There is an old saying, “No Money, No Honey”. But, is it really and old saying? Imagine when the stock market goes crazy, it relates the extremes people will experience when they feel “ALL” they have was lost. Money wheels power. You have the power to purchase whatever you want or not; power to influence people or not and the power to lose your mind with greed or not. Combine money, power and people and it will produce energy that varies from narcissistic entitlement to ambivalent despair. What does this mean for your relationship? This article is a look into the emotions behind money. We will talk about the practical things you must do in order to get a handle on your finances especially in a relationship.
He who holds the checkbook rules the world or so they say. Many of my clients who come in for my couple sessions struggle with their finances. Whether the issue is how they pay for counseling or how they pay their rent, money tends to be a hot topic for couples. Depending on the challenge or lack of challenges you experienced in life will often determine your money mindset, especially those experienced during childhood.
Rule #1: Be sure both you and your significant other are on the same page regarding your short term and long term goals. Fact: Most couples struggle to find common ground on where their money should go. When you were single it was easy to decide whether to spend or save. Now you have to consider some other than yourself.
Rule #2: Before you invest in a financial planner, be sure you can establish a basic budget and stick to it for about 3 months. Fact: Many couples spend a great deal of money going to a financial planner before determining what they can actually place into a savings account without eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for 6 months.
Rule #3: Vow to always have money to do three things: Purchase foods, go to the doctor and pay for a roof over your head. Fact: Many couples establish budgets that are not realistic. The budget can often be too stringent to adhere resulting in instant failure.
You may say, “ Ok, we are following the three golden rules, but we still have problems with money.” True, because when we have enough money to pay for the necessities of life, we go to the next level…what value do you associate with money? People who are possessive of his/her money usually associate money with worth. “I make more money, so I get a bigger say in where it goes.” More money equates to more power in the relationship. Money, then becomes the language through which one partner reminds the other partner that he or she is in some way superior to the other. Society has determined that those who cannot handle money are somehow irresponsible or ignorant. This is not to say that there are those who have in fact failed to manage their money properly. We live in a world of instant gratification with lack of planning for the future or emergencies.
This energy has produced a mindset that encourages a judgment on those who “can’t pull themselves up” out of money problems and need to be taught a lesson on money management. To be honest all of us could use a lesson or two on how to manage, invest and save money. However, let’s be sure we cultivate the attitude “two heads are better than one” when it comes to couple’s financial management plans. Understand the value of money and what to do with it in the future!
This is an interesting topic with many levels. Look forward to more articles about money issues and how to find a balance between spending and saving money.