Bringing it all together

Afro hispanic family together in the park

There is no one ‘right solution’ for addressing money issues within relationships.

Different people tolerate different degrees of financial participation in their relationships. 

Try and make sure arrangements are consciously chosen, rather than a result of control, avoidance or hopelessness. 

There are many ways to co-­operatively craft financial lives that support both people in having what they want, individually and together.

The three C's of communication

One way to see if both partners are equally comfortable behind the financial wheel is by reviewing the three C’s of couple’s communication:

Communicate

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Make it a point to regularly set aside time to have meaningful conversations and identify shared financial goals.

Collaborate

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Building a financial plan together gives partners an equal opportunity to understand their financial needs and how to get there. Planning allows couples greater control over how to reach shared financial goals and identify potential hurdles and sacrifices that need to be made.

Control

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Having a plan in place increases a sense of control and confidence for both partners and brings an increased peace of mind that achieving goals is possible.

Money conversations are all about partnership.

When one person is making all the financial decisions, it almost always leads to feelings of resentment and disempowerment and can be a slippery slope to financial harm.

When couples work together and set goals by having clear, honest communication, the quality of their relationship can be significantly enhanced.

Overall, managing money as a couple is a lot like managing other aspects of a relationship. It all revolves around communication, respect, and trust.

The “leaning in” to money management, also sets a good example for children, not only with regards to finances but by role modelling some of the necessary components of a healthy intimate partner relationship. 

Finally – don’t give up!

Your communication about money may feel slow and painful for a while, but whether you are working to change communication habits, or learn new skills, it will be worth it in the end.

© Good Shepherd NZ and AUT, 2021

Good Shepherd NZ has built this toolkit in collaboration with Dr Ayesha Scott of AUT’s Finance Department.