How to Deal With Money In A Relationship

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It is possible to have a relationship full of money magic and not money misery. But it doesn’t happen by chance.

Money is cited as the number one cause of relationship breakup and divorce. 

Many people share with me that not knowing how to have empowered money conversations, or knowing how to make financial decisions within a relationship significantly impacts all the other areas of their relationship. 

How do you use money to enhance your relationship rather than destroy it?

That’s what this video is all about. Watch it now.

Enhancing your relationship through financial empowerment is NOT using money as a way to buy yourself out of the relationship “sh*t” the clunky money conversation got you into.

I’m talking about how to have empowered relationships with money to increase intimacy in relationships. 

Get Clear On Your Own Money Stuff First.

You cant create a healthy money relationship until you have sorted your own money out

You must get clear on the following…

  • What money is to you? 
  • What were you taught about money? 
  • What are your beliefs around money? 
  • What did your parents teach you about money by their behaviour? 
  • How did your parents manage money?
  • How do you treat and manage money? 
  • Do you have a structured money management system that is getting you where you want to be financially, or is it a rambling process that just evolved?

In a relationship we have two people with their own money stuff coming together to form a whole new entity called “The Relationship” which then develops its own money stuff made up of a blend of the stuff brought in by the two joining personalities. 

Usually this is an unconsciously created mess.

Before you can even consider what is happening in “The Relationships” money stuff, you have to sort out your own money stuff.

  • Get clean and clear on what’s going on in your money world. 
  • Take responsibility for the results you’re seeing. 
  • Get intimate with your money and know where it is coming from and going to.
  • If you’ve got debt, get blitzing it. 

Only then can you start getting curious about another person’s money stuff and be able to consciously create The Relationships money world.

It’s important we talk about money shame before we go any further…

Shame is the greatest destroyer of intimacy, connection and trust. 

Body shame is the biggest shame trigger for women, and seeming weak is the biggest shame trigger for men.

After that, comes money shame!

People avoid money conversations early on in a relationship because of their own money shame and fear of being judged.

Afraid of being judged greedy, or a failure, or not having enough, or being ignorant, or stupid…

This is why we have to do our own money work first, so we can be aware of our own money shame triggers and own them with compassion. When we bring our stuff to the light, we dissipate the charge around it AND can then do something to change what is going on. 

Keeping our money shame stuff in the dark makes it fester and grow.

How do you start bringing this money intimacy into a relationship? 

TALK ABOUT MONEY SOON AND FREQUENTLY!

When you’re getting into a relationship, it’s important to have money conversations early. 

Here’s a terrifying statistic!

2 in 4 couples report that when they got engaged, they had not yet had an open money conversation.

WTF!!! 

50% of people enter into marriage not knowing whether the other person has debt or not, how they manage their money, whether they have investments, what their financial goals are (or if they have any), what they earn and how they spend…

No wonder this money stuff becomes such an issue in the majority of relationships.

Early on in a relationship find a way to bring money into a conversation. 

It can be done in a very casual way, and it’s best to start by you revealing something about your own relationship with money. 

Say… 

Out of curiosity, if, you were to get a lump sum of money from somewhere, what would you do with it? “

Their reaction and response will give you a lot of insight into their relationship with money and how financially literate (or financially messed up) they are. 

Not to judge them, but to get a baseline of where they stand on the money savvy spectrum. 

You can also say…

“By the way, do you have consumer debt?”

You want to know how they manage their money? 

That was a rhetorical question, of course you want to know how they manage their money.

Say this…

“There is this woman Ann Wilson who teaches people how to be great with money and I’ve been practising the money management system she teaches called Wealth Pie. Do you have a process for managing your money?

And saving?

Ask… 

“What are the kind of things that you save for?” 

And to understand their relationship with money and people ask..

“How do you deal with people who ask you for money? Do you lend money to people?”

These are great conversation starters to lubricate the empowered money conversations, and it goes without saying, you need to have answered these questions for yourself and share your views openly and honestly. 

A great final question to start a money conversation is to ask somebody the following… 

”What is a big amount of money and what is a small amount of money?”

Before you ask them this question, make sure you’ve answered it too, and then reveal your answers to each other.

This simple question will reveal huge amounts of information about your mental constructs and rules around what is a big amount and what is a small amount of money. 

