Sometimes, it takes a third party to point out the simplest things. Not that merging the finances of two is simple. However, with the right mindset and a few bits of advice the process can move right along.
Get on the same page with these five points:
- There are unlimited things to spend money on…so choose wisely. Needs, wants and dreams are three distinct categories. Be careful not to confuse the three. Red-bottom shoes are really not a need – no matter how hard you try to fit them in that category. Define and work through the details of the Need items first, then start a list of Wants and Dreams.
- Embrace your ‘B’ word. In order to have control over your resources, a budget is necessary. It gives a good look at your resources and the outflows for monthly expenses. Be sure to factor in a personal allowance – designed to be spent on discretionary items with no budget accounting required. Add on a ‘D’ word, too – discipline. It takes discipline to have a successful financial plan.
- No amount of money will make you happy if you are unhappy. If your heart is corroded, money is not the cleaning acid. A new purchase may make you happy for the moment, but joy (true happiness) must be found organically. Learn to have a grateful heart regardless of your circumstances or your bank balance. The smallest things can bring great joy. Even if you are struggling with financial issues, keep the faith that things will work out. Joy doesn’t cost a thing and can be found in the morning sun, blooming flowers, a celebration of good health, and genuine thankfulness.
- It’s about the attitude. You must learn to have conversation without being resentful, accusatory or hateful. Find a common ground from which to discuss items where there are differing opinions. It is wise to seek counsel if you two are polar opposites when it comes to money management.
- Dreaming is a helpful exercise. What do you want to accomplish with your resources? Would you like to start a family foundation? Or make a large gift to your college? Think about what/when/where/why you want to share your blessings. What would you do ‘if you had the money?’
While this is not an all-inclusive list, it does call attention to five simple truths that are useful when navigating your money life. Take each point and develop your own ideas about how you and your honey can handle the money successfully.