I recently had the pleasure of appearing on Good Day Tampa Bay Fox 13 to discuss couples and the stress finances can put on a relationship.
Most couples, especially right now, struggle with how to talk about their financial situation. With the economy going up and down and creating a lot of anxiety many couples are finding that the stress is affecting their relationship. In couples counseling I talk to couples about creating a plan of action when it comes to discussing their finances and then following through with that plan.
Step 1: Talk about the finances when you are not frustrated, stressed or having a bad day, but don’t keep putting it off either!Step 2: Both of you create short and long term goals separately, then come together to share what your goals are and discuss what is different and what is similar. You may be surprised that most of the time you both have very similar goals.
Step 2: Both of you create short and long term goals separately, then come together to share what your goals are and discuss what is different and what is similar. You may be surprised that most of the time you both have very similar goals.
Step 3: After discussing the goals create a plan on how to start accomplishing those goals. Start with baby steps!!!! This is where you start with the short term goals. Starting with baby steps will help you feel a sense of accomplishment instead of feeling overwhelmed by the big picture. This is also where you would decide if you are going to have an allowance and how much, as well as agreeing on a dollar amount you would check with your partner before going over. For example, anything over $25 you are going to wait and discuss with your partner. This will not only help strengthen communication with your partner it also helps stop impulse shopping.
Step 4: Deciding how and when you will talk about the budget. Whether you decide on weekly, monthly or quarterly, this is when you get out your calendar and agree on a date that you are going to talk about the budget.
Step 5: Reevaluate the plan. Review your short and long term goals on an agreed upon time. This I would maybe do on a quarterly basis. Once you’ve reviewed your goals then you can discuss what’s working and what isn’t working and trying some new techniques.
Talking about money is a very intimate discussion that can create a lot of stress or disconnect, but when following a plan or agreed upon goals it creates more connection and decreases stress.
Feel like you still aren’t on the same page? Does the stress get too high when you talk about finances? Please feel free to call for a free 30 minute phone consultation to see how couples counseling can be helpful.
You can reach me in my St. Petersburg, FL office at 727-565-2551, by email here, or through my online scheduling here.