The ultimate passion killer for me, is financial stress. I find it difficult to concentrate when there is mounting anxiety, combined with a stream of intimidating numbers and expenses, ready to drain your bank account (and sanity).
I also find it frustrating not working on financial goals (even little ones), or even worse, not listening to my intuition, when I know I could be doing better with my attitude and approach (yes, I do slip up sometimes!).
When an opportunity arises to work on your financial goals and dreams with your partner, this presents a chance to not only fine tune your finances, but also strengthen your relationship for the better.
This week on Fireplay I published a special podcast where I share with you the story of how we joined financial forces. This includes, how we develop budgets, financials goals and build respect around our individual values and vices.
You can listen to this podcast here, but in the meantime, let me share with you 5 simple rules and approaches that have helped Tom & I sustain a united financial front and build financial independence for our family.
1)Inspire & empower – explain to each other our money habits, financial goals/dreams and why certain expenses were necessary to us on a personal level. We also linked this back to how and why it is beneficial for our family. For example, paying off our mortgage is important to me, as it reduces financial stress and frees up more money for holidays, cutting back to part time work and the opportunity to retire early.
2)Invest Time In Educating Each other – For example, when I showed Tom the savings in time and money our mortgage repayment calculators projected, when we simply pay $200 more on our mortgage, he was immediately on board. If you can explain the benefits, especially using visual aids like our calculators, it provides more clarity and on the rewards, you can sow from your sacrifices.
3)Listen To Our Story – it is rare to have the identical money story as your partner. We often have different childhood experiences with money. It is important to understand how some of our financial habits are developed in our formative youth stages. When we listen to our partners with an open heart and identify core problems, you can support each other in dismantling limiting toxic beliefs and habits that are holding you back financially.
4)Transparency, Access & Agreement – as Tom and I started to join financials, we discussed which parts of our finances will rightfully remain in our individual control. We can also access each other’s accounts through joint banking apps – which enhances accountability and transparency. We also agreed on the cashflow logistics, which includes the family budget and our own individual living expenses, so that we still have a sense of independence. We also contribute to a joint holiday savings accounts, that align with the boundaries of our budget.
5)Open Conversation – we check in with each other to see how we are going with our finances. Not just the numbers but how are we actually feeling about our goals, direction and and strategies.
We are both open to change and that comes from having safe open conversations where we focus on improvement and happiness.
From experience, the power of two is greater than one. Working together as a team feels great. With strategies in place, we feel proud when we are on track with our goals and we feel supported when things don’t go to plan. Because we both know we are working as a team, we have upheld respect for each other, knowing we are doing our best.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is a Channel 9 Financial Commentator, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.