Love and Har-Money: 3 Recommendations for Navigating Finances in a Relationship

For many, navigating money as a couple isn’t the best part of their relationship.

It’s no wonder couples ask for guidance to effectively communicate about money, set combined financial goals, and work together towards their vision of financial freedom. This is stressful for most people to do on their own, let alone with their partner. 


Here are three recommendations to consider if you want to communicate better and respect each other’s money habits, decisions, and beliefs to create more Har-Money in your relationship:



1) Know Each Other’s Money Personality.


What is it that makes you tick when it comes to money? Is it the opportunity to make more money? The chance to save? Putting it straight under the mattress without a second thought? Or paying off your credit card from your last vacation? This is where the importance of knowing each other’s Money Personality can be helpful.


Explore and discuss with your partner whether you are a risk taker, a saver, a security seeker, a spender, or a giver. Maybe you have another name for your money personality. You want to truly listen to your partner and watch for examples of money personality playing out.  Another discussion point is to watch for emotions that arise around money and name them. Do you recognize Spendy Wendy when you see her on payday?



2) Get Your Spending Combined and Aligned.


Label your needs, wants, and wishes next to your monthly and annual expenses. This can help you establish your Sleep-Well-At-Night-Number, otherwise known as your emergency savings number. This exercise offers clarity for couples trying to manage cash flow! There’s nothing like a hot night around an Excel spreadsheet.


Do this exercise from our blog about establishing your SWANN independently and compare your needs, wants, and wishes.


Most of the time, needs are basic expenses, wants are discretionary expenses, and wishes are future savings for bigger wants and needs. BUT…you never know when one budget item crosses a line for one of you. It’s good to understand how each other thinks about how money is working in your household. What is the difference between a need and a want for you? How does this compare to your partner’s? Does one of you have greater needs?


3) Work with a Registered Life Planner®.


The most heartfelt, helpful recommendation I can offer for more couples to achieve Har-Money is to use a defined process that incorporates articulating your values and your vision of a fulfilled life with one another. Registered Life Planners® are fantastic at facilitating this process with financial planning clients. I wish for everyone who walks through our door to experience the EVOKE® process.


The Kinder Institute of Life Planning explains, “Life planning focuses on the human side of financial planning. It puts people, not products, at the center of analysis and advice, helping clients meet unique goals and unlock the greatest meaning in their lives.” As a Registered Life Planner®, I’ve seen significant transformations through working with couples who want to get on the same page with their money and gain clarity and direction with their Life Plans as a result of the EVOKE® process.


During this month of LOVE, it is helpful to remember that love and money are not opposing forces but are intertwined. When managed together, with who you are at the center of your vision and goals, money and finances can bring you closer as a couple and reduce stress in your relationship.

Post by Amy Duncan

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