If you are married or in a serious relationship, you likely have felt the toll that financial stresses can have on a relationship. Where to allocate money, who manages what, bills, paying off debt, one partner spending more than the other… the list goes on and on. Finances can be a touchy subject for many couples.
As the trusted financial advisors for doctors in Canyon County, we’ve dealt with our fair share of couples looking to fix their financial mistakes. In this article, we will discuss 3 of the most common mistakes that couples make when it comes to managing money, and how to overcome them.
One of the most common, toxic financial behaviors in relationships is not being transparent about spending. A recent survey* found that 13% of those in relationships have a secret checking account, and 12% have a secret credit card.
Even those who do not have a secret card or account are often still guilty of keeping financial secrets. Perhaps you have avoided telling your partner about past debt, or you are keeping purchases a secret. Obviously, keeping secrets (of any kind) is toxic to a relationship. Keeping financial secrets, however, has additional negative outcomes. Because your finances are tied to your spouse’s, the debt you accumulate and the investments you make affect them as well.
Not Setting Goals
Too many couples live month-to-month, without discussing or planning for the future. Proper wealth management, for Ada County physicians and everyone else, is important in life and relationships. In fact, nothing good was ever accomplished without thoughtful planning. Discussing your financial future with your spouse, setting goals, and making plans to achieve them is essential to having a healthy relationship and financial situation.
Keep in mind, this is easier said than done. Couples often have very different financial priorities and goals, hence the importance of communicating and setting goals together. Agreeing on common goals may require some sacrifice and compromise; however, your well-being and financial future will be better because of it.
Lack of Communication
Overall, most problems boil down to a lack of communication. Finances can be a touchy subject for anyone, and opening up about your spending habits and history to your partner can be difficult. However, communicating openly and often with your spouse about finances is critical.
First, have a set time that you and your spouse discuss finances. Make sure it happens frequently. Additionally, ensure that both of you are involved in decision making. In most relationships, there is typically one person who is more financially savvy, and that partner tends to take control over the finances. This works for many couples; however, be sure that the lines of communication are always open. Regardless of how you and your partner decide to allocate financial responsibilities, those responsibilities should be communicated, and financial decisions should be made together.
As you and your spouse seek to become unified in financial matters, meeting with a financial advisor can benefit you greatly. An experienced financial planner can aid in facilitating communication and creating a plan that you can both get behind. At IMA Financial Services, we are financial planners who specialize in wealth management. We will assist you in creating a financial plan that will allow you and your spouse to achieve your financial goals.