Wedding season is underway and newlyweds are vowing to have and to hold from this day forward. While many couples have talked about combining their apartments and furniture, many have not talked about how they will combine their finances after the big day. In fact, many couples go through years of marriage without having proactive and healthy discussions about their family’s finances.
Why is it important for couples to talk about their finances? Because, even the most compatible couples are bound to have disagreements about how to manage their money. And, the more you disagree about money the more it lowers your likelihood of achieving your life and financial goals.
Money fights are inevitable. But, the fights about money are rarely about money. They are, instead, usually about differences in the money traits we hold and a wide range of underlying emotions that are difficult to understand or talk about. Money becomes the means of expression for the disagreements because it is easy and tangible.
In his book Financially Ever After, Jeff Opdyke says that most couples are missing the tools that enable them to talk with one another about money without anger, frustration, and hurt seeping into the conversation. Couples are left with essentially two choices: fight and risk making the situation worse or shut up and risk making the situation worse.
Opdyke’s book offers an alternative he calls ‘family financial fluency’ - the knowledge and vocabulary that couples need to communicate effectively about their money and their feelings about money before and after marriage. If couples learn to talk about their family’s finances instead of keeping concerns and frustrations bottled up, they can find effective, productive ways to find common ground. They will find ways to make each other happy financially.
It is my experience working with couples, that those who are able to communicate effectively and manage their finances together as a team experience more success than others. If you want to grow and protect your wealth, but are not sure where to start, I recommend Opdyke’s book and calling our office to set up an appointment. I can serve as the neutral person to help your family with your financial challenges and goals. Because our firm does not receive commissions from third-parties, we focus on what is in your best interest rather than selling you a bunch of products or services.