I LOVE practices. They make life easy. Like my practice of ALWAYS leaving the car keys on the shelf by the front door. I NEVER waste time looking for car keys.

I invent practices in life, just like you’d invent drills to help you develop any skill. Think of the never-ending drills you do over and over and over again for your chosen sport or instrument. You practice until you have that small movement, skill or speed almost perfect.

All that practice is to develop habits that help you succeed. Those good habits make life run a little smoother.

Nothing is as important to me as my marriage – it’s the foundation of everything I do in life (all my 7 F words). I could go through life alone. But I chose Garry – and he helps power up my life to a whole new level.

There are 5 practices that changed life for Garry and me where it comes to our marriage and our money. I want to share them with you today.

1. Set aside time: 30 life-changing minutes.

Let me start here. Can you commit to setting aside 2 hours a month for love and money? That leaves you 95.5% (or 670 hours) to do with what you want. So give yourself 2 hours. Or 30 minutes a week. Or whatever combination works for you.

1---Set-aside-TimeThen just talk! If you dream of being able to talk about money with your honey in a great mood with positive outcomes, then, you have to look forward to talking about it. The way to achieve that is to agree to set time aside to talk about your money and your life. And, it has to become a regular practice.

For most, we only talk about money when there is a problem, therefore, the conversation starts (and usually ends) heated. This is the worst time to tackle the topic of finances.

Garry and I talk every Saturday morning. We get our coffee and sit outside on our balcony and chat up money and life. It’s our quiet time outside of the work week and before the weekend really begins.

Garry does our books, but we review every entry together. As part of our weekly practice we check in on our spending and do an overview of all of our numbers. It’s usually not more than 30 minutes. But, it’s this simple practice that’s enabled us to keep money as a positive in our relationship and something we look forward to discussing — especially as we watch our buckets fill up with cash!

2. Practice Your F Words.

Your F words are the most important words in your marriage. It’s your:

  1. Faith
  2. Family/Friends
  3. Finances
  4. Feelings (Health)
  5. Fun
  6. Flourish
  7. Filanthropy

Because Garry and I share a common Purpose that revolves around our F words, we talk pretty regularly about them. Every year at our annual marriage retreat we set personal and joint goals for each F word.

Our money (the Finance F) is what funds the rest of our F words, so our regular money conversations usually link to all of them.

2---Practice-Your-F-WordsHere’s a fun example to make the point. At every annual retreat, we decide where we want to vacation the following year and create a budget for it. Then we start sweeping money into our Dream savings account every month. We love watching the Dream bucket increase! That’s what holds the funds for our annual luxury vacation!  We always have the cash ready to spend once vacation time arrives.

Remember, Fun is a necessary part of a marriage. So, make sure you plan for it when it comes to the money because there isn’t a bigger buzzkill than opening credit card bills that were wracked up on a vacation just as you return from one.

3. Fund Your Spouse’s Dreams.

The beauty of setting goals together in each F-word category is that each partner is aware of the other partner’s dreams and desires.

3---Fund-your-Partner's-DreamsFor Garry and me, we share many of the same aspirations, but some are very different. Garry for example loves cooking and photography. I stay out of the kitchen and have been known to (on more than one occasion) to take 100s of photos with the lens cap on. I love running and massages, but Garry steers clear of both of them.

So, when it comes to life, we make sure we support each other’s differences. And, we let our money do our talking. We allocate the financial resources to support each of our individual desires followed up by encouraging words to “go take that photography class — I’ve got the kids.”

In summary, make it a practice to support the dreams and desires of your spouse — they will feel loved and lucky — especially when hearing other spouses complain about the nagging!

4. Dedicate Time For Your Marriage.

This is the real secret to my marriage getting better and stronger day by day and year over year. Garry and I designate time away to spend on our marriage.

Every November (usually the weekend after Thanksgiving) we take a long weekend to reflect on the year and then set our goals (for each F word) for the upcoming new year.

4---Dedicate-time-for-your-marriageWe realized after the first year, that doing this practice only one time per year wasn’t enough. So, the second year of our marriage on, we set quarterly retreats as a practice for taking time out of regular life (kids, work, parents, etc.) to give it solely to our marriage and each other.

We set the weekend dates during our annual retreat so that they got on the calendar. Otherwise, we would get busy and forget! At these retreats we review our goals in each category and reset as needed. Life never quite happens according to plan, so, it’s important to reset often — especially when it comes to our money. It’s easy to get off track and our regular retreats keep us headed in the desired direction.

Garry and I now choose a destination for our retreats. We visited Sedona at our most recent retreat and after each 1/2 day of reflecting and reviewing, we take time for just the two of us. We rented bikes and explored the town and enjoyed amazing restaurants in the evenings. But, when our kids were young, we asked grandparents to take over for a couple of days while we stayed in a B&B in town. In other words, we didn’t have to go far or spend a lot to keep our practice.

5. Follow the 6 Secrets to Getting Rich.

Finally, if you want your money in your marriage strong, and your marriage strong because the money is in order, you MUST practice a money process.

5---Follow-the-6-SecretsLast week I shared my Cash Flow system with you as one process you can follow. But, if you don’t practice mine, then practice a money method that works for you.

Money has to be a practice in your marriage. In fact, make money your third lover! Give your money the time, respect and attention it needs to be healthy and happy so that you both can use it to be healthy and happy too.

When you flow your money intentionally according to a method that is guaranteed to grow your wealth and well-being as a couple, you win and your marriage does too.

I’m happy to share my secret practices with you – just go to last week’s blog to get the 6 Secrets Nobody Will Tell You about Getting Rich.

What are YOUR practices?

What are your practices for love and money? Did I miss any? Share, and let all of us in on your secrets to success, too!

P.S. And, in the context of marriage — I wish my amazing husband, Garry Wise, a Happy Anniversary. I love you babe! I am the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my life partner, business partner and overall best friend. I adore you!

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