7 Proven Strategies For Making Financial Intimacy a Success in Your Marriage

BY: - 9 Feb '18 | Money

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Financial self-awareness, receptiveness, and understanding play an extensive role in setting the stage to make financial intimacy a possibility for your marriage. In addition to the knowing, there must be the “doing.” Financial intimacy is both a goal and a journey. The only way to attend to growing your financial intimacy in your marriage is through action. Here are the systems, structures, and tools needed to make financial intimacy happen.

Create a System to Centralize All of Your Family’s Bills

While this step may seem like a no-brainer, it is crucial. One of the reasons that our bills go unpaid and financial infidelity occurs is simply because we forget about them and begin a cycle of deceit when the consequences start to hit the fan.

To jumpstart this process, elect a shoebox or folder where you will drop your weekly snail mail bills. This will be a temporary system, which should be replaced with something more comprehensive like Excel, Quick Books, or Quicken Books, or any the online tool you choose.

Keep this ad hoc filing system close to where you drop your mail when you get home. If you get your bills online, create a virtual folder called “bills” and within that folder, create sub-folders for categories like insurance, phone, or rent.

Schedule and Honor Money Meetings

We all know about date night, right? We all love it. We look forward to it. But just imagine if your spouse forgets about date night, cancels at the last minute, or comes unprepared, looking a hot mess, ignoring you and scrolling through his/her phone over dinner or while you are at an event. Needless to say, there’s going to be a problem. It is going to be like when Biggie Smalls said: “There’s gonna be a lot of slow singing and bell ringing…”

But seriously, you will not be happy. You may feel angry, hurt, and disappointed, and begin to believe that your partner does not care about you or your feelings. The same thing goes for honoring your commitment to “romancing” your financial intimacy. Schedule your meetings monthly, biweekly or as needed, have agenda items to be discussed, assign responsibilities, and be present and engaged in the discussion, and honor that time for you to work on your shared dreams and goals.

Set Goals, Monitor, and Revise

Together, you both have to get on the same page as to where you want to be with respect to emergency funds, homeownership, creating and updating wills, tithing, salary goals, investing, debt elimination, having and funding children, and lifestyle. Instead of creating broad goals around each area, use SMART goals, which stand for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

If you both have $50,000 worth of student loans combined, it may be unrealistic (and discouraging) to set a goal of eliminating all of this debt in one year especially if you have competing financial priorities like mortgages, rent, car payments, and the like. A SMART goal would read like this, “By December 2018, we will eliminate $2,000 of student loan debt by doubling the minimum payment of our student loans each month.” Between the start and end date of your goals, administer checkpoints to monitor the progress of that goal.

Automate Payments

If you both know that you have difficulty paying your debt on time and consistently, speak with your bank representatives to set up monthly recurring payments to the institutions to which you owe money. This is especially true for bills that you hate to pay. This structure takes some pressure off of you and your spouse because payments are automatically withdrawn from either your checking or savings accounts. With automation, though, it is still important that you are regularly checking and reviewing your accounts to make sure payment amounts and dates are accurate.

Click Here to Download a FREE Copy of the BMWK Generational Wealth Pledge for Black Families!

Celebrate Financial Milestones

With all of the hard work that you are doing to build your financial vision and grow your financial intimacy, you must find ways to play hard as well. Be strategic about what you celebrate, when you celebrate, how you celebrate your financial milestones or successes. Do you want to celebrate when one credit card is fully paid off, when half of the mortgage is paid, when one of you receives a promotion, after a graduation, or once you close on a home? Similarly, “celebration” takes on different forms: a quiet bath together, a movie, a trip to Vegas, or a big sloppy kiss.

Monitor Your Language and Be Generous

No one said that having money conversations would be easy, especially if you married your financial opposite (you are a spender, your spouse is a saver or vice versa). That does not mean, however, that you have a license to throw daggers or intentionally hurt your partner when you are having a financial disagreement.

When you find that you have reached a financial impasse, try to find something positive to say about your spouse’s spending habits or financial decisions. For example, if you think that your wife is financially anal because she has kept every ATM receipt since the summer of ’99, put a spin on it: my wife is detail-oriented and an excellent data manager and that keeps our family finances on track.

On the other hand, if you think that your husband has spent more than he should have on cologne, you can praise him for having good taste, taking care of himself and you can be inspired to pay more attention to putting yourself together.

Click Here to Download a FREE Copy of the BMWK Generational Wealth Pledge for Black Families!

