"She's always spending, spending spending!" "He's so cheap, I can't stand it anymore!" These are just some of the familiar comments that I hear from my clients when money starts ripping them apart. Let me assure you, by following a few simple rules, you can rule money instead of it ruling your relationship.
Rule #1 What out come do you desire?
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Ask yourself, what is your intention? What outcome regarding your relationship and money do you want to see happen? Do you want her to stop spending altogether? Do you want her to ask permission before she spends? Do you want him to just let you spend whatever you want to? Do you want to have seperate bank accounts? You see the end result is so very important. Once you know specifically what you want you can then present your needs, wants, and desires to your partner and he can do the same.
Rule # 2 What are you Willing to Give Up?
Once each of you know what you specifically want, it is time to negotiate. Negotiations should lead to a win-win and a better understanding about how each of you feels. When you are negotiating let each person have enough time to air their desires WITHOUT INTERRUPTION. If you need to set a timer, then please do. Make sure each of you gets to make your point without interruption.
Rule # 3 Find Common Good Ground
Now is the time to have gratitude. What does she do that you love? How does he make you feel safe, secure and warm? Remember this is your partner, your friend and your lover. Each of us needs to feel connected and special, it's a basic human need. Now is the time. Take turns and say out loud five or ten things that you are thankful for about your partner.
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Rule # 4 Create Meaningful Budgets and Specific Money Responsibilities
Next it is time to avoid these misunderstandings in the future. It is imperative that you either create meaningful budgets yourself, or enlist the help of a professional. Do an add-up of all of your income; and all of your expenses. If you have more income than expenses then give yourself a pat on the back. That extra money, is just that extra money. What will you do with it? Invest it, save it, or buy a new pair of shoes or golf club with it? This is the time and place to make these decisions together. Remember the art of compromise! If your income is less than your expenses then you need to take a look at each one of your expenses and decide what is absolutely needed and what can we do without. USE THIS SIMPLE RULE: IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MONEY FOR THE EXPENSE, YOU CAN'T HAVE THE EXPENSE. It is a tough and painful rule but one which needs to be adhered to in order to avoid financial disaster. Decide what you absolutely must have vs. things you can do without. Rent, food, etc. is a gotta must. Cable, internet, cell phone, I know I hate to say it but in the scheme of finances...OPTIONAL.