Ever want to take duct tape and fully cover your partner’s mouth, hands, and feet, not for intimacy play, but to get him/her to stop making financial decisions or simply spending in a manner not fitting your beliefs? No surprise that money is often a huge strain on marriages and relationships. According to Farnoosh Torabi, celebrity financial advisor, financial opposites attract.
Here are several of her tips to create a more harmonious fiscal situation…so you can use that duct tape for more exciting actions.
• Set Financial Goals: create both short and long term goals. Example of short term may be purchase of a car, vacation plans, upgrades to the home. Long term financial plans may include college, care for parents, life insurance, retirement. Having the same financial goals will help diffuse complications, build trust, and magnify excitement toward your future.
•Schedule a meeting. Consider an ideal time that works for both of you; when you can fully focus in a relaxed manner.
•Environment: consider if going on a walk, out to coffee, or stay at home with a bottle of wine, will be most comfortable.
•Preparation: for short term goals meet at least 1 time per month. Longer term goals, Torabi suggests 1 time per quarter. Set an agenda or topic (i.e. car, vacation, retirement). Do research prior to meeting. Review accounts, read articles, watch a webinar. Keep meeting time 30 to 40 minutes. If it’s typical that these meetings create a lot of stress, try having something positive planned after the meeting, such as a movie, dancing, working out, getting together with friends. Basically, a date that takes both of you away from discussing money and puts your minds on something more pleasurable…sex is also a good distraction (this is my tip)!
-Side note: use an article or book as an opening reference point to start the meeting. It acts as an ice breaker and puts focus on a innate object versus one another’s personal view.
•Brainstorm: discuss potential areas to save, decrease interest payments, items to cut out, insurance issues or increases, etc.
•Action Plan: this is the most thrilling part – other than planning a vacation or a great new vehicle purchase. This is where you decide what needs to be completed before the next meeting, who is responsible for each part, and how you will implement the action plan. The excitement comes from knowing you’re taking steps to construct the life you two envisioned. Set date for next financial meeting.
•Certified Financial Advisor: not only can they educated you on what you may not be aware of but they can help you devise a plan based on your goals.
•Have 3 Accounts: yours, mine, ours. This creates autonomy, gives independence, and helps avoid arguments.
•Loss of Job: this is when you need to work together the most! Support your partner emotionally. Being in a relationship when things go bad is what builds the magic between two people. Take this opportunity to shape an even stronger relationship. Brainstorm and come up with an action plan to move forward. Half the battle in life is confidence. Work to increase this as opposed to tearing at one another. Remember to think of the ‘Big Picture’. There will be another job and all will be okay.
•Lesser Incomer Earner: attach his/her money to a vacation, car, college, etc. to demonstrate the importance of their contribution.
•Transparency: try not to cheat – romantically or financially! Torabi discussed the importance of sharing passwords and sticking with your plan. If you do stray, make sure you disclose this with your partner, to avoid confusion or other problems.
Mint.com is a great FREE resource to help you manage your accounts.
Cheers to building your financial future!