For The Love of Money

With my Mediators hat on, I find it quite sad when couples choose to separate over financial incompatibility. Why? Because in most cases they have not had an honest and transparent conversation about money EVER! They have not discussed financial exceptions as a couple and set financial boundaries. I see families break apart because of perceived financial incompatibility and financial immaturity.

With my Couples Counselling hat on I like to work in prevention:

Discover the secrets to a harmonious financial future as a couple in Australia! Did you know that approx. 40% of Australian families cited money as a major source of tension in their households in 2022? It’s no surprise that financial issues can strain relationships even before you say “I do.”

Unlock the path to stronger marital finances and relationships by exploring the common financial challenges faced by married or couples in a long term committed relationship.

Here’s what you need to know:

Key Takeaways:

·        Couples can achieve more together than as individuals.

·        Commitment demands a calm, honest conversation about finances, habits, goals, and anxieties.

·        Money discussions require checking egos, addressing control anxieties, and redefining marital roles and responsibilities.

·        Strategies exist for couples to tackle debt and enhance their financial standing.

·        Communicate expectations and plans about raising and financing children before they arrive.

·        Seek unbiased advice from financial advisors, relationship counsellors for smoother money talks.

1. Failing to Pool Earnings:

·        Splitting bills without discussing long-term goals can lead to resentment and financial instability.

·        “Financial infidelity,” hiding money, can harm the relationship.

·        Plan for setbacks like job loss or career changes before they become urgent. “Contingency plan”

2. Carrying Old Debts:

·        Discuss and understand each other’s existing debts before marriage.

·        Recognise that post-marriage, debts incurred individually are still owed only by the individual.

·        Be aware of community-property states where post-marriage debts are automatically shared.

3. Ignoring Personality Differences:

·        Money personalities vary; openly discuss and address differences.

·        Recognise and moderate bad habits for the sake of the relationship.

4. Staging Power Plays:

·        Avoid power struggles based on income differences or family backgrounds.

·        Remember that both partners are part of a team and future financial united goal are important

5. Supporting a Growing Family:

·        Having children is a financial decision; discuss expectations and plan accordingly.

·        Changes in career dynamics, retirement assumptions, and lifestyle should be addressed.

6. Coping with Extended Family:

·        Manage finances while respecting goals, needs, and expectations related to extended family.

·        Establish policies in advance to navigate family financial crises.

·        You will at some point be dealing with parents passing, their care and their financial care may be in your hands

How to Handle Money Issues in a Marriage:

·        Communicate openly and regularly about preferences, goals, and concerns.

·        Set joint financial goals for the future.

·        Address debts transparently and choose a strategy for paying them off.

·        Consider prenuptial or postnuptial agreements if needed. In the ACT it is termed BFA “Binding Financial Agreement”

·        Understand each other’s financial personalities.

·        Check egos and avoid power plays.

·        Discuss family matters and establish clear policies.

·        Teach children about money and financial responsibility.

The Upside of Getting It Right:

·        Marriage offers financial advantages, doubling income without doubling expenses.

·        Synchronise goals for faster achievement.

·        Remember, even getting it right 99% of the time may involve occasional money-related disagreements.

Starting the Money Talk with a Couples Counsellor can Pay Dividends!

·        Initiate conversations with icebreakers about dreams and financial goals.

·        Joint accounts encourage open and transparent spending habits.

·        Be aware of financial infidelity, which can erode trust in a relationship.

·        Understand many people suffer from “Financial Immaturity.” Wanting live “Solo”

In Australia, couples can build a strong financial foundation by embracing open communication, setting shared goals, and addressing financial challenges together. Regular check-ins and planning sessions can help navigate potential stressors and maintain a healthy financial relationship. Start your journey to financial bliss as a couple today!