Every couple has that one topic that causes an argument whenever it gets brought up. For some, it’s trust or where they’re going to live, but for many relationships, it’s money. Even if money isn’t something that gets brought up all the time in your relationship, when you’re talking about spending your life with someone and every financial move they make is now connected to you, it suddenly seems pretty important to see eye-to-eye. If finances are an uncomfortable conversation in your relationship, not to worry—there’s a light at the end of this very dark, frustrating tunnel. Although there are several ways to educate yourself (online, asking friends and family, etc.), working with a financial planner can be extremely beneficial for not only your financial status but also your relationship. Read on to learn how a financial planner can change your relationship for the better.
You’ll get an opportunity for open communication
The first step in your journey will be laying out all your finances (yes, the good and the bad). Before our appointment, my boyfriend and I were emailed paperwork to fill out together, and I had to explain the little credit card balance I’d been secretly chipping away at. It can feel embarrassing or shameful to admit you have debt, and having an open and honest conversation about it isn’t easy, but it is necessary. Taking advantage of this opportunity to put everything on the table will only lead to a stronger relationship. You’ll feel better when there’s nothing else to hide and you know that your partner did the same for you.
You’ll gain perspective
Even if you don’t have any secrets or debt, you’ll learn during a meeting with a financial advisor who is the saver and who is the spender (or that you’re both one or the other). FYI, there shouldn’t be shame or negativity, no matter what your habits are. For me, once our planner explained why we had different money habits, it made so much sense. Once you understand what triggers your spending and why, you can start to form new money habits. Just remember that no matter how difficult or frustrating the conversations may feel, the fact that you and your partner are willing to address your finances head on puts you way ahead. You’ll gain perspective on your relationship, how to change your habits, and how to best support the other.
You’ll work through uncomfortable conversations
If money is a constant argument in your relationship, meeting with an objective third party who’s an expert on the topic will really be life-changing for you and your SO. Think of it like a relationship therapist but one that focuses specifically on finances. Instead of each of you trying to justify your money habits, your financial planner is there to help you find a strategy unique to your relationship and identify a common ground. Like most issues in relationships, compromise is key, and a financial planner can help you find what that should look like so you both feel strong in your finances as a couple.
You won’t have to have the same argument again
Our financial planner gave us instructions on what our next steps should be as individuals, and then once we accomplish those goals, we’ll come back to learn what our next steps are as a couple. In the short term, that means I have to pay off my credit card, build my savings, and then shift my focus to student loans. In the long term, we’re going to learn how to combine our finances and our financial goals so not every purchase needs a referee. However, the most important thing we learned for our relationship is how to listen to each other more and try to understand why something that’s important to me isn’t important to him (when it comes to spending versus saving) and vice versa. We now feel like we’re playing on the same team instead of against each other, which has made it all worth it. Seeing a financial planner will not only help you resolve the money issues you’re dealing with now but also help give you language to work through money disagreements in the future.