Wow, it is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a few days away. The weather here in Ontario has been just beautiful and you would never know that Winter is right around the corner. As I sit and look out the window at the ever changing colour of the leaves I reflect on many of the changes I personally have experienced this year.
Even though I had many changes in my life this year, they were all manageable, maybe not that wonderful, but I managed to survive. What was more concerning to me this year was the number of my friends and acquaintances that separated and had even bigger changes to deal with. As a financial coach, I see this a lot but it does not make it any easier. Divorce is definitely on the rise and money is one of the top reasons for divorce.
I cannot stress enough that we as an entire society need to improve our relationship with money and in turn it will improve our other relationships. How do we improve our relationship with money you ask?
Each individual person needs to know what their own personal money story is and how it has played a part in their lives and once they each know that, it is than that we can bridge the two money stories together and get them working in synchronicity.
People do not realize how powerful their money story is and how impactful it is in their lives. I will try to explain with an example.
Here is Jane. She grew up without any money. Her parent’s lived pay cheque to pay cheque and if they were paid on Thursday, many Wednesdays before pay day, there wasn’t any milk to drink and sometimes not much to eat. Her parents were very good parents. Supportive, loving they just could not get ahead. Jane grows up she works really hard just like her parents did she get’s an education, through grants and scholarships. Jane gets a fantastic job. She is making great money but Jane does not know how to deal with the money. She puts it all in her chequing account, she lives so frugally always shopping for the best deals, barely keeping anything in her fridge, but her chequing account grows and grows. Jane meets Joe. Joe has had a completely different childhood. His parents had great jobs, they did not lack for anything now Joe has a great job a beautiful apartment, nice clothes.
Now you have an outline of Jane and Joe. So what do you think happens after Jane and Joe are married? Do you think they start to fight about money and how do you think that marriage will end up? Jane is so afraid she is going to end up poor and on the street and Joe doesn’t have a money care in the world.
This is why we need to really look at our money stories before we mesh the two together.
So back to the beginning, the changes in the trees and in the air has really allowed me to reflect and be reminded that before any two people join their lives together they really need to look at their own personal money stories. They need to dig deep before the marriage so that issues with money are not a part of the equation and can be reduced and eliminated as the reason for a couple divorcing. If we don’t do this than nothing will change and the divorce rate will keep climbing.
Would love to hear your thoughts.