When you get married, your goal is to live happily ever after. However, as time passes, issues may arise. You may find yourself arguing with your spouse more than you’d like. This is especially true when it comes to money. The problem is, determine if you need marriage counseling or financial counseling can be tricky. If you aren’t sure which is right for your situation. Here’s what you need to know.
Money Signs That You Need Financial Counseling
Usually, the issues that indicate financial counseling is the best bet are fairly straightforward. For example, if you or your spouse are struggling to stick to a budget, if you’re thinking about bankruptcy, or you aren’t sure how to plan for your long-term goals. Then, financial counseling is often your best fit.
Essentially, if you and your spouse are both on the same page about improving, and are open and honest about your financial situation. Financial counseling is likely what you need. With this, the counselor helps you with financial planning. Which is likely your core issue. This can include general advice or assistance with creating budgets. As well as, determining investment allocations, and more.
Money Signs That You Need Marriage Counseling
While it may seem like money woes are a clear sign you need financial counseling. That isn’t always the case. If financial infidelity or other issues of trust – such as hiding purchases or debts – are involved. Marriage counseling may be a better fit. The same goes for hardships created by gambling addiction.
Dishonesty about money – such as spending behind a spouse’s back or opening secret accounts – indicates that there’s a relationship component to the problem. Ultimately, the money trouble is a symptom, not a core issue. If you don’t address the cause, the financial part of the equation won’t get resolution.
Is There a Combination Marriage and Financial Counseling Approach?
Yes, you may be able to use a combination approach. Some marriage counselors also assist with financial troubles. These services focus on addressing all sources of money issues, whether they are relationship-based or the result of a lack of financial planning knowledge.
With these sessions, the goal is to get everyone on the same page. It addresses issues of honesty, as well as working through areas where you and your spouse may disagree. Plus, it involves a strong financial planning component, giving you crucial knowledge and tools that can help you make sounder choices.
If you decide to go this route, make sure to check the counselor’s credentials. Ideally, they bring something to the table in both arenas. For example, along with being a licensed counselor, having financial planning training signals the person understands both parts of the equation.
In some cases, these counselors are financial therapists. If you’re considering a financial therapist, you may want to focus on those who are certified by the Financial Therapy Association, a professional group dedicated to this holistic, transdisciplinary approach to mental, financial, and relationship wellness. That way, you can increase your odds of getting quality guidance, ensuring the end result is more likely to meet your needs.
Do you have any other tips that can help couples decide if they need marriage counseling or financial counseling? Have you undergone counseling with your partner and achieved good or bad results? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- Don’t Make These 5 Personal Finance Missteps as Newlyweds
- Use These 7 Tips for Financial Stability in Your Marriage
- Newlywed Finances | Key Money Decisions for Marital Bliss