How Having Honest Conversations About Money Can Unite a Couple Behind a Shared Vision of the Future.
The Telegraph is currently running a column in its money section called Money Date Night. It’s a simple yet compelling idea. Couples go on a date and talk about money together.
We could all benefit from scheduling time to talk about our household finances in a positive, structured and constructive way. It doesn’t necessarily need to be over a meal and a glass of wine!
MONEY AND ARGUMENTS
When you are talking with your friends, family and colleagues, how often do you hear complaints along these lines?
He/she’s always at work and never helps me with the kids.
I'm stuck in a job that's killing me. I work too hard and never get to see the kids. We're like ships passing in the night. But we need the money.
He/she spends too much money - I'll never be able to retire.
He/she wants to save everything into investments, but I want a new car instead. I don't want to save for rainy day that may never happen. Live for the now, that's my philosophy.
He/she wants to send the kids to private school. I'll be working forever to pay for it.
He/she wants to give the kids too big an inheritance. It’s our money, I want to spend it.
I want to move house, but he/she just keeps putting it off.
These are just some of the many household trade-offs that you might face. There’s no right or wrong answer and so it’s inevitable that there needs to be some give and take.
A SHARED VISION
The best financial strategy for any couple is to be honest with each other about what you both want out of the rest of your lives and what role money is going to play in that.
Write it down. Take each other’s hopes and fears seriously. Without those shared aspirations, there’s a risk that one or both of you looks back in 10 years’ time with regret and even resentment.
It’s not just a bucket list of things to do and places to visit, although that’s a fun exercise to go through. It’s also about your values around money, what money really means to you.
You can then try to put a cost, whether a financial cost or a time cost, against each of these and then start to build a set of combined financial goals and values to aim for, to live by, and to review over time.
That way you’ll be united by a shared vision and a shared sense of direction.
And you might have an enjoyable meal too!
If you would like to learn more about how we help clients create a joined-up plan that they each believe in, please call us on 020 3488 9505.
The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less
than you invested.
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