Arguing about money is acknowledged as a key contributor to divorce and separation.
Knowing this, would it decrease the stress in your relationship…
Next Step is here to help. We have a service we call Money Coaching and Financial Success Training that helps people climb out of stressful financial situations.
I was talking to a counsellor today who says that money is often the root of marital problems and a great source of stress for her clients. She has referred several clients to me and we have worked on ways restore and/or re-build trust in financial matters, level the financial knowledge in a couple’s relationship, build both the individual’s and couple’s self-confidence, and basically get partners on the same page working towards the family’s goals.
Here are some financial success stories from our work with couples in building / rebuilding financial trust.
One couple analyzed their spending and learned that it was the timing of the payments of the household that was causing them problems with NSF cheques and getting behind on payments – NOT lack of money or willpower. They made changes to align their expenses with their pay periods and now are on top of their bills, have no extra bank fees or the embarrassment of bounced cheques, and are actually building strong savings towards common, agreed-upon goals.
Another couple was spending around 25% of their after-tax income on one child’s elite sports activities. Setting parameters on those activities, applying for sports grants and making the sports events fun trips for the entire family reduced stress and built commitment for all members of the family to enjoy time together.
Sometimes a way out of a stressful financial situation is knowing what can be done by way of restructuring debt. We reduced one family’s monthly bill payments by $1500 per month (and reduced their overall amortization) by consolidating the debt into a larger mortgage that included an addition to the family home. This idea was based on understanding their home business aspirations and dreams for the future. Referral to support agencies such as WESK and our collaborating partners (accountants, mortgage brokers and lawyers) works so well in cases like these.
Knowing when to ask for help is also a key. A good rule of thumb is if you are arguing about money – ask for help! For example, one family had spent enough on credit cards that all of one of the partner’s income went to pay credit card interest. The family was sinking and a referral to one of our trusted partners to research a consumer proposal gave this couple hope and a positive path forward into a successful future. Had they waited to ask for help it could have been a very disastrous outcome.
Knowing the difference between fixed (food, rent, income tax, utilities etc.) and variable expenses (clothing, Starbucks, vacations) helps many people start to build net worth and reduce debt. One client , when we talked, and explained this concept, found that working part time was simply not enough to cover the fixed costs they had committed to. They were then able to increase work hours to cover those non-negotiables like food, rent and utilities and have some left over to build a “fun” account as well.
One of the activities we often use is to coach the partner in the relationship that has never handled the money. Some of us are not taught financial skills. Bottom line, we cannot know what we have not been taught, so our coaching / educating / teaching / reinforcing new money skills is a way to build trust within a fractured relationship. We set goals, I follow up and we build success together.
This blog could be many pages long.
The examples are so numerous – we have over 40 years’ experience in the coaching of financial skills. Our service is unique in the province. Let us help you make your life a financial success and provide a safe place to talk about money!
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