Managing Finances

One of the biggest sources of stress in a relationship is finances. Yes, that stress is most notable when there just isn't enough money to make ends meet, but financial stress is also often about the way we deal with money. No matter how much money you have, when two people approach money and finances in fundamentally different ways, their relationship can be tested.

So what does conation have to do with money? It drives much of your approach to how you use money. It is important to point out though, that money, and how we relate to it, is tied up with our emotions, values, and learned behavior.

Someone who grew up in a home where there seemed to be plenty of money for gifts and splurges one month, followed by concern about how to cover rent the next, will have a different emotional connection to money than someone who grew up with parents who had steady jobs and spending habits.

This section is about how you and your partner deal with money. How your instinctive approach to taking action will drive your financial actions. In particular, we're going to look at how your approaches to gathering and sharing information (Fact Finder) and dealing with systems and organization (Follow Thru) affect your financial life - and your relationship.


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Kyle, you need to see where your money is going. And, you need to have a plan in place that will provide financial security for you and Kathy. You'll be most comfortable using financial advisors and institutions you can visit in person and that give you a timeline to follow. When you put together a budget, make sure you don't short change the quality of the things you buy.


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Kathy, you naturally come up with your own unique strategies and when new opportunities come up, you prioritize them. You need to get your research done before making financial decisions, but you don't shy away from taking calculated risks and cutting deals.

Kathy, because you have a need to get lots of information, you should think ahead when it's time to take action on your finances. Kyle, doesn't need as much detail, some, but not as much as you. So if you've found that sometimes decisions take longer than they should because Kathy needs to go to a couple more sources, the answer isn't to stop getting facts, the answer is for the two of you to set a deadline and start doing your homework early enough so you can move forward when the time comes.

Kyle, you should contribute your talent for getting enough information while having a sense of when enough is enough and it's time to get going. The two of you should lean on this strength to make sure financial decisions aren't delayed to the point of causing problems.

Takes Two

The way you take action is an important driver of financial behavior.

You two have potential for terrific financial synergy, with Kyle, maintaining the financial systems that will help you keep track of what you're spending and saving, and Kathy handling the unexpected problems and opportunities that inevitably pop up. Kathy, keep in mind that while your talent to adapt to changing circumstances will help in lots of situations, this will also lead you to being a bit on the disorganized side, while Kyle, is more structured. You can avoid this from becoming frustrating. Kyle, don't let financial plans be too rigid - while being respectful of the commitments you make to Kathy. Kyle, you need to use your strength for sticking to a system to protect the family finances. When it's time for strategic programs and plans, consulting a financial planner will help get you on track together.

Takes Two
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