal “when you start making plans with the person.”
The curious thing is that there are many events in the middle that fulfill this function without the couple are going to live together or promise fidelity until death do them part: take a trip, save for a show or an important goal that implies financial planning and want to share (mastering, buying a house, adopting a dog), for example.
Sometimes asking for advice or asking about the financial perspective of a subject helps a lot to get to know the partner. If it comes to buying a car, I recommend that you borrow up to your ears and “live life” because you do not know if we are going to be alive tomorrow, you will have a good indication that you need a little financial education.
Are there rules on how to conduct finances as a couple?
That’s a big question many couples seek the formula of dividing your expenses, who should pay what and what to do about the past debts … but unfortunately, as in love, the perfect equation does not exist.
We can use the negotiation, the arguments and what works for the two according to beliefs, incomes, goals …
This is not to say that one has to wait to see if by chance the theme appears alone. When the subject is already “more serious” there are some exercises that may be useful to start with:
- Propose specific goals together and individually, which specify what, when, how much and what will change in their habits to reach the goal.
- Make a list of spending priorities for each one, negotiate them and then set out to make a budget.
- Clearly define ownership of things and payment obligations.
- Have a financial meeting , one day a month and preferably with a glass of wine or a drink they both like in the middle, as financial coach Karla Bayly suggests. Having a fixed moment for the money helps to better assimilate the idea.
- To put it in the head that this is a sensitive subject, and therefore requires double the care to avoid judgments or adjectives, and try to explain the facts, consequences and propose solutions when it is approached.
The biggest problem of talking about money has to do with not being an everyday issue and not tackling it until it’s absolutely imperative (like when debt is unsustainable or an emergency comes). If we begin to understand money as another facet of compatibility and joint learning, we will certainly draw a source of problems from our relationship.