These ranges are very important to know when you are establishing your relationship Money Rulesand agreeing on when you will talk to each other before spending a big amount of money. If your definition of a big amount of money is very different, that simple thing could get you into terrible relationship conflict.

When you have  money conversations, you must be specific.

Learning how to have fun, clean money conversations early in a conversation build trust and muscle to have deeper money conversations later.

You want to know their beliefs around money and wealth. 

You want to know if they have financial goals and whether they have plans to achieve them.

This is your relationship’s financial due diligence. 

You want to know this information relatively soon in a relationship because if there’s a big difference in your money values and what you’re wanting from money in your life – know this sooner rather than later. 

Assuming your relationship passes the first financial due diligence test, and you create this entity called “The Relationship” it’s important to discuss and agree on how you are going to manage your money individually and jointly. 

You need to have individual financial plans – financial goals, savings, assets, fun pots etc AND “The Relationship” needs its own budget, savings, assets and financial goals. 

You need to discuss how you are going to hold assets in your own names and jointly so you ensure you’re ALL financially stable, growing, and successful. You, your partner and “The Relationship”.

You need to create Money Rules for “The Relationship”. 

Every relationship should have a set of money rules. Things that you agree you will and won’t do around money. Rules around investing and saving. Rules around the use of debt and spend decisions.

The Relationship also needs a money management system.

The way you manage the money in the relationship must be transparent, a system you both understand and you agree to because if you have different systems or no system at all, you’re going to have a lot of conflict. 

  • How are you going to manage money day to day? 
  • What accounts is going to be used for your general day to day living needs?
  • Is it going to be a joint account? 
  • What payments go off which account? 
  • How are you going to save? 
  • How are you going to invest? 
  • How are you going to contribute? 

I highly recommend you implement the money management system “Wealth Pie” – it’s detailed in The Wealth Chef Book.

One of the pieces of Wealth Pie is the Play Pot.

In a relationship it is vital that you recognise you are both individuals who need to do activities individually. Activities that top up the batteries and bring joy. To pay for these must set money aside for both of you to do things that light you up. This should be an equal amount, irrespective of who earns what, and neither partner has a say in how the other chooses to spend their Play Allowance.

With your money management system and Money Rules in place, it’s important to have a regular money dates. This is where you as a couple (together) review your money flows, your net worth, your financial goals and the progress you’re making on them, your spend plans, and so on. 

You also celebrate your money successes.

This is also the time and place you can bring money challenges to the party. 

Don’t wait until there’s some anxiety or stress to have a money conversation, or throw a financial hand grenade at your partner as they are falling asleep…  

Have a calm, structured way to have these conversations around your money, your goals, your investing, your saving, your spending and what it is that you want from money, so both of you individually and together can thrive.

In the comments below I would love you to share:

  • How have money conversations, specifically in the context of intimate relationships, been for you in the past? 
  • Has there been a specific area that was difficult for you to talk about? 
  • Or if you did talk about it, were you shamed or judged? 
  • What aspect of your money stuff do you find difficult to talk about in a relationship? 

Letting that truth out can help you get rid of any shame you may have around it. So please share your money stories abundantly so the whole community can learn and we can expand together and help heal this area of life which impacts so, so many people. 

Remember, your wealth is created by consistent baby steps. 

Keep taking them, keep talking about money, stay curious and most importantly, keep having loads of fun.

Big love

Ann

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4 Comments

  • Devon says:

    “ensuring that money and love, stays IN love”.. Words to live by!

  • Chris Joy says:

    Amazing advice that we all should use, thank you , it’s never too late!!!

  • Rajinder says:

    What do you do, when at the age of 63, and just a massive mortgage (that won’t be paid off until I am 74) as an asset, and a husband who just keeps himself in permanent debt, a husband who thinks his money is his and I should not be asking questions as I am not his mother…what do I do to pay the mortgage off quicker? He does not want to contribute anymore towards it and wants to semi-retire in 3 years. I have paid his debts off many times, in thousands of pounds. Now what?!

    • Ann Wilson says:

      Rajinder – my heart goes out to you and it is time for you to stop rescuing what cannot be rescued and shouldn’t be rescued. AT 63 there is a LOT you can do AND there is a huge urgency.

      Stop waiting for your husband to change.

      You must now rescue you!

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