Let's discuss the common problems of talking about money
Can't watch the video today? Read the blog below!
Let's discuss the common problem of talking about money and the communication difficulties this creates between men and women. Lots of clients say to me "we have a great relationship but when we start talking about money things just seem to go wrong. We start arguing and end up not talking about it".
I really understand this because I have a great relationship with my wife Wendy, but the same sort of thing still has tended to happen between us as well.
There are two big issues here - communication and information.
Did you know that only two in five couples actually treat their finances jointly, the other three couples go their own way? Or that in a recent survey it was found that men are happy to spend four times as much money on a particular item without actually referring to their partner? You probably do already know that, more often than not, there is always one partner who takes overall responsibility for the money.
These simple facts are a recipe for disaster when it comes to money matters between couples - at best it will just be miscommunication but at worst there's definitely fertile ground for many an argument.
Have a quick look at the diagram - does this look like a familiar conversation?!
So how do we get out of this circular and pointless conversation?
Here are a few things to think about. They may be small but they are most definitely important:
1. The person who is responsible for managing the finances is not in control of them. This is a hugely important distinction. They do the financial chores but this doesn't mean they are actually in control of all of the money, nor does it mean they should feel solely responsible for it.
2. The person who is not responsible for the financial chores mustn't abdicate responsibility. They need to know what's in the bank account and they need to know where they are going with the money. This is really, really important.
You both need to actually talk about what's in the bank account, and what you do and do not want to do with it. In other words, and this is a powerful point, you are then able to change the conversation into a positive one in which you both talk about what you'd like to do and what you can actually afford to do. It becomes a joint decision in which both parties understand and also feel heard and which stops those crazy circular conversations.
To really be able to communicate effectively with each other you will also need a budget - I promise you that's a lot more exciting and a lot less boring than it sounds and we'll be talking about this over the next few weeks.
Until then, remember to keep the communication lines open with your partner, share control of the finances and make sure you are both aware of what's going in and out of the account and it will save you both from going around in circles!!