Know When to Ask For Help

If you can’t be productive or find something redeeming to say to your partner in the middle of a disagreement (because sometimes it is a stretch), the best thing is to step away and table the conversation for another time, when you both are cool and levelheaded.

You may need to bring in a qualified third party to support the two of you engage in meaningful dialogue around money. I say qualified meaning bringing your mama, Madea and ‘em, or your boy Shawn from up the block into the mix may make the situation worse. Ask for referrals for Certified Financial Planners, personal finance coaches at work, within your network, and at your places of worship.

BMWK, are you ready to improve the financial intimacy in your marriage?

About the author

Kara Stevens wrote 150 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .

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5 Crucial Tactics For Crafting a Wealth Building Mindset and Securing Generational Wealth

BY: - 22 Feb '18 | Money

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Shifting your money mindset from spending to building wealth is the cornerstone of any wealth-building plan. Achieving this mindset begins with adjusting your overall approach to spending and your overall relationship with consumerism. In addition to the great suggestions offered in the video below, here are five ways you can craft a wealth building mindset and create generational wealth.

A wealth-building mindset means eliminating “the “Joneses from your vocabulary.

Keeping tabs on the Joneses is so easy with the popularity of social media. If you suffer from a case of the Joneses, you may find yourself constantly comparing what you have with what others have. So instead of being happy for a friend when he purchases a new home, a new car, or new clothes, you somehow feel inadequate and insecure. This sense of inadequacy and insecurity leads you to buy what he has just so you can fit in, despite your inability to afford it, causing you deep financial issues.

The irony of keeping up with the Joneses is that in many cases the Joneses can’t even keep up with themselves. In other words, the people who we are so busy trying to be like, the people who we assume have it all in the way of wealth and power are actually living a lie. Just like you, they are buying an image. You never really know how people obtain what they have, and honestly, that shouldn’t really be your concern.

A wealth-building mindset means understanding you can’t buy your self-worth from historically racist institutions.

Since our arrival to America as chattel, black folk have been (rightfully) bitter spectators as we watched our white counterparts exploit our labor and talent and deliberately and systematically block our attempts to break through to the middle class, garner access to quality education, and afford the occasional luxury. Our status as second-class citizens has given us a collective chip on our shoulder when it comes to buying.

Sometimes we spend as proof that we are just as successful as white folk. Sometimes we buy items just because white people have bought them. In essence, we consume conspicuously to show that if our money is just as good, we must be just as good. The truth about self-worth and net worth is that our self-worth is more likely to increase based on how much we save, not how much we spend on things that don’t appreciate in value.

A wealth-building mindset means redefining what “the good life” and “wealth” mean to you.

What is your personal definition of wealth? It may not be what the media is pumping you via reality shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta, Cribs, or Love and Hip-Hop. Wealth may include money. But it also includes love, friendship, community involvement, peace, free time, and creativity—all of which provide a sense of completeness and centeredness that is priceless.

A wealth-building mindset means distinguishing between what you want and what you need.

The survival of a capitalist economy relies on high levels of consumption. Newspapers, magazines, television, and radio bombard consumers with images of products, services, and goods in an effort to convince you that you need what they’re selling. Essentially, the media attempts to reprogram the average consumer to believe that material items will make them complete and at peace. But it’s up to you to distinguish between what you need and what you want.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t splurge or buy things that you like. It’s okay to splurge, once in a while, on something you don’t really need, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it. And when you do splurge, you should be conscious that your life would be just as good without that thing.

A wealth-building mindset means focusing on being grateful for what you already have.

Instead of complaining about what isn’t working and what has yet to come, try cultivating an attitude of gratefulness. Being grateful is like a muscle. When you train yourself to be grateful for the little or the simple, you’re preparing yourself to both attract and appreciate the greater and the grander.

Click Here to Download a FREE Copy of the BMWK Generational Wealth Pledge for Black Families!

It should not take a financial disaster to make us appreciative of what we have. But sometimes it does. Learn to be grateful now. Learn to be appreciative that you can pay your rent and car note and have enough left over for some savings.

A wealth-building mindset means educating yourself on wealth.

Building a deep understanding about the wealth-freedom connection means investing in educating yourself about personal finance, whether through buying a book, following a blog, speaking with a financial mentor, or enlisting support and accountability from a community of wealth-minded friends.

BMWK: Check out the amazing Webinar below where BMWK Creators and Founders Ronnie and Lamar Tyler bring some real talk to generational wealth creation in the African American community and securing our financial well being and legacy for years to come.

About the author

Kara Stevens wrote 150 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .

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