With a recession looking increasingly likely, personal finances can start to put a strain on your relationship. A 2018 study by Ramsey Solutions, a financial consulting firm, found that money was the second leading cause of divorce behind infidelity.
Ramit Sethi hosts couples fighting over money on his “I Will Teach You How To Be Rich” podcast. Many of his interviewees share the same problem: the inability to talk or organize money together.
Couples don’t talk about money
“Couples don’t talk about money, especially in the early days,” Sethi told Insider.
“They don’t talk about money until they have to. So people’s relationship with money is very strained. It’s almost always reactive. They wait for something bad to happen, and then they fight about it. And then they file it away until the next time. .”
Sethi said people often bring their baggage to money in a relationship.
“The real issue is that we each come into a relationship with a different perspective on money, the way we were raised about money, the amount of money we make, and then the way we believe our relationship should be. interact,” Sethi said.
It can be difficult to work on your relationship with finances as a couple if you haven’t worked on it first.
“Because none of us really learns how money works, it’s like taking one plus one equals 1000, and it’s the genesis of many, many disagreements,” Sethi added.
Imagine your “rich life” together
Sethi asks couples to “imagine your rich life,” whether it’s traveling, buying expensive items, or just feeling financially secure. If a couple wants to transform their relationship with money, Seith told Insider, creating a shared vision about finances is vital.
Sethi told Insider that it then makes couples take a look at the numbers and better understand their finances.
He’s seen couples who have millions in savings fight over $20 expenses and takeout, he said. “Most people equate what they have in their checking account with what their financial health is. That’s a very rudimentary way of looking at money.”
Building a complete picture of your shared and individual assets is a productive way to get in touch with your financial goals and improve your understanding of money.
Once you have a shared vision and deeper understanding of your finances as a couple, Sethi recommends that partners discuss financial strategies together.
He also suggested asking important questions about how to approach your finances moving forward: “How are you going to talk about money? What kind of proactive meetings are you going to host? And when are you going to take that trip to Italy?”
Sethi doesn’t believe his advice always works: About 10% of the couples he brings on his podcast don’t respond to his check-ins, which he calls a red flag. But Sethi also points out that money alone is rarely the problem if a couple is struggling.
The deeper problem is often about how someone communicates or treats the other person. “Money is just a word. If you reverse engineer it, it goes back to ‘he wouldn’t talk about money with me.’ Or ‘he wouldn’t sit down with me and work on our spending plan.’ It’s the most minute things.”