Money Used to Tear us Apart... Not Any More

D.&D.R. - Vermont

We took the Money Focus program because, for over 35 years of marriage, money brought a strain in our relationship.  And it was getting worse over time.

I (D) had a full time job and was terrified about our financial future and quite fearful that we would never get to a place in life where we could retire in comfort. 

I (R) own a small business and really didn’t give things like retirement and financial security much thought.  Our happy life together was being jeopardized by differing views and beliefs. I had some trepidations and uncertainty about exposing personal details of our life, like how we come from two very different backgrounds and had opposing ways of relating to money. 

I (D) appreciated the certainty of a salary and value having a plan for the future.

I (R) on the other hand was more carefree and comfortable with lack of predictable household income and wasn’t as concerned about planning for retirement.  We also had differing views on spending and debt.

While working together, I (R) remember the conversation when we had a break through and both began to feel safe and build trust with each other again. The program had us take a good hard look at expenses and income, and we created a budget. 

At that time, I (D) began to trust R on the topic of money and gave up a misguided preconception of him being reckless.  The moment he acknowledged my fear around money and our future together was KEY to attaining my peace of mind!”  Eventually I got rid of my big fear of having to “live in a van down by the river” or of getting into “debtor’s prison.”  

Looking forward, I realize that even if I may lose my job I am now able to face an uncertain future with optimism. I would have never been able to do this in the past. I have peace of mind around the possibilities of the future in a way not possible before working with Bhaj and going through Money Focus. 

Anxiety over money is never an issue for us anymore and deep trust has been built through more effective communication and meaningful connection. As a result, now, after 35 years of money strain, we finally have powerful ways to talk about money where we can respect each other’s needs and wants, and find a partnership with money that doesn’t destroy our independence.

I (R) appreciate building equanimity in the relationship and realized that this process brought us closer together. 

Money Focus program helped us discuss difficult things about money and values in a way we were never able to in the past.  We discuss all major purchases together and don’t worry about money like we used to…  We don’t hide money issues from each other.  We both appreciate how we have become more equal partners when it comes to our family finances. This has really strengthened our relationship. We have peace of mind, less stress and a deeper connection.

On a very practical level, we have combined checking accounts, use Quicken, establish budgets, and use online banking. A budget plan was created to eliminate credit card debt.  We restructured our mortgages and use automatic payment to eliminate risk of incurring late payment fees.   We have a plan for our financial and life future. 

In addition, we are more comfortable about being open and proactive talking about money. We even discuss big purchases in advance, which is a great change.   As a result, we have dramatically reduced thorny conversations around money and improved our relationship.  Said another way, we are becoming more frictionless because we are collaborating and are dually engaged in our financial management. We are grateful to our new found sense of respect for each other.