How To Improve Your Relationship…With Money How to Improve Your Relationship… With Money Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, and there’s one relationship that most people could stand to make improvements to – their relationship with money. Many people’s relationship with money is wrought with stress, confusion, anxiety, and poor communication. Here are some helpful tips for how to turn your negative relationship with money into one of positivity, motivation, and control. Get Serious About Your Future Together Money (and often debt) will always be a part of our lives. So where do you see your future together? Like any relationship, it is important to consider your long-term goals and aspirations. Goal-setting is a vital part of figuring out what you want for your future and how to adjust your financial decisions accordingly. Without goals in mind, it can feel like you are stumbling through life a little blindly. How else would you know how much you should be saving and whether you are making the right decisions for your future. Just like any romantic relationship, you could spend time with someone who is fun and makes you happy now, but are you really compatible together down the road? Consider where you want to live, your career path, your debt repayment strategy, and lifestyles choices when thinking about your financial future. Communicate People are afraid to talk about money. They don’t talk about how much they earn, how much they spend, or how much debt they owe. And often they don’t even talk about it in their real relationships, which can lead to big trouble. Bottling up our fears and anxieties about money can often do more harm than good, especially when more than one person (such as a spouse) is involved. It is important to remember that debt is not a 4-letter word and it is ok to talk about it with your spouse, a close friend, or a family member. Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice. If you aren’t comfortable talking to others about the sources of your financial stress, consider keeping a journal where you can write down what you’re feeling and why. Bottom line? Communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship, including your relationship with money. Often just being able to express the reasons for our stress can take a weight off our shoulders, and they may be able to offer some advice. Take Time to Relax Everyone needs a little break sometimes. While it’s important to develop responsible spending and budgeting habits in everyday life, letting yourself get obsessive about it can just lead to more stress. The intent of a budget is not only to allow you to save and pay debt, but also to allow you to live a little and still do the things you enjoy. Make sure you have some “fun” built into your budget, even if it’s just as simple as treating yourself to lunch once a week. It is also important to find ways to take care of yourself and find ways to alleviate your financial stress. Think of it as taking a night off from your SO to take time for yourself or hang with friends. Get Professional Help If your relationship with money has just gotten so bad that you aren’t sure how to begin even improving it, perhaps consider talking to a financial advisor or an attorney who specializes in debt resolution. Depending on your financial situation, these experts can suggest various ways to get your finances back on track. You can think of it like couple’s counseling – it’ll force you to think about what you want from your money and how to get there. As you can see, there are a lot of parallels between romantic relationships and your relationship with money. And just like romantic relationships, the best one is the kind that makes you feel motivated, in control, happy, respectful, and excited for your future together. These tips can help save your bad relationship with money and turn it into the type where you grow old together. Leslie Tayne Leslie H. Tayne has more than 15 years' experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. Speaker, Author of Life & Debt, Attorney and Founder of the Tayne Law Group, P.C., Leslie is working towards reshaping the debt industry by offering real, proven solutions to help her clients get back on the road to financial freedom.