This post is part of our Your Financial Relationships series. This series is designed to help you discover the financial topics you should discuss with your significant other in order to have a financially healthy relationship. Today, we’ll be looking at whether or not you and your significant other should get help with your finances?
Remember, you and your partner’s finances are a part of your shared life, like it or not. If there is even a hint of trouble, you are better off discussing this with your partner. The alternatives are not so pretty. Each of you may think the issue is not such a big deal and that it doesn’t even need to be talked about it, much less acted upon. In other words, if either one of you feels like you may need help with your finances, that’s a clue. Go ahead and schedule some sit-down time for a candid discussion.
Hey, you’re only human. It is difficult, perhaps even painful, to admit there are issues with your personal finances. This is not a pop psychology post, but you get the point. Even bringing up the issue can be painful for some people. Yet, you cannot let that get in your way. If your finances are getting to be an issue, you and your relationship deserve whatever effort it takes to take care of them.
Moving Forward, When to Ask?
Once you and your partner have come to an agreement that you need to discuss the possibility of asking for help with your finances, well what then? The next thing is to figure out where you are with your finances. The answer to that question will point you in the right direction. As you will see, the longer you wait, the fewer options there are available to get you out of any sort of financial mess you may be in at the moment.
The Wrong Time
It goes without saying, but heck, we’d best go ahead and say it for the sake of this question. The absolute worst time to ask for help with your finances is when the proverbial S#$H@&^t hits the fan. Example, late one Friday evening, say about 7:35 pm. Dinner is over, the kids are upstairs playing XBox and you and your partner are about to lounge on the couch and search for a good flick on Netflix.
Bam! Bam! Bam! You hear someone pounding on the door. “What the? Don’t people use the doorbell anymore?” Bam! Bam! Bam! Goes the pounding. You scurry over and cautiously open up the door. “Good evening, I am a process server and these papers are for you.” Ugh, it turns out you have just been served your foreclosure notice. Can you see that is a bit late to be asking for help with your finances?
A Better Time
Scene: Saturday morning, breakfast is over, the kids are outside playing in the backyard. Your partner sits down in the chair next to you and casually mentions that the two of you don’t have quite enough in the bank to pay the mortgage that’s due next Friday. Hmmm, still a bit late, but at least you still have options at this point. Yes, this would be a great time to ask for help with your personal finances.
The Best Time
You have been following along so far. You have probably figured out how this story ends. Really, when you think about it, personal finances are like other areas of your life. Prevention may be a pain upfront, but it’s a lot less painful than the cure. When you think of it, you can compare it to dental care. Would you rather go in every six months for a checkup or only show up when you can’t get to sleep because of a throbbing toothache? The point: the best time to ask is before you need help.
As you can see, knowing when to ask for help with your personal finances is a key component of your relationship. You and your partner deserve the best.
What about You?
Have you consulted a financial advisor to help you learn how to invest, save, and successfully manage your money?