Jun 7, 2019
Did you know, according to a thing I read someplace, the number one thing that married couples fight about is money? Did you also know that Evan and I once got in a fight over me ordering a small-sized ice cream cone, instead of the kid-sized cone? Hopefully we’re not the only ones who think it’s important to have a great communication strategy with your S.O. when in comes to money talk! (Also, anybody else fight over ice cream prices? No? Ok!)
When Ev and I were engaged, we talked about money a lot. While we actually had pretty similar views on budgeting and finance in the grand scheme of life, those smaller differences felt SO big. Talking through expectations, goals and the reality of our finances was one of the best things we did to set ourselves up for a successful first year of marriage (and beyond!). Lemme repeat in case you didn’t hear me: talking about money BEFORE we got married was one of the best things we did for our marriage!
We’ve got a THREE PART blog series to talk about this bad boy. Today, I’m going to share the big picture of what we mean when we say “money conversation.”
Annndddd before I say anything else, I want to emphasize that Evan and I made the decision to combine our personal finances as soon as we got married. We believe that part of being married is becoming “one” and that financial decisions are absolutely a part of that “one-ness.” If you and your fiancé don’t plan to make financial decisions together or combine your assets, than this conversation is still really great to have! But you made need to approach it a little differently!
So first, ~the money conversation~. When we say this, we are telling you to have an open dialogue with bae about the money of your PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE. No this isn’t a Muppet Christmas Carol throwback! At least I don’t think it is! Ahh! Keep reading to find out!
I’m introducing the money conversation as a look at your PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE because it’s an easy way to examine your personal finance generally. Like it or not, money is a huge element of reality that has been with us since we were born and will continue to to be with us until we die. You and your life partner should be on the same page about this from the start, but where do you even start?! *Keep reading*
THE MONEY OF YOUR PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
PAST: Your notions about how money should be used and why come from the collection of your past experiences. Even if you don’t realize it, you have a philosophy about money. It could be anything from “you should always save as much as possible” to “budgets make life boring, man!” but no matter what it is, you and your fiancé both have principles that guide your spending. It’s important to acknowledge these principles and where they came from, as this will allow you to decide what type of philosophy you want to carry into marriage as a couple!
PRESENT: Your philosophy about how money should be used may or may not reflect how you are actually using it. Thus, you and Fifi (my preferred pet name for “fiancé”) should evaluate what is truly going on currently with your bank accounts. Taking an honest look at your spending habits will allow you to approach the conversation with honestly and will help you avoid later surprises and frustrations when you combine your lives.
FUTURE: Using your information from the past and present, it’s time to look forward to the future. This is your chance to make decisions together, which can be the most difficult and the most rewarding. This is the time to consider what you’ve learned about yourself and one another, and make financial goals (both big and small) as a result!
In upcoming posts, I’ll share practical steps and conversation starters that will help you have this conversation with bae in the most successful way possible!! Check back soon for the next post in the series!