MICHELLE SMALENBERGER, CFP®
Weight Of Mine VS Yours
[Loans & Credit Card Debt]
Do you ever feel like it is “you” versus “me” when you have money conversation with anyone?
Whether it is with a spouse or a family member, around the holidays or with friends. Just about something regarding money in general.
I want to share why I think this might be and somethings that might help this.
Especially when it is you and your spouse and you are trying to make progress – not necessarily in times when you are trying to be right about a conversation.
If you think about how, when you are typically having a conversation with your spouse, about money, you may sit down to put numbers out. Maybe you are sitting at the kitchen table or your office at home and you are just looking through the numbers and something comes up.
That could be “my debt”.
Maybe that was something you brought into the marriage and it could be five or ten years later and you are still paying off the student loans. You might call that “my debt.” “That’s what I brought to the marriage.”
Then the other person might have their debt or savings account. “I put more money in this when we were married.” Or “We’re putting more into my savings than yours.”
You can quickly see how your thing versus my thing can really become a battle.
One of our recommendations is when you add someone else to the equation, just a third party, it’s no longer you against each other.
It is you times 2. Two of you sitting on the same side of the table, talking with someone else that can have an objective opinion and tell you, “This is the right answer.”
I want to explain one example.
There was one couple that had credit card debt and student loan debt. And I think one of the things that was really driving the person who had the student loan debt to try and pay that off is because they really felt the weight of, “This is what I brought to the marriage. And I really just want to be done with that so we can start our marriage forward – so there is nothing in our marriage where I feel like that was me or that was a mistake I need to take care of.”
In this example we were able to say – what is the interest rate for the credit card debt, student loan? And this can be at any stage in your life. It doesn’t just have to be when you are starting out.
A financial advisor is someone to help you. That’s what we do. You need someone to advise you, sit down, and look at the objective reasons of why you’d want to take care of your thing versus my thing.
Whose personal debt needs to be taken care of and what is the next step?
By adding just one additional person into the equation, you are no long fighting against each other. You have someone else saying, “Here’s the objective reasons why this is the next best step.” And instead of fighting, you are starting to make progress. It allows you to move on to the next thing and you are working together.
Just remember, it doesn’t have to be you versus me or my thing versus your thing. You can actually work those things out pretty simply and start the rest together.