By Daniel Rodriguez | Dr. Budgets
Finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, so naturally, this is an area where couples should want to get on the same page with each other. Many couples have told me, “money is the only thing we fight about.” Often, these couples don’t need couple’s counseling, they need couple’s money coaching!
A money coach is a great neutral third-party who can be the person who looks at a couple’s money situation objectively. Sometimes all a couple needs is for someone to get the conversation about money started so they can express their goals and values to each other. This, in turn, allows them to work together toward achieving those goals in a way that aligns with the values they share. Once a couple agrees upon their top financial priorities, it is much easier to put a plan in motion that allows them to make progress toward those priorities.
If you are not ready to work with a money coach, below are four things you can do today to achieve financial goals faster with your spouse so you can become a debt-eliminating, money-saving team!
Agree on Goals. The first step is to agree on your top one or two goals as a couple. Do you want to pay off your credit cards? Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to build up your savings? Whatever your top goals are, it is critical that you agree on them as a couple.
Create a Plan. The next step is to create a plan on how to achieve your goals. A good place to start is to create a spending plan (budget) that maps out how you will spend, save, and pay down debt. Creating a spending plan that balances what you want today with what you want to achieve in the future will involve trade-offs, and you both must agree to commit to your plan to be successful.
Review Your Plan. The third step is to review your plan monthly so you can adjust quickly when things don’t go according to plan. When we coach our clients, this step is built in because we coach our clients monthly. Reviewing your plan every month (or more frequently) is critical because it keeps your spending and goals top of mind.
Focus on the Positive. Each party should do his or her best to make this a positive experience. Realize that you are a team working toward the same goals (once you agree on them!). Try not to place blame or focus on the negative. You can use money to strengthen your relationship by accomplishing goals – you can do this together!
It’s a beautiful thing when couples are pulling in the same direction with their financial goals. I have seen couples achieve their goals faster than they thought possible when they both got on the same page (for example Owen & Amanda Success Story), and this makes being a money coach the most rewarding job in the world for me.
What has been successful for you when discussing money with your spouse? Please let me know in the comments section below. If you know a couple who could use a money coach to get on track with their finances, have them click here to schedule a complimentary consultation today!