Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thrifty Thinking: 6 Steps to Increase Love AND Financial Security

Some 56 percent of Americans say they want a partner who provides financial security more than all-consuming love (44 percent) according to a
 survey of more than 1,000 people by Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Edge. The good news is that couples can boost both their love and finances with Pamela’s trust-building tips:

1. Acknowledge that talking about money can be emotional and prepare accordingly – Choose a time when you're both relaxed and not rushed. Begin the conversation with something like "I know that our finances can have a great impact on the health of our relationship. I'd like to start talking about money so that we understand each other and can get on the same page."

2. Review your finances together monthly ­– Many couples don’t talk openly about money, so when money issues do come up, it becomes a sensitive subject and leads to conflict. The solution is to sit down with your partner every month and go over your spending and savings plan.  Look at everything you bought during the past month and everything you’re thinking of buying soon, and ask yourselves, “Is this really a need or a want?”

3. Agree on how to divide your money – The time to have this heart-to-heart conversation is now, rather than in a divorce attorney’s office later. Common topics to cover include individual discretionary spending, household expenses, retirement savings, and extended family responsibilities.

4. Got money secrets? Fess up – If you haven’t been fully honest regarding finances, now is the time to clean it up. You could start the conversation by saying “I know that neither of us is perfect when it comes to money. Our relationship is important to me, so I want to make sure we have a foundation of honesty about our finances.” No matter what comes up, stay calm and avoid judgment. Keep breathing! And focus on positive solutions going forward. 

5. Understand and acknowledge different spending habits – Seek to understand rather than correct each other. If something in your partner's attitude bothers you, tell him how you feel and why. See if you can find compromise, but don’t try to ‘fix’ your partner.

6. Eliminate debt – Debt is deadly to many relationships, and a top priority should be to reduce and eliminate debt to banks and credit card companies. One way to speed up that process is to make your spending decisions more consciously. Another key is building an emergency fund that can help you weather life’s emergencies as discussed in this video.

“Instead of constantly talking about the burden of your debt, talk to each other about your financial goals — where you’d really like to be, and how you’ll get there,” Pamela says. “Rather than letting debt issues drive you apart, facing your debt as a team can actually strengthen your relationship.”

About the Author: Pamela Yellen is founder of Bank On Yourself, a financial investigator and the author of two New York Times best-selling books, including her latest, "The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future." Pamela investigated more than 450 financial strategies seeking an alternative to the risk and volatility of stocks and other investments, which led her to a time-tested, predictable method of growing wealth now used by more than 500,000 Americans.

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