When I was growing up, money was always a topic that involved arguments, tension, talks of divorce and screaming matches that were enough to arouse the biggest fear in a young child.
As a result, I've always grown up believing that money was a taboo topic. That it's rude to ask people how they deal with money, or debt or manage their budget. I believe this to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks of our generation (or any generation for that matter). We're ashamed of money - whether it has got to do with how much we earn, how we spend it or how we prepare for the future with it.
Something needs to change. And the bedrock of that change lies in creating a space between people that is comfortable enough to talk openly about money.
I recently wrote an article titled Budgeting as a Couple: 12 Surefire Ways to Keep the Fire and Finances Alive. In it, I outline 12 unique strategies to successfully navigate finances in a relationship. This includes:
- Lay everything out on the table, without judgement
- Discuss your individual wants and needs
- Manage each other's expectations
- Set long-term financial goals
- Schedule regular money meetings
- Divvy up responsibilities
- Tackle your debt
- Budgeting couples communicate
- Don't play the blame game
- Remember the promises you've made to each other
- Dream about retirement
- Answer the question: joint or non-joint accounts
I'd love to hear other people's strategies for navigating finances with their loved ones, whether it's your parents, your partner, your children or your friends.
I think the more we create an open space to talk about money, the better we will get at managing it. We often require accountability in many other areas of our lives. Why should it be any different for our finances?