Determine your ‘Money types’
Knowing how each of you generally feels about money can be helpful as you begin your Financial Same Page activities. This can prepare you for how your partner may act or react to various parts of these conversations based on their general values around money. It is also helpful to understand that most couples are opposites when it comes to ‘Money type’ – at a very high level you could say people are spenders or savers. What is even more interesting is that even if you are not yet opposites, you will migrate towards becoming opposites out of necessity to create balance. Make sense why finances are a cause of stress? We have to work hard to get on the same page to agree how to handle our finances. Get a jump on this and take the quiz on Money Harmony (https://www.moneyharmony.com/moneyharmony-quiz) to see where you shake out on the ‘Money type.’
Separately make lists of your highest level priorities and goals
Each partner should make a list of their top 5 values and their top 5 goals. Do this alone – go into separate rooms and make these lists. Your top priorities are the things that are most important to you. Your top five goals are the things you want most in your life. Lots of times your values or priorities help you think of what you want your goals to be. Here are how our top priorities and goals shook out for 2018:SAM’S TOP 5 PRIORITIESPADDY’S TOP 5 PRIORITIESPersonal Exploration (Spirit, Mind, & Body)Relationship w/ SamPaddyBeing Present With You (“You” Being Whoever I’m With)Kids, family, & friends – CommunityDaily Progress Towards Big Picture Goals (Bigger Love Movement – BLM)Learning & Teaching About Love (Bigger Love Movement – BLM)Define Community/Move CloserFiscal Freedom/Keynote Speaking/RetreatsFiscal Freedom/Software/Grow consulting
SAM’S TOP 5 GOALSPADDY’S TOP 5 GOALSMaximizing self-exploration work (including work with mentors and masterminds)Lose my shit that is holding me back and explode forward into the BLMRelationship exploration and growth with PaddyVisit every continent with Sam as part of the BLMAnnual trip w/each kid & one family tripDonate over seven figures to charityLearn & teach people the most powerful ways to transform their relationshipsAbility to live part-time on the beach and part-time in the mountainsFiscal freedomCreating memorable experiences with family
Make a list of your joint priorities and goals
This is where it starts to get interesting…unless your lists are the same (which would be really weird but I guess it could happen?), this is where you discuss each of these priorities and goals and why these things are important to you, and why you ordered them the way you did. This is where the gold is! This activity in and of itself fosters closeness but you HAVE to do it lovingly and without judgment of yourself or your partner. This can take a few hours, it can take a few days, or it could take a few weeks but the trick is to stay engaged in the conversation until you agree to agree. If it gets heated, take a break and come back to it.
Here is what our joint lists look like and notice they are different from both of our individual lists:SAM & PADDY’S TOP PRIORITIESContinual Exploration of Self (Spirit, Body, & Mind) SELF LOVE!Each OtherKids, Friends & Family – CommunityThe Bigger Love Movement – learning, teaching, & spreading LOVEFiscal Freedom
SAM & PADDY’S TOP GOALSDedicating time & resources to self-exploration and loving ourselves; supporting each other in those journeys with a focus on joy and healthRomantic weekly date nights, relationship exploration and growth partially through blogging & podcasting, couple’s trips, and spiritual retreatsAnnual family trip with the kids, finding best communities in support of our life missionsThe Bigger Love Movement book & documentarySell software for more than XXMM, continuing to live beneath our means to maximize our investments, lots of GIVING!
Make a list of your shared goals for the year
Now narrow those huge goals into incremental goals for the coming year. For us, these end up including some goals we’ll pursue together and some goals we’ll pursue separately but that we’ll fully support one another to achieve – including financially.SAM & PADDY’S JOINT GOALS 2018Self-love habit development and practicesRomantic weekly date nights, blogs & podcasts, 2 couple’s trips, and at least one spiritual retreat togetherOne family trip, one adventure with each kid w/Sam, continuing to ask what love & support mean for Jacob and Claire as they grow and change and doing THAT!, Symmetry7 & Great 8 participation for Sam, continued the search for an optimal community (where do we want to live?!?)Create momentum for the Bigger Love Movement through blogs, podcasts, speaking engagements, couple’s retreats, and anything else we dream up!Create a revenue stream with the software, create & manage budget, invest $XXKK, donate $XXKK
Create a budget
Your joint goals for the year become your framework or your map so to speak as you make decisions around how, when, and where you spend your money. Your budget is your plan or guideline as to how you see this happening over the coming year. This includes a forecast of how much money you have coming in, how much you have to spend on your regular living expenses and then the amount you have left to spend and/or invest. We also recommend setting aside time to track your spending each month (weekly is better) to review where you thought you would be financially and where you actually are on a regular basis.
Choose a top limit you can spend without consulting your partner
None of us want to be controlled or feel like we are slaves to our budgets and none of us are perfect. Knowing in advance there may be an occasional splurge is being realistic. What has worked best for us is to set a limit of money we can each spend without consulting one another. When we lived paycheck to paycheck this limit was around $50. Now this limit is much higher but set a limit that makes sense for you and your budget – the amount should be low enough it won’t bust your budget but high enough you feel like you have some financial freedom and independence.
As we always say, correction not perfection. We will still occasionally squabble about money but if we remember to come back to our priorities and goals and agreements it usually shortens the argument so we can move forward.
Live long, prosper, and keep working to get and stay on the Financial Same Page!
Bigger Love to you,
Sam & Paddy