Marriage Counselor or Financial Coach: Which One Do You Need?

4 Minute Read

When you get married, you’re saying “I do” to everything, both good and bad, that comes your way.

You can bet that one of those potential topics will be money. It’s just a basic fact that how you manage your money will have a direct effect on the health of your marriage.

Since marriage and money are so related, it’s difficult to tell whether your conversations (or ahem, arguments) are rooted on the marriage or money side of the fence.

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When you’re facing money issues, is it just a matter of you and your spouse getting on the same page? Or is there an underlying issue, like a lack of trust, that’s causing the financial problems in the first place?

Dave’s financial coaches inject hope into people’s lives every day, so we asked them how to know if you need a marriage counselor or a financial coach:

Situation: You’re dealing with financial infidelity.
Need: Marriage Counselor

If you’re in a situation that involves financial infidelity—for example, your spouse opened a checking account without your knowledge and used that money to buy a lot of expensive stuff—then you need a marriage counselor. There’s a certain kind of malice involved with financial infidelity. This is huge breach of trust and can ultimate destroy both your marriage and your finances.

Situation: Your spouse won’t budget with you.
Need: Financial Coach

If you can’t get on the same page with your spouse about money, then a financial coach is probably the right fit. But here’s the thing—if your spouse just isn’t listening and doesn’t want to be more responsible, you can’t drag them kicking and screaming into a coach’s office. Go by yourself if you have to. And, over time, hopefully they’ll see how you’ve changed and look to come along with you.

Situation: You’re considering bankruptcy.
Need: Financial Coach

You absolutely need a financial coach if you’re considering bankruptcy. The problem here is that a lot of possible bankruptcy filers don’t think about the long-term effects bankruptcy will have on them. A good financial coach will help you see both the short-term and long-term effects of bankruptcy.

Situation: Your spouse has a gambling problem.
Need: Marriage Counselor

At first, you may think this would call for a financial counselor because it’s an issue about money. But it’s also an addiction, and that’s a much bigger problem. In that case, let’s get the gambling problem sorted out first, then we can take a bigger look at the financial problems it caused.

Situation: You’re getting married next month.
Need: Marriage Counselor AND Financial Coach

Everyone says that you need a marriage counselor before you get married—just to prepare for life together and better appreciate your similarities and differences. And that’s absolutely true. But you also need a financial coach. So many marital problems start with money. In fact, the number one cause of divorce in America is money fights and money problems. With a financial coach, you’ll be able to dig much deeper into potential money pitfalls that might pop up later on in your marriage.

Situation: Your spouse is a “hider.”
Need: Financial Coach

What exactly is a hider? This is someone that hides smaller purchases or even cash. There’s a trust issue here. But if it hasn’t reached the point of “financial infidelity,” then we’d advise you to go with a financial coach first. If there’s a bigger issue involved in the hiding, then your coach might recommend you to a marriage counselor.

Situation: You’re both broke and you need money.
Need: Financial Coach

If you’ve got too much month left at the end of the money, then you’re in need of a financial coach. This is a basic issue that a good financial coach would be glad to sit down with you and figure out. You’ll likely start by making a strong budget and looking out for ways to make more income.

No matter what situation you’re facing—whether it’s relationship, money, or a combination of the two—your main goal should be to seek help from a qualified outside perspective. Dave Ramsey’s financial coaches will help you create a personalized plan for your finances to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Find out how we can help you today.

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