A few weeks ago, I talked about the dynamics of financial compatibility for couples. So, I was interested in this article on couples going to money therapy. It quotes various financial expert including a financial planner, Dave Ramsey, consumer credit counseling association and a money coach. How’s that for a collection of opinions. I took away three key points.
1. Meeting. I like the advice to have money dates. This is similar to the budget meetings taught in Financial Peace University. The purpose is to start dialoguing on a regular basis about spending, saving, debt and financial goals. James Ludwick, the president of MainStreet Financial Planning suggests tracking spending and creating a budget for at least three months. I think this should be ongoing, but it might help people to think it’s just for a few months.
2. Gender differences. It helps to understand the different way men and women generally relate to money. Dave Ramsey (my favorite financial guru) said that women view money as security while men think of it as a game scorecard. This means that men see financial hardship as personal failure more than women. Women tend to seek out help (including money therapy) sooner according to the article. (Wouldn’t you think so given the issue of asking for directions by gender!).
Understanding where each other is coming from helps keep the situation from becoming too emotional so progress can be made.
3. Communication. It is important for couples to work together when developing the budget and creating their financial plans and goals. Mr. Boomer had an interesting “rule” that he used in previous relationships which was the golden rule. The person with the “gold” rules. Needless to say, this is not how our household works. We discuss all major purchases, goals, etc. Since we keep our money separate for the most part, we don’t have common budget meetings.
Although I think therapy for any issue that couples can’t resolve is a good thing, most people could probably resolve their differences on their own by using the key points above. What do you think about money therapy?
Photo by Ville Miettinen
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Is Your Partner Financially Compatible?