By Ronda Nissley
The subject line in an email from Todd from YNAB (You Need A Budget) caught my attention.
Money issues are a well-documented source of conflict for couples. Most studies estimate at least 1/3 of all couples report financial issues as their number 1 relationship stressor.
So how do we get a handle on financial stress? After 30 years of working with couples, we believe it starts with good communication and conflict resolution skills.
As Todd from YNAB puts it “If you talk about your money together and make decisions about your money together, and if you budget together, your relationship stress around money is going to plummet.” Todd goes on to suggest that this can be done on a date.
Don’t want to ruin a date with a topic likely to create conflict?
Have the date AFTER your budget discussion. Lavern and I started using YNAB in January of this year and have weekly huddles (usually on Friday afternoons) for coordinating finances, schedule and tasks. We reward ourselves with a date or some other incentive immediately after. This gives us something to look forward to each week and has the added benefit of letting us know just how much we have to spend on that date/activity ahead of time for a guilt free experience.
Don’t know where to start the discussion? Here are some great questions to start the conversation at every stage of your relationship (newly dating, seriously dating, engaged, married). We'll list a few to give you a feel for what they are like:
Who knows, maybe you’ll discover the romance in budgeting!!
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Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.