3 Reasons Today’s Money Advice Doesn’t Serve Couples

Couple With United Front
There are many sites, books and experts out there that teach personal finance, like how to save up for an emergency fund or how to pay off your credit card debt. They have a lot of good advice and useful tools.

However, couples are largely underserved by existing personal finance education. The advice out there just isn’t enough for those moving in together, getting engaged or getting married. Most personal finance education doesn’t meet couples’ needs in three key ways:

1. Traditional money advice focuses on individual decision making, rather than on couples’ joint decisions.

Many resources out there provide advice that is written as though there is just one decision maker. While this is true for many households, couples need a different approach.

When two people need to make financial decisions together, they have discussions, they argue, they compromise. Couples money is simply more complex.

While many resources will dedicate one blog post, chapter or webinar to couples money, they don’t devote their entire focus to what it means to make money decisions together with another person.

2. Traditional money advice tackles the numbers and often leaves out the complicated feelings that people have about money.

The numbers are extremely important. As a serious couple, you need to know how much you have and how much you owe. You need to know where your money goes every month. You need to know your credit scores.

But there’s more to managing money than knowing your numbers.

Money means different things to different people. Some value it, others don’t. Some have positive emotions about money, while others feel insecure. The way you grew up as well as your vision of your future influences your feelings about money.

Two people in a serious relationship must understand where the other person is coming from in order to manage their money effectively. It’s difficult to find resources to help you navigate all this.

3. Traditional money advice tells you to talk about money with your significant other but doesn’t provide specific, actionable advice on how to do it effectively.

Money is a taboo or uncomfortable topic for many of us. It’s not always that simple to dive right in. How do you talk about money without becoming uncomfortable or setting off an argument? Even if you have no problem discussing money with your partner, what are the practical questions to ask each other before moving in together or getting engaged or married?

We need a new approach to financial education for couples! Check out our SageCouple resources.


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