(WXYZ) - It's said money problems are the number cause of divorce in the U.S. So we're helping you talk money with your honey, without it leading to trouble.
Paige Buck and her husband had a relationship like so many. They were happy, until the "M" word, or money came up.
“Everything would result in arguments or frustration or tears,” Buck says.
But instead of turning to traditional couples therapy, they found a financial therapist for some money coaching.
“We weren’t happy with the way we talked about money, or the decisions we were making,” Buck says.
But if you can't afford a therapist, our own money coach Robin Thompson of Budget Wise Consulting is sharing some free advice.
“Well you know I always tell people that actually getting on the same page is what helps you engineer the money fights out of your marriage, because if we would have shared input what is there to argue about?” Thompson says.
Robin says that starts with talking about your money history.
“What have they brought to the table? Because everyone has some type of mindset or attitude that they develop long before they met you,” Thompson says.
For example, maybe you're a spending because you never had a lot growing up. Or maybe you've always spent to feel better. Whatever it is, Robin says address it and then talk about your own values, what's important to each of you, so you can set goals.
“You know I always advise people to write their goals down and inevitably we always have a list of things that we want to do that is much longer than the resources that we have and so that’s part of being in a relationship is actually compromising and prioritizing the goals that we want to achieve…” Thompson says.
Yes, you'll probably need a budget to reach, or call it a spending plan to reach those goals. Then be sure to schedule at least a monthly money conversation to track how you're doing. It may sound like a lot.
“My husband I would look at each other and be like I didn’t know you felt that way,” Buck says.
But it's worked for Paige and her husband.
“We’re saving for short term and long-term goals that we had never even faced or even had the courage to look at before,” Buck says.
Robin says it's important to remember to set some ground rules when talking about money like mutual respect and active listening. By the way, it doesn't matter who's in charge of the bills or the investing as long as everyone's aware of what's going on.
There are no certifications to become a financial therapist, so it's important to do your homework.
Whichever financial therapist you choose, make sure they're credentialed in their profession.
Financial therapy can cost anywhere from $50 to upwards of $350 an hour, depending on your needs. The good news? Many therapists are willing to work around your budget, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
The Financial Therapy Association can be a valuable resource as well.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.