I’m sure you know that money can have a massive impact on a relationship. In fact, aside from infidelity, money is the main reason for separations.
I want to take some time away from discussions of profit and loss to talk about why it’s so important that you have regular financial conversations with your significant other.
My Business = My Baby
So often as an entrepreneur we see business as more than an income-generating project. It becomes something sacred and sacrosanct that we hold tightly and don’t want to share.
As female entrepreneurs especially, the goal is to be seen as a Strong Independent Woman. We answer to no one, and the idea of discussing our business finances with a partner gets us on the defensive.
Years ago, I read John Gray’s book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and one of the points he makes struck me as so true:
- Women love to talk through a problem
- Men love to solve a problem
When we start talking about the ins and outs of our business and finances with a partner, generally they’re going to see it as a problem with a solution to be found. It becomes a quest. But – we don’t necessarily want that.
So up comes our armor and we shut down the conversation. “I don’t need you to tell me how to run my business!”
This attitude needs to stop!
If you know his paycheck, he needs to know yours!
Just because you’re an entrepreneur and not on Uncle Sam’s payroll, that doesn’t exempt you from sharing your financial insights with your long-term partner.
When you’re an employee, you have a regular pay going into your account, you can book vacation time, and you can make future plans as a family. When your own a business, you don’t always have that security.
- Are you in feast or famine?
- Is this a good money month or a bad one?
- Can you take time out, or do you need to stick around?
If you’re not keeping your long-term partner in the loop financially, they won’t know what’s driving your decisions and this is where communications start to break down.
I’m not suggesting you have to involve them in every aspect of your business as if they were a silent partner (unless they are!) I just mean that, out of respect for yourself and your partner, it’s only fair to keep them in the loop for informational purposes. If you’re looking to plan a family vacation, if you’re saving to buy a house – these decisions impact both of you, so your partner really needs to know how your business finances are going to affect them.
If you contribute to household bills but you need to make a large business investment that’s going to prevent you from contributing for one month – your partner has a right to know! Just as you’d want to know if their salary changes, they need to know how your business finances will affect your family.
Whatever your financial set up – one partner pays all the bills, you have a joint account and share everything equally, whatever – you need to be having regular money conversations to keep each other in the know.
Ego can get in the way A LOT when it comes to sharing our business finances with a partner, but if you’re building a life together then your worries and your joys need to be shared. I’ve experienced entrepreneurial poverty before (which you can read more about here) yet I didn’t hide my finances from my not-yet husband. I held my head up and told him when I’d received an eviction notice, or when I was having to cut into savings to meet payroll.
Finances can put a lot of strain on a relationship, but we survived because I got off my high horse and was transparent with him.
Your childhood impacts your money thoughts
How was money talked about as you were growing up? What’s your earliest memory of money?
Was money seen as a force for good or evil in your childhood home?
The way you were brought up around money can have a huge impact on the way you view it now – and the same goes for your significant other.
Asking them about their money upbringing can switch on a lightbulb that helps you to understand why your partner behaves the way they do – and it can make conversations about business finances so much easier.
What is happening financially impacts what happens personally
The solvency of your business dictates how much money you get to bring home each month, and that affects your partner. They have a right to be kept in the loop.
Sure, you need to set boundaries that you’re not after input (unless you want it) and that you’re sharing for informational purposes only, but you need to be having regular money discussions as a couple.
Money makes the world go round, and marriage and relationships are hard enough without the added stress of financial disconnect with your partner. If you’re splitting bills, if you’re raising a family then you have a financial obligation to let your partner know what the heck is happening in your bank account.
The same way you hold money meetings with your team, you need to be doing so with your partner. You need to have a financial plan for your future, and without transparency that plan will never work.
They might even be able to help if you open up to it – after all, two heads are better than one!
If you want to watch my full training on how and why to have meaningful financial discussions with your partner, then you can watch the YouTube video.
In the meantime, get your copy of my free Profit Plan tool, work out where your business finances currently are, and sit down to have that important conversation.
Also, check out my website to learn more!