Financial Intimacy…say what? (Episode 239)
In our final wrap-up week on our month of love & intimacy, we're diving into a biggie - financial intimacy. Yes, we're getting real and vulnerable with it.
So far this month, we've addressed "redefining your tribe" and the importance of you being willing to show up fully - for yourself and your family. Then, we covered navigating disagreements and the fact that conflict happens, yet it doesn't have to be a point of tension. And finally, last week, we had an amazing conversation with Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo about their 6 Pillars of Intimacy and how to have an extraordinary marriage.
And on that note, one of those key pillars they discussed was financial intimacy. It might not be the first word you'd pair with "intimacy", yet not being open and intimate about your finances with your partner is a recipe for conflict and tension, for sure.
The only way to get comfortable with the uncomfortable is to practice.
Create, Calculate & Communicate - You do this to get that
Money - what is its purpose? For many, it's about survival first - getting food on the table, a roof over your head...and then it's a status symbol for friends and where we're going to be in this life. We can fall into this path - you do this to get that.
Money is an energy exchange.
Have a conversation about what money means in your home. What does success really look like? Is it a certain amount in the bank as your nest egg? Is it just happy and connected people? How can you be a steward of creating a home you thrive in while recognizing the need to pay for the party?
Working on Fumes
Having a conversation around what is really necessary is critical. You can't just keep bringing home the same paycheck every week and doing the same thing and expect change to happen.
We aren't laying out the perfect amount of money to make or how to live your life. It's your cake batter. It's tailored to your life and your tastebuds.
If you're working yourself ragged and running on fumes, what type of life are you living? We talk on the podcast about the importance of the "hustle" time to really work hard toward what you want. We've done this as well. Yes, there were times we were pushing ourselves harder than what would be sustainable long-term. We did it intentionally, as a team, to get to the next goal we had.
Hustle, then Reward
When we were first married, our goal was for me to graduate college. We got jobs that supported just that, with exactly what we needed to bring in to pay for our expenses. When Nathan started climbing the corporate ladder, we started looking at what that money would provide for us, and started planning for our first house purchase.
When we dreamed of going to Costa Rica for a month, we worked our way backward on what it would cost, and got creative on how to not only set the money aside, but rent our house out while we were gone so it essentially replaced our lodging expenses over there.
And, when we decided we weren't going to wait for "one day" to make our dream of traveling happen, we set a date, called in babysitter reinforcements, and did the hard work to put everything in place - all the logistics and the expense to shift our whole life from living in a stationary house to a tiny RV.
Notice in each of these, for every bit of, "okay, we have to work hard together as a team - I'm going to not be as available at home due to work" or "we're eating leftovers and pizza this week because I'm focused on getting this ready for our goal," we had a specific end point with a reward.
A house purchase. A month-long trip to Costa Rica. A new adventure of RVing the States full time. It wasn't just sacrificing our energy and bandwidth indefinitely. Every goal set we were careful to add in rewards - not just at the end, but times to rest and recover along the way. Sending kids to grandparents for an overnighter so we could get a break. Taking that random Saturday to do absolutely nothing but just be together because it was a busy week.
Get intentional about where you all want to go and how you'll get there. And be sure to add in recovery along the way, and keep the end goal in sight.
In Alisa & Tony DiLorenzo's newest book, The Six Pillars of Intimacy, they discuss the pillar of "financial intimacy". In it, they shared stats that 94% of those who defined their marriage as 'great' discussed money together, and 54% who say they have a healthy/happy marriage discuss their finances either daily or weekly.
Yes, this is not a "one and done" conversation any more than "I do" confirms you're happy with your partner for life.
Are you having conversations around -
- Are we on the same page with our finances?
- How are we doing on our budget?
- What are our financial goals?
- Are we overspending anywhere?
- What loans/debt do we have, and what do we want to do about it?
- How do we handle big purchases together?
- Do we have a plan to get out of our debt?
- Do we have any short-term or long-term goals together?
- Are we planning for college? Retirement? A big trip?
- Do we have insurance covered?
- What about our wills? Do we both know all the passwords to accounts and exactly what to do if something happened to the other?
If you are having conversations around these things, it faces you both in the same direction. When you're living in survival mode, you aren't at higher processing in your thinking. And it's much easier to just go and overspend to satiate a need to feel good in the moment, without thinking about the bigger consequences.
Financial trust = financial intimacy
If you can't trust your partner to manage finances or not spend, this is a deception that creeps into other areas of your marriage. It says to the other person that you don't value what you're creating together to take them into consideration when you're using this money you share together. Talking about this and getting on the same page is a foundational rock in building trust in your relationship, knowing what you both work to put into it is mutually shared.
