Financial Coupling.. for newlyweds

Posted Friday, February 17th, 2017. Filed Under My Daily Dose

41% of Canadian couples in 2013 told accounting firm MNP that financial stress affects their relationships. The same year, a BMO survey found that while 98 percent of married couples know it’s important to be on the same financial page, less than half of engaged couples discuss how they plan to handle money once they are married.

I know from personal experience that when I was married finances was a huge bone of contention. We were not on the same page. It definitely impacted our relationship and caused a tremendous amount of stress.

Shannon Lee Simmons sees young couples like this all the time. She is the same age as the millennials she caters to with her fee-only firm, New School of Finance, which she launched in 2011. The school now offers courses online like Track That Shiz and Don’t Get Effed at Tax Time. She added Budget with Boo which has sold hundreds of downloads.

Simmons says, “people are getting married later now, so the’ve got a full decade of financial independence with their own set of habits and value judgements… You’re combining two people from two financial universes.” Merging your worlds – and doing so fairly, rather than merely equally – is the goal of Budget with Boo, a 90 minute online video course designed to be fun.

Her online course is meant to break down any barriers and open up the couples to disclose and reveal what they have and don’t have… to make sure there are no more secrets. In the online modules you will discuss topics such as your assets: banking information, RRSPs, investments, pensions, gold coins, etc. Next you will discuss your liabilities: mortgages, student loans, commercial debt and money owed to parents (if any).

The idea is to get out all of your financial stuff so that you can begin to make good sound decisions.

The modules Simmons created are designed to take you to the next level. In Pillow-Talk, once you know how much money you have, you can choose what you want to do with it. You want to map out your expectations. The results are amazing.

Your goal is to align yourselves financially or at least know where your partner is coming from. You will want to set short-term and long-term goals thinking about children, your home, travel and retirement.

The third and final module, The Bicker-Free Budget, is a time to look at how you will make you goals a reality. It may mean cutting back on buying lunches or taking only 1 vacation a year. Learning to communicate and share what is important financially to you and your beliefs is so critical. Once each party is aware then you can work together to achieve your common goals.

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