We had a another major talk about money recently. Major like, an unexpected 4-5 hour conversation sprinkled with a little frustration, bits of confusion, a few WTF moments, maybe tears… then something really amazing happen. We had a huge breakthrough. An “AHA” moment. An “omg he/she finally gets it and is equally excited” moment… and it hasn’t gone away, so I’m excited to share.
A talk about money is an important one, so now that we’ve had a huge breakthrough and are super stoked about the future (again) I thought I’d share some lessons and tools from our money conversation that helped us a ton and might help you too should you ever hit this bump!
Here’s a little background:
Jairek is deep into his dad’s new book “Unshakeable” – It’s a game-changer for achieving financial freedom. Go buy a copy!
So naturally he’s excited to share what he’s learning and we we start to talk about money. I take a deep breath.
I’ll just lay it out there: We have two different styles of investing and spending. I, being the wonderfully sensitive, animated, pleasing female that I am, start to get a little uncomfortable and frustrated because clearly we are not on the same page. As humans sometimes do, we both think we know what’s best.
A situation unfolds…naturally. Though we are amazing at “talking it out”, it doesn’t make it any more comfortable or easy. Trust.me.
Let’s stop and think about why relationships and money are such tough subjects. To begin with, we are raised our entire lives with really only one mindset around money, usually adopted from our parents/family. They are neither good nor bad. They are simply different. Different enough to cause some major flipping relationship turbulence.
Luckily I’ve been blessed with an insanely emotionally intelligent man. (I know, I married very WELL.) Who is up for “let’s talk this out” and that’s exactly what we did. By the end of the conversation, and since then, we totally understand where we stand, respect each others beliefs, values, and rules around money and most importantly we are both excited about where we are headed financially and how we plan to get there. Thank GOD!
I’m sure there’s a lot of advice out there about how to talk about money with your partner, but I wanted to share what worked for us, organically, truthfully, and lovingly. Relationship advice is never a one size fits all, so take what works for you and leave the rest… or better yet create your own way and let me know what YOU learn!
How to Talk About Money In 5 Fun Steps
If you find you and your boo in disagreement or simply not on the same page with finances do the following:
Step 1 – Know that you’re not alone if you find it hard to talk about money with your partner.
You’re not the only couple that may disagree at times, or always, about money. It’s one of the most common things couples disagree and have to work through.
Why is this important?
Once you’ve realized money is a pretty ‘normal’ relationship issue, it may take some of the pressure off of feeling like something in your relationship is ‘broken’ or that it’s never going to get better… because your relationship can and will become stronger if you keep reading.
So how do we move from an uncomfortable, disappointing or deeply frustrating money situation to a place where you’re on the same page in your relationship and very much in sync with each other’s needs, wants, and beliefs around money?
Step 2 – Stop labeling each other as “right” or “wrong”
Being “right” or “wrong” won’t fix anything, it’ll only make it worse. So stop it!
If we believe one of us must be right and the other person must be wrong, we’re looking at a downward spiral of resentment and withdraw because neither of you will feel trusted or respected. So knock it off!
We must remove the beliefs or labels of right, wrong, good or bad, otherwise this money issue will continue to surface for years to come.
Step 3 – Become a Detective. Dive DEEP into understanding each other’s money blueprint (experiences, beliefs, values, rules, knowledge) to better understand each other.
This is where true magic happens. Become a detective of their thoughts and beliefs around money. It’s so incredibly powerful. In fact, the only reason why you are in disagreement and can’t see or understand each other is because you don’t know what they know or don’t know. What they believe to be true, what they’ve experienced first hand, etc.
Once I stopped freaking out over our talk about money, I was able to relax and not think “shit something is broken” because I had remembered many go through this. That is when it became a learning opportunity not a problem.
Once we stopped labeling (or even thinking) one way was right or wrong, we were able to hear, listen, think, and understand fully and clearly – more than ever before.
Finally we were able to started really understanding each other’s worlds, beliefs, values, rules around money and APPRECIATED them for exactly as they were – without trying to change them.
I swear it was magical. We both felt understood, appreciated, heard, trusted, and respected on a whole new level. Did you read that? When I appreciated his money blueprint and stopped thinking my way was better, he was better able to appreciate mine. Miracles people, they happen!
4th Step – Define your future money vision separate then put them together.
Hear each other out. What does your each of your visions look like? Take that and then create a version which embraces both of them.*
*Listen, if you’re reading that and are like “yeah, okay I tried that and it didn’t work…” IT’S BECAUSE one or both of you didn’t apply the other steps before hand. Try again. I believe in you.
Once we were able to put down our guards when we talked about money. (Our primal reactions would tell us we must protect and defend what we believe to be true – that won’t serve us here.) We were able to listen. Once we were listening, we were able to hear and express what path we most desired to get us to our ultimate financial vision or goals.
Naturally we had different paths, one of us was more risky, the other more conservative, one more lax, the other more budget… yada yada.
But once we actually listened and understood each other, we were able to create a money plan that worked for the both of us. Hallelujah! Now that is how you talk about money with your partner!
5th Step – Rinse and Repeat.
Now here’s the kicker, you must revisit this. I promise you’ll get better at it with time! We certainly have.
Life happens, things change and maybe someone slightly changes their mind about this plan. Cue the alarms going off because suddenly the agreement has been broken or modified. In that event, just go back to step one and repeat until you’re on the same page again.
So long as you navigate how to talk about money with love, patience and an open mind you’ll be back on the same page with a clear vision you know you’re both working towards, together.
That’s all! Let me know what you learned, what you loved and what works for you when it comes to talking about money with your partner!