Build trust in your finances to come together as a team. It's not that you have to trust that your partner will never spend something without talking to you, or trust that they will always be in their best light.
It's trusting they will show up, and they will work with you to communicate until you connect.
Want to truly connect?
Get to know how different personality styles are motivated and react for deeper connections in your home
The more we're willing to "go there" and have these potentially uncomfortable conversations, the more trust we're building and creating in our relationship - the willingness to show up and sort things out together.
Yes, there will be times you will most likely sacrifice the time you have together for the sake of making money. It's necessary in our world to keep things moving, and the sacrifice of time together is way sweeter when you're both on the same page with it.
Create, Calculate, Communicate
What do you want to create together? Have you discussed your dreams and desires? Have you talked about where you are right now - the reality of what is - and where you want to be? Create a vision together that gets you both excited.
Work through what it will take. A big trip? Paying off that debt? What is the cost to make it happen? How can you set aside that income? What do you need to do, what will you sacrifice, hustle on, and/or adjust to get closer to that goal? Calculate what it will take to shift where you're at.
And finally, be sure you two are talking and checking in on a regular basis. It's not just talking about your dreams and desires once, but talking, adjusting, refining and collaborating together. Clearly communicate to one another when you need support and what you're showing up to support them on.
Look at what you want to do, how you're going to do it, and how you can get support and recharge through it.
We share our personal journey on the podcast episode above. This is a reminder to you - it's not that we just built and built up from the beginning. Yes, we depleted our savings throughout our marriage and rebuilt it multiple times. It's not that we have just grown and grown. It was us determining what was worth the investment - what was worth the leap - and what was worth holding onto.
Finding Meaning in it all
This is a powerful interview with Seth Godin and Marie Forleo talking about finding your calling. In it, Seth states,
This doesn't mean you just settle for where you are and force yourself to be happy with it. Figure out the meaning behind why you're working- what is the significance? Maybe it's the purpose in your work and how you're impacting others, yes.
And yet, maybe at this point in your life, you recognize the income you're getting that is worth the work right now, and you're willing to focus on that as the reason why you're working right now. Maybe the hustle of working there right now, for this moment, is because of the deeper meaning in your life that calls for some hard work to build up for it.
The hustle is meaningful when you know what you're working toward and creating - together. At that point you can cheer each other on, knowing you're both working together toward a common goal.
Once you've pulled everything out - you've been completely transparent, you've put together a plan, you know what your numbers are, and you start marching toward that plan, that constant communication keeps you in check and keeps everyone together.
Your Weekly Challenge:
When it comes to communication, face those hard conversations head-on. If there is no trust in your finances in your home, there is a disconnect in your relationship.
Trust is the best bank account you'll ever own.
Shift your mindset from, "Can I afford this," to "Is this a worthwhile investment?"
It's that statement that gave me the endurance to work at times when it was rough.
Identify your non-negotiables and when enough is enough for your own mental health and well-being. Discuss what your rock bottom is - both mentally/physically, and financially. Get on the same page for where you want to go. Develop true financial intimacy to create together.
Set those goals together and get a feeling of teamwork. Get excited about what you want to create together. Create, calculate, communicate, and remember, the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.
- Redefining Your Tribe – Your Most Intimate Relationship (Episode 236)
- Navigating Disagreements In Marriage (Episode 237)
- One Extraordinary Marriage with Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo (Episode 238)
- Which Wolf Do You Feed? Work & Finances (Episode 23)
- Money, Marriage, and Mountain Lions (Episode 58)
- Shift Your Perspective Before Your Bank Account (Episode 186)
- What is your purpose for money?
- Money Can't Buy...What?
- Tension Points That Cause Couples To Argue
- Recipe for a Light-Hearted Relationship: Part 1 – Triggers (Episode 219)
- Will My Marriage Last? Insights from John Gottman (Episode 113)
- Get Out of Survival Mode with these Three Steps (Episode 234)
- What is your goal? Or maybe that is the wrong question to be asking
- 3 Essential Secrets To Make Your "One Day" A Reality (Episode 49)
- Costa Rica – The How, The Why, The What (Episode 132)
- Family Adventures
- Get Out of Survival Mode with these Three Steps (Episode 234)
- The Burden of Overwhelm – Moving Forward While Always Feeling Behind
- 5 Tips To Focus For Frazzled Families (Episode 160)
- Self-Love, or Self-Sabotage? (Episode 152)
- Ashley Logsdon, Relationship Coach
- Finding your Calling with Seth Godin
- Personality Styles
Questions or comments?
We love Q&A on the podcast, and cover all things that are a part of creating an intentional family.
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, entrepreneurship, minimalism, travel...
What is pressing on your mind? Reach out and ask or comment - we may cover it on an upcoming podcast as well as respond by email.
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