How Couples Can Talk About Money in A Calm and Productive Way Through A Financial Date®

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I believe it’s important for couples to manage their money effectively through the process of Financial Dating®, creating spending plans, tracking their money, creating debt payment plans, and communicating about money in a healthy way.

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How Couples Can Talk About Money in A Calm and Productive Way Through A Financial Date®

  1. 1. Leslie Cunningham, Certified coach, money coach, Financial Dating® expert, columnist, published author, radio talk show personality © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  2. 2. How Couples Can Talk About Money in A Calm and Productive Way Through A Financial Date® © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  3. 3. Many years ago I was interviewed by Sydney Carlino, a certified Financial Representative. Sydney wanted to learn more about my concept of Financial Dating® and how I guide couples to talk about money in a way that is fun and connecting instead of volatile and separating. I’m including some of the key points from our interview to support you in working with your partner instead of against your partner when it comes to talking about money. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  4. 4. From your experience, do most couples have difficulties discussing financial matters? Absolutely. Most of us are familiar with the statistic that money is the number one issue that couples argue and fight about, as well as the number one cause of divorce. Specifically couples tend to disagree over how to: 1) spend money 2) pay off debt 3) save money. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  5. 5. What are some typical results of this strained communication? Short term, couples tend to divvy up the financial tasks. Each person gravitates toward the areas they are comfortable handling, as well as areas that they have a desire to control to some degree. While it’s good that each person brings unique skills and abilities to the partnership, what tends to happen is that each person “does their own thing,” without including the other person in the communication process. It’s the common case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. The long term consequences of this are: 1) arguing and fighting, 2) giving up, 3) avoidance, and 4) wanting to jump ship and get out of the relationship entirely. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  6. 6. Do you think it is ever a good idea for one partner to handle all financial matters, perhaps in the name of keeping peace or saving time? I personally don’t think it’s good to have one partner handle all financial matters. And yet, couples have unique situations which merit creative approaches based on the dynamics of their relationship. I believe in helping couples use money as a tool for connection rather than conflict. The best way to get budget buy-in is by paying the bills together so both partners know where the money is going on a monthly basis. I encourage couples to think of financial security in terms of one partner being able to take care of her/himself in the event something should happen to the other. If both partners understand what’s occurring with their investment portfolio, the other person is better prepared to take over the investments in the event something happens. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  7. 7. How then, do you suggest couples start talking about finances in a new and effective way? I teach couples to have a Financial Date® – two to three times a month – to talk about money. During this time they sit down to discuss their financial goals, develop strategies for achieving those goals, and take action. Many couples come to their initial dates with a lot of resentment and tension, so I help them create their own “formula” for having dates so they are able to create connection and talk about money in a non-stressful way. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  8. 8. How then, do you suggest couples start talking about finances in a new and effective way? (cont.) My husband and I started having Financial Dates® almost 7 years ago. He was skeptical at first. At the time I didn’t have a clue as to what we should do, all I knew was that we needed build a foundation in the beginning of our marriage for communicating around money. After about a month of having these dates my husband was completely sold on them. The results speak for themselves. Because of our dates we were able to pay off a huge amount of debt in one and a half years time. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  9. 9. What are some of the results you have seen when couples have adopted the principles you teach? Couples create a workable plan for paying off debt, form a clearer understanding of how much they owe and own, and develop a realistic monthly spending plan–which both partners can stick to. They also learn how to communicate more effectively, handle differences of opinion, and many couples report experiencing a closer, deeper connection with their partners, without the financial stress. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  10. 10. After a couple has integrated these principles into their everyday lives, creating more intimacy and a foundation for financial health, what are the next steps? I believe Financial Dating® is a lifetime experience, happening in 3 stages. During the first stage couples “build their financial foundation.” This includes learning how to work as a team, communicating more effectively about financial issues, blending different spending styles and learning how to handle conflict and tension. The second stage consists of “developing the framework for discussing money issues”. In this stage they learn exactly what they need to discuss and focus on during their Financial Dates so they accomplish their financial goals. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  11. 11. After a couple has integrated these principles into their everyday lives, creating more intimacy and a foundation for financial health, what are the next steps? (cont.) The third stage involves “putting the finishing touches” on their financial house. In this stage couples focus on achieving their goals. Their dates focus on effectively managing money as a couple; paying off debt; setting up accounts for emergencies, retirement, and dreams; buying appropriate insurance; setting up legacy plans; teaching children about money; giving; and what I call “living richly”. “Living richly” refers to couples working together to create their ideal lifestyle. Are they working too hard? Do they not have enough personal time? © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  12. 12. Parting thoughts? I believe it’s important for couples to manage their money effectively through the process of Financial Dating®, creating spending plans, tracking their money, creating debt payment plans, and communicating about money in a healthy way. It truly is the vehicle that will support couples in communicating in a calm and peaceful way around money and in supporting them in achieving their financial dreams. And the great side benefit of all of this is that they create a deeper sense of intimacy as the achieve more financial intimacy and honesty in their lives – it truly is the icing on the cake. © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561
  13. 13. “ Secrets to Success with Money in Your Business and Marriage: How to Get off the Emotional Financial Roller Coaster so You Get on the Same Page, Make More and Achieve Financial Freedom and Confidence” Thursday, March 31, 2011, 8 pm Eastern This free teleseminar is for you if you are ready to : stop worrying about money all the time and feeling burdened by it, eliminate the financial tension and stress in your relationship, meet in the middle with your spouse and work as a team , have fun, friendly and productive conversations about money and have it become something that actually brings you closer together. To reserve your space on this complimentary call, go to www.financialdating.com/team © 2010 Leslie Cunningham All Rights Reserved www.FinancialDating.com Email: [email_address] Phone: 406.586.5561

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