The Warfare of Love & Money – 6 Tips To Keep the Peace
As published in Several Inflight Magazines
Many couples interested in property investing are actively seeking ways to increase their wealth and create financial security for their family and themselves. Already, they are one step ahead of the pack; they are on the same page, working together and planning for their future and financial security.
Money is the one thing that we use on an everyday basis, the one thing we cannot live without and the one thing that can cause us so much pain. Love can be grand until the arguments begin. And more often than not, it’s about that thing we just can’t run away from. People spend years of their lives arguing about finances; going round and round in circles, and usually most of the arguments circle around a common theme – financial worry, debt and trying to decipher where the money has gone, who spent what and blaming each other.
So what should you do if you and your partner simply can’t agree on how the finances should be handled? How do you move forward, stop the blame game and get on the same page as a couple?
To give you an insight into how financially fit and functional couples succeed, we have constructed a list on how to keep the peace and progress together in both love and money:
1 Take responsibility for your finances - The problem is not going away. This means facing the problem head-on and deciding you are both ready to stop blaming each other and focus on a solution. This is not the time to ignore the issues, pretend they don’t exist, keep spending and sweeping problems under the rug!
2 Devise a budget - This one is difficult and you need to be totally transparent! Make sure you include absolutely everything from weekly food shopping, petrol, kids’ sporting activities, hair dyes, absolutely everything! Yes, this means including daily coffees or sneaky snacks and keep it realistic. Don’t begrudge yourself small indulgences (i.e. make it one of those nice ones where you can still go out for dinner occasionally and not feel guilty).
3 Find an amazing mentor or coach who can work through the details and issues and can keep you on track at all times; someone you are accountable to and someone you know you both have to answer to. Work out a step-by-step financial and property investing plan specifically tailored to your particular financial situation (self-employed or otherwise). You may need to consolidate debts and roll credit cards onto a lower interest rate to work through debt; you may need to refinance your home loan to release some equity and attain some cash flow. Whatever the problem is, and no matter how complicated your finances may seem, you always work better when you have someone to answer to and mentor you.
4 Pay bills together - Become proactive and remember this is a partnership! Become active and involved and keep in mind that this is both of your money and you both need to be aware of what exactly is being spent on bills each week.
5 Communication is the key alongside complete honesty, so don’t keep money secrets or commit financial infidelity. For example, consult each other on larger purchases. If you start hiding new shoes in the cupboard, spending a sneaky $40 at the pub every couple of days with your mates, or ripping price tags of tops and hanging them in your wardrobe and telling your partner, “What, that old thing? I bought that months ago!”, you will absolutely blow the budget, your newly found financial trust and any hope of moving forward together financially.
6 And finally, set some common goals - Write them down, make it binding to ensure you both can see you are moving exactly towards the goal and where you want to go, for example paying off debt, saving for a holiday, investing for your future or buying a house or investment property.
Love and money is the main conflict between so many couples, with many of my clients telling me, “If we didn’t have such big money issues, we would be so much happier!” Unfortunately the old adage that “money doesn’t make you happy,” in today’s world, is not so true. Money worries contribute to elevated stress levels, restless nights, anxiety and frustration – so how can this possibly not affect a relationship?
I have helped so many clients structure their finances in the best possible way, to achieve the best results the fastest way, and helped them research to find out if there is a better way to be saving money. For example, find out if there can be a better way to juggle the mortgage(s), credit cards, car loans, or personal loans. Find out if there is a quicker and easier way to achieve your financial goals as a couple. Find someone to work with you step-by-step; this person needs to be impartial and someone you can be fully accountable to. Find out if you have options and are using your income in the best possible way and investing your money correctly. Could you be building wealth or a passive income with property for yourself whilst you are working? Could your money be working for you harder and faster?
If you need help in sorting through the money maze together, then you’re not alone. Love on its own is a complicated affair, however, throw money into the equation and it’s understandable if you feel you may need some guidance. It’s time to face the music, give yourself a financial health check and stop the warfare of love and money – it really is easy once you’re on the same page.