Counseling Frisco Tx Money And Marriage


Relationships are challenging enough on an emotional level… layer in the complexities of money management and at times they can feel overwhelming. The counselors at New Roots are skilled at helping couples navigate the broad spectrum of relationship challenges, with financial conflict often ranking high on the priority list—especially in today’s inflationary environment where the cost of basic needs like housing, utilities, and groceries are on the rise. If money is a source of stress in your relationship the tips below can help you lay a healthy foundation as you seek to strengthen your financial future.


Create a Financial Vision


It might sound obvious, but have you and your partner ever sat down to align on common goals for your family’s financial future? What are your financial priorities? Are you saving to put a down payment on a house, trying to pay off high interest credit card debt, or working toward a goal of early retirement? Do you want to create a college fund for your children or set aside money for an annual vacation? What matters the most to you individually and how do your personal goals align with those of your partner? You might be surprised how many couples dive into marriage without discussing these important topics. If you and your partner haven’t had a conversation about your financial vision in a while, maybe it is time to intentionally check in on the subject—you might be surprised at what you learn.


Design a Budget that Honors Your Differences


Now that you and your partner have aligned on financial goals for your family, it is time to create a budget. After taking an honest look at your monthly income and average monthly expenses, you might have to compromise on some of your “wants” from your financial vision. Maybe you need to prioritize paying down debt before you save for that dream vacation, or maybe you need to build your emergency fund before you buy that new mattress. It is important that you and your partner are aligned on your financial priorities, which requires open and honest communication. One thing that is guaranteed to happen is some form of disagreement on how certain budget dollars are spent. Every individual is unique—I have never met two people who agree 100% on the value of each dollar. A great way to stay out of the weeds and honor each partner’s independence is to create two buckets of dollars each month for each partner to spend as they desire (with the obvious exception being that you should not spend money on something you know is inconsistent with your values as a couple). An example might be one partner valuing weekly visits to the chiropractor while the other prefers to have money for daily visits to the corner coffee shop. By creating a line item in the budget for each partner to have some autonomy in spending we can support our common financial goals without landing at a financial stalemate.


Maintain a Unified Mindset


After the financial plan is in place, it is important for couples to revisit the budget on a regular basis – both to evaluate necessary changes and to monitor how actual expenses are tracking against the budget. Budgeting is more of an art than a science and we often miss important expenditures the first time around (oil changes, medicine, haircuts… you get the idea). As you move through the process of comparing actual expenses to the budget it is important to stay united with your partner. It is too easy to fall into the trap of pointing fingers during this exercise (“why were you spending money at XYZ Shop last week?”)—and that is not constructive. Rather than pointing fingers, take accountability for your own spending without being defensive, instead focusing on what you both want to do differently going forward. Work together with an “us against the budget” mindset, not a “me against you” mindset. When you and your partner can work as a team to achieve your common financial goals it can create a feeling of safety and unity in the relationship.


Find a Tool to Help


Budgets are complex. It can be time consuming to manually track a budget every month on your own. Enter financial tools to the rescue! There are countless budgeting apps on the market today—some that are free and others that offer greater functionality for a low price. At New Roots we are big fans of EveryDollar by Dave Ramsey, which offers both a free and a premium version. The app is user friendly and its color-coded interface allows you to see where you are in/out of budget at a glance. Other budget apps recommended by Forbes can be found here: Take a look at different options and find the one that best meets your needs – you can always pivot if you don’t find the right fit on your first try.


Enlist a Professional


And finally, don’t feel pressure to navigate this tricky landscape on your own. Emotions tend to run high when financial security is on the line. The professionals at New Roots can help you navigate this sensitive subject in a way that is constructive for your relationship and helps you to find your common ground. Financial professionals are also well-equipped to help you identify creative solutions that might not be obvious to you or your partner. However you decide to proceed, maintaining an open line of communication on the topic of money is a critical first step. Don’t put it off any longer—your financial future (and your marriage) will thank you!


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