I saw a billboard on the side of the bus the other day that said something like “80% of divorces are due to disagreements over money” or some similarly high statistic. I don’t know the exact figures regarding divorce, but I can tell you that Money is the #1 reason why couples fight. Do a simple Google search and you’ll be met with hundreds of articles about it.
Now I promise this topic is relevant whether you are in a long-term committed relationship, just starting one out, or happily single. This blog post will be about financial security and, more importantly, how you define it.
So take a moment and imagine your perfect life. Think about what makes you the happiest and when you are most content. What does that picture look like and what are the pieces of it?
For instance, you might envision your perfect life is traveling a lot. Visiting exotic places, or even less exotic places, but your life is centered around when your next excursion can be and where you can go.
Or it might be that involves sitting around a table with your friends, eating and drinking and sharing conversation.
Or it might even be when you are driving with your sweetie, talking about life or about the latest political shenanigans.
Examine that picture and think about what part of this picture involves spending money? Is it airfare? A great bottle of wine and new board game? Or your trusty car?
You have just identified where your financial security lies and where you should be spending your money.
The basic concept is financial security. Meaning what does it take for your to feel stable in your life and lifestyle with your money. And where couples and even individuals go wrong is when they don’t have a clear picture and don’t communicate about it. You might feel best when eating a healthy meal with your family after a great workout while your significant other could feel most at peace playing video games. So when you go to Target and he picks up the latest Call of Duty, that icky feeling you get that usually results in your rolling your eyes is exactly how he feels when you spend $8 on a pint of organic strawberries.
This is always the first question I ask new clients. What does financial security mean to you? Most couples have radically different ideas and find that once they identify this point a lot of their arguments over money goes away. And most single people find that once they identify this, their spending habits alter drastically. Eating out doesn’t seem so important when what your really want is a solo trip to Hawaii.
I would love to know from you guys what you find most important to spend money on. And this is not about the necessities. We know everyone needs food, clothing and shelter. Is it a specific way your shelter is taken care of? Or a particular kind of food? Or something else?
And if you’re finding that you’re butting heads, whether with yourself or someone else over money, contact me at email@example.com.
I personally have to re-evaluate this every 6 months or so, so if you thought you knew the answer to this and find it’s different, it only shows you’re growing and changing like any organism.