Did you know the number one reason for spouses to get divorced is money? We have all hard horror stories of recent newly weds who found out one or the other had huge amounts of debt in their name. And I think we can all agree, one of the first reactions we have is “How did you not know about this sooner?”. I get it. Money is a really sensitive topic for people to talk about, especially if they feel as though they aren’t in a good situation. No one wants to feel small or lesser than. Well, today’s article is all above diving into that and why it is VITAL to your relationships health to lay everything on the table prior to any major legal commitments (marriage).
No, this does not mean after one tinder date you need to share your bank account passwords. But this does mean being upfront with your partner about your salary, debts, goals, aspirations, everything! After all, no one enjoys fighting (at least I hope not), so why not do this ahead of time to help deter any potential financial arguments.
Treat It Like A Business
The way I like to personally think about it is to treat myself like a business. My salary is my businesses revenue, my bills are my businesses overhead, my debt is my businesses and my significant other is my future business partner. No, this won’t put water over the flames either. This will actually help both you and your spouse stay honest and real about each of your situations.
To have a successful future partnership, both parties need full insight into each others businesses. Especially if you want to someday be tied together legally because your spouses debt could become your own and vice versa (see this article for more info).
A business would have reoccurring meetings to discuss any status updates, potential acquisitions (new car, home, big ticket item) and review budgets. This should be something that you and your significant other should seriously consider having. Maybe you get in the tradition of every year, in the very first week you talk about your financial position, what your goals are for this year and how you plan on achieving them.
This will also help you by giving you an accountability partner. Someone who may be able to help you reach your goals quicker and keep you on track.
By treating your own life like a business and therefore, both you and your significant others financial situations as businesses, you will help avoid any major blowouts about money.
My Personal Experience
My significant other and I have what we call Money Meetings on a monthly basis. We like to do it the first weekend of the month to review how our spending was the prior month and see what needs to be adjusted for the month ahead.
- During this meeting we discuss:
- Budgets (what we actually spent vs. what we budgeted for)
- Debt pay-down
- Goals & actions we are taking to reach them
- Any other misc. items
This first stemmed from when we bought our first rental property together, so we would both always be in the loop on the business but then we realized how beneficial it would be for all areas of our life. Although you talk everyday with your spouse, you would be shocked about the amount of items you maybe thought you told them but forgot…at least we were. :)
Anyways, these can happen on any sort of basis whether quarterly, monthly or weekly. It really just depends on what works for you! These can be fun too. Do it over coffee and breakfast, or at a park and bring your stuff with you. It doesn’t have to be something you dread every time. Think about tit as an opportunity to help your future selves flourish!
I know it sounds crazy to treat something that is supposed to be romantic as a business, but it really helps provide structure and accountability in your relationship. If you haven’t told your significant other all about your finances yet, what’s holding you back? Or if you have told your spouse, how did they react and what worked well for you? Please share in the comments! :)