“Every time money comes up I freeze.”
Relationships and money…it can leave us frozen. Financial stress is the number one and most persistent stress in America. If you are already experiencing financial stress how do you approach adding another set of numbers to the equation?
The Beans’ member, Courtney, is excited about getting married later this year, but shared that everytime money came up she would freeze.
“I have managed my finances on my own for years so to think about taking on his as well… How do you navigate? I know finance is one of the biggest stressors in marriages.”
The goal for any conversation around money with your partner is that you are open and honest with one another. Yes, it is totally easier said than done, but critical! Talking about money is an incredible opportunity for strengthening your shared trust and connection.
If you are looking at combining households, similar to Courtney, you may be thinking: “I don’t want to change my bank account. I don’t want to change my credit card. All that stuff is easier if I don’t mess with it.” That is the beauty of relationships, you are shaking up the snow globe and as a pair you decide where the snowflakes are going to fall. You and your partner decide: “This is how we want it to be.”
Communication with our partner is also an opportunity to give and receive social support. Social support is critical because it enhances our resilience to stress. When we can talk about our finances with one another we will make radical progress toward our financial goals.
Another strategy we discussed during Community Sessions is the power of “we”. It might sound silly, but changing the way that we talk about our money has a big impact. In every combined financial situation, there’s one person that makes more money than the other. In these situations it is often helpful to think about it as our money, our finances, our time. “We spent too much on the credit card this month.” Simply replacing “you” and “I” with “we” is remarkably powerful.
Lastly, consider starting your own “fun buckets”. Call it whatever you like, but this is your own discretionary fund. Money that you can each spend how you see fit and that your partner can’t see.
We checked in with Courtney shortly after our Community Session and she shared that she and her fiance discussed their financial situation later that evening during date night. Courtney felt comfortable communicating with her partner and together they developed a plan for combining their households. 💜