Almost every couple that I counsel reports some stress related to their financial health. Even for families with substantial income, there’s always the pressure of the cost of life and different spending priorities. Finances are so influential on family stress, that it’s one of the topics that I address with every couple in premarital counseling. And one of the best ways for families to deal with financial stress is to improve their overall financial health – I know, right… seems so simple.
By financial health I’m specifically referring to tracking your spending habits, budgeting your money, reducing debt, and increasing savings. These 4 habits can help reduce financial pressure for families at all income levels, including business owners.
Recently I’ve been asking my students and other counselors how they address financial stress in families. Many expressed a lack of knowledge or confidence in assessing financial health, and reported a need for more training in this area. To address this need, I asked Financial Advisor and colleague, Erik Garcia, of garciafinancialgroup.com to partner with me in developing some resources for therapists to use in assessing family finances.
Erik and I developed a series of worksheets to use in session or independently, to help clients gain a clearer picture of their financial stress. This material was also accepted for presentation at the recent Louisiana Counseling Association annual conference (download worksheets here).
So, how is money mucking-up your family peace? If you’re like most, the stress can probably be tied to 1 or more areas: spending, planning, debt, or savings. And just knowing where your stress originates goes a long way to reducing it.