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Some tips on managing financial stress in your relationship from a woman has “been there, done that”!

Final catch up blog for this round of on-air segments.  Happy reading!

As you can imagine, over the course of thirty years there are very few relationship issues that Yannick and I haven’t come up against in our marriage.  Some were small bumps in the road, and others were seemingly insurmountable mountains.  And yet, here we are, still standing.  It’s a miracle actually.  Some days it feels like only a few years have gone by, but then I look at Brianna who is going to be thirty in a few months and I realize that is a pretty sizeable chunk of our lifetimes that are in our rear-view mirrors. So, is it any wonder that we have been on the receiving end of financial hardships?

Not at all.

In fact, we’ve landed in financial sleepless nights, having to file for bankruptcy more than once.  Life sometimes has a way of getting away from you.  Sometimes it is circumstantial, such as the loss of a job, and then not being able to get another one in time to cover your living expenses, sometimes it is illness, and sometimes it is just good ole fashion mismanagement of one’s life.  We are guilty of falling victim to all of these.  Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have never encountered devastating financial blows, or perhaps like us you’ve ended up there more than one.  No two lives are the same, and no two financial meltdowns are either.  So, no matter how you got into your financial pickle, there is one thing I strongly recommend if you find yourself drowning in a sea of debt and the weight of that is threatening your partnership.  Get help before it’s too late.  If you got yourself into a financial mess chances are you’re not going to be able to get yourselves out alone and are going to need somebody with the skills to get you out of it.  I mean, maybe not, maybe you’re able to fix your money problems on your own, but I know for us, we were not able to.  We’re creative people, we don’t understand the language that money speaks, so it was imperative that we get a third party to organize us and put us right.  Because, regardless of what sort of income you have coming into your life, speaking from my personal experience with money, unless you change your habits, and have somebody who can teach you how to do so, you might just end up right back in the same hole you just dug yourself out of.  The first step to getting yourselves back on track financially is that you both have to acknowledge that there is an issue, and both need to take ownership for their part in the financial breakdown.  Next up get an educated person, skilled in the art of budgeting on board for your money restructuring.  Once you’ve got that person lined up something that works miracles is being frank and honest with them in discussing where your financial strengths and weaknesses are.  When this is all on the table, and both of you have a third and an unbiased person in the mis the next thing you need to do is make a pact with your partner to always talk openly and frankly about money.  About how you want to spend it, where you feel it is important to distribute funds, and to make sure that you leave some room in the restricting budget to ensure that you still have money allotted for weekly date nights.  It doesn’t need to be extravagant, but something that involves just the two of you, where you can spend a few hours indulging in one another’s company and forgetting the mess you made.  It is so important to make sure you set time and money aside no matter how bad things are to build a habit of treating one another as a priority and special.  Keeping your love at the forefront, especially during an emotionally stressful time in the relationship is the one thing that will keep your ship from sinking.  Trust me, as a woman who has been knee deep in heartbreaks of every come that come with a long-term relationship rebuilding, and focusing on the thing that brought us together in the first place, our love, is what lifted us up and carried us through, I’m faithful if you employee this it will do the same for you too.

Xo

Shantelle

 

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