A study published by Business Insider found that – during the first and third years of marriage – money matters were the most commonly reported source of marital arguments and that couples with high amounts of debt generally have lower levels of satisfaction in their marriages.1
So many factors contribute to the success of a marriage. One element that plays a key role in the health of any marriage is our relationship with money. Feelings, be it guilt or excitement, often ensue with spending. No question about it, a variety of emotions surround our financial habits. Recognizing and understanding these emotions in yourself and your spouse can greatly increase the odds of a successful marriage.
To increase satisfaction in your marriage, we will cover several key areas that can help you learn more about relationships with money including financial roles, communication and a mission.
Define financial roles while balancing money management styles.
A joint approach to decision-making is best when it comes to your marital finances. It’s been well documented that couples often have different but complementary financial skills. For example, one partner may be more confident and willing to take greater risks while the other person is more conservative and patient when it comes to investing and planning for the future.2 It’s critical to balance these distinct skills so that they work better together rather than separately.
Individuals, within the majority of couples, have distinct interests and strengths. One person may feel competent, or enjoy, tracking monthly expenses and paying bills while the other prefers the responsibility of managing the couple’s long-term investments. Assign roles accordingly. The key is to take advantage of your individual strengths to build a strong foundation together. Examine progress within these roles no less than twice a year. Then, adjust assigned activities and responsibilities as appropriate.
Create better relationships through effective communication.
Couples can unintentionally create conflict and the breakdown of communication in their relationships. Engaging in more effective methods of communication can significantly increase satisfaction in relationships.
Both verbal and non-verbal communication is vital and basic to a happy marriage. Research indicates that families that communicate clearly and effectively are more capable of problem solving and tend to be more satisfied with their relationships. Healthy communication is an essential building block of strong marriages.3
Generate and pursue a shared sense of mission.
We work with you, as a couple, to determine a shared sense of mission as we consider each individual’s priorities and goals. It’s important to build a budget based on the goals required to accomplish that mission. It should be a savings and spending plan that also allows the flexibility and freedom to enjoy your life.
Manage your money wisely by creating a money management plan and sticking to it. Surprises will show up. Prepare for them. Think about what may have happened in past years. Did you or your spouse have unexpected healthcare costs or home repairs? Consider those unplanned expenses and others as you make plans for your future together.
We are skilled in the design of relationships to help you and your spouse formulate, deliver, and listen to well-grounded and well-intentioned assessments offered to enhance your relationship.
I invite you to consider the concepts above. If you’d like to explore how this customized workshop can help you and your spouse, let’s have a conversation. Contact me.
Check out our 3-part series on Money, Career & Family: Planning for the Year Ahead.