Posts in Behaviors & Beliefs
How to share finances with your partner (without losing your marriage or your mind)

Pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of wine, because we’re going to talk about how to handle money with a partner without losing your marriage or your mind.

OK – here’s the first and most important thing you need to know. Your relationship with money isn’t about money (and neither is your partner's). Wait...what?

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How to make your life easier and richer (with science!)

Humans are great short term thinkers, and pretty poor long-term thinkers. We want things and we want them now. This makes things like paying down old debts, saving for the future, and cutting carbs oh-so-tough. Not paying debt and eating pasta is just...better than the alternative. At least, until a few years later when we’re cursing our younger selves and trying to repair the damage that was done.

A big part of this reason is that in essence, we’re actually of two “brains” here - an emotional (short term) brain, and a logical (long-term) brain. As one author of a study on economic behavior said, “Our emotional brain wants to max out the credit card, order dessert and smoke a cigarette. Our logical brain knows we should save for retirement, go for a jog and quit smoking.” Even the most logical among us has felt this tug, and it’s telling to know that we’re really hardwired to respond to short-term stimuli. Flashing lights, great sales, oncoming tigers.

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No one knows what they're doing with money

As you start to work on your finances, you’ll probably find that it’s a lot more work than you thought. There’s a lot more nuance, there are a lot of decisions. There’s a lot to learn. (That’s where I come in).

On top of that, whenever you start to work on your money, a lot of feelings come up. Confusion. Overwhelm. Anger. Fear. Shame.

Let’s talk about that last one. Shame.

 

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How to avoid a holiday spending hangover

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to spend less money at the holidays. It boils down to:

  • Make a budget and stick to it

  • Shop sales

  • Plan before you shop

  • Consider buying fewer, or less expensive gifts

Don’t get me wrong - I think these are all good advice. I do all of these things myself.

There are a few additional pieces of advice I give to my clients, though, that I’d like to share with you as well.

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F*ck single ply (AKA stop feeling bad about spending money!)

Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh, I know I shouldn’t spend that, but…”, or “I know it seems extravagant, but…” in a dismissive way - in a way that indicates that you should feel guilty or ashamed of your spending?

Stop doing that.

I want you to stop feeling bad about your spending.

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Can't afford it? Or it's not in the budget?

I want you to try an exercise with me today. Take a deep breath, get out of your chair, and touch your toes.

Whoops, sorry - not that kind of exercise. Phew! You can stay sitting right where you are for this one. Sit, close your eyes, and take a deep breath (deep breathing is required for all kinds of exercises, it’s a rule).

Think about something that’s out of reach for you, financially.

This could be something grand, like a big international vacation - or something more mundane but also important, like getting a new couch when your old one kicks the bucket, or funding your emergency savings account.

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How to make a better budget? Start with the ingredients

I talk about budgeting a lot here. It’s...kind of my thing. But if you’ve read some of my posts about budgeting you’ve probably figured out that I don’t do “regular budgets”. I only do good budgets.


How do you make a good budget? Whether you’re building a better budget or making a gourmet meal, what do you start with? Better ingredients. If your building blocks aren’t right, how can your budget be right? You wouldn’t make a third-date-dinner with stale ingredients, would you? Why do you keep making “budgets” without of date ideas and tools?

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10 Reasons It's So Hard to Save Money (And What To Do About Them)

Wanna know the #1 reason people reach out to me for help with their money?

Wanting to save more money, and not knowing how.

Why’s it so hard to save? You make a decent income. You know you make more than your basic expenses. So what’s going on?

  1. You don’t know where your money is going.

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