Posts in Beliefs & Values
How to share finances with your partner (without losing your marriage or your mind)

Pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of wine, because we’re going to talk about how to handle money with a partner without losing your marriage or your mind.

OK – here’s the first and most important thing you need to know. Your relationship with money isn’t about money (and neither is your partner's). Wait...what?

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No one knows what they're doing with money

As you start to work on your finances, you’ll probably find that it’s a lot more work than you thought. There’s a lot more nuance, there are a lot of decisions. There’s a lot to learn. (That’s where I come in).

On top of that, whenever you start to work on your money, a lot of feelings come up. Confusion. Overwhelm. Anger. Fear. Shame.

Let’s talk about that last one. Shame.

 

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How to avoid a holiday spending hangover

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to spend less money at the holidays. It boils down to:

  • Make a budget and stick to it

  • Shop sales

  • Plan before you shop

  • Consider buying fewer, or less expensive gifts

Don’t get me wrong - I think these are all good advice. I do all of these things myself.

There are a few additional pieces of advice I give to my clients, though, that I’d like to share with you as well.

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F*ck single ply (AKA stop feeling bad about spending money!)

Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t spend that, but…”, or “I know it seems extravagant, but…” in a dismissive way - in a way that indicates that you should feel guilty or ashamed of your spending?

Stop doing that.

I want you to stop feeling bad about your spending.

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Can't afford it? Or it's not in the budget?

I want you to try an exercise with me today. Take a deep breath, get out of your chair, and touch your toes.

Whoops, sorry - not that kind of exercise. Phew! You can stay sitting right where you are for this one. Sit, close your eyes, and take a deep breath (deep breathing is required for all kinds of exercises, it’s a rule).

Think about something that’s out of reach for you, financially.

This could be something grand, like a big international vacation - or something more mundane but also important, like getting a new couch when your old one kicks the bucket, or funding your emergency savings account.

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How to make a better budget? Start with the ingredients

I talk about budgeting a lot here. It’s...kind of my thing. But if you’ve read some of my posts about budgeting you’ve probably figured out that I don’t do “regular budgets”. I only do good budgets.


How do you make a good budget? Whether you’re building a better budget or making a gourmet meal, what do you start with? Better ingredients. If your building blocks aren’t right, how can your budget be right? You wouldn’t make a third-date-dinner with stale ingredients, would you? Why do you keep making “budgets” without of date ideas and tools?

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Your money problems are a symptom

How do we know when we are sick?

We get a tickle in our nose, we get a nauseous feeling, we get a headache. Our body experiences pain or discomfort. We feel that pain and we do one of two things - we either treat the symptom (take some pain medication), or we treat the symptom and the underlying disease. We know, from experience, that a symptom rarely is a finite, disconnected thing. It’s usually the tip of the iceberg that we can see or feel, signaling a bigger issue underneath. Sometimes that’s a routine issue like a cold or flu, but sometimes it’s something bigger.

Money sickness is a real thing, too. Here are some of its symptoms - recognize any?

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What I'd Do If I Won The Lottery

I think about money a lot. I think about how I use it, how I can better use it, how I can help others use it differently. How I can teach about it better. How I can show my daughter how to use it well and not feel bad about herself in the process. Thinking about money is my actual job.

I’m really practical about money. Sometimes to a fault (just ask my spouse!). But there’s something about daydreaming about winning the lottery that gets anyone, myself included, feeling less practical. But only to an extent - I can’t turn off my budgeting-love that easily.
So what would I do if I won the lottery?

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