Learn How To Build And Optimize Financial Intimacy For A Successful Relationship


What is Financial Intimacy?

No one would argue that intimacy is critical to a successful and sustainable relationship, would they? But how intimacy is defined and prioritized within a budding relationship can tend to vary. Most couples will focus on physical, emotional and even spiritual intimacy without hesitation, but when considering finances and money, intimacy can be seen as taboo. Many factors can contribute to this prevailing perspective, but statistics suggest that avoiding financial intimacy can be as detrimental to a relationship as any other type of intimacy.

“Nearly half of Americans (48%) who are married or living with a partner say they argue with the person over money…. Most of those fights are about spending habits…. The remaining fights are pretty evenly split between someone being dishonest about money, how to divide the bills and other types of money fights.”

While I’m a firm believer that money cannot buy happiness, I also believe that when partners are not open and honest about their financial situation, it can lead to extreme levels of stress and tension. If left unattended, the tension will spill over into other aspects of the relationship.

“…it's no surprise that money-related conflicts are frequently cited as a reason for divorce. There's a good reason for this: Money and stress very often go hand in hand, whether it's because of an overextended budget, an unexpected financial emergency, or even the discovery of your spouse's secret credit card. And financial issues don't discriminate — they can unravel marriages between wealthy couples and couples in major debt alike.”

With the above perspective in mind, let’s take a deeper look at Financial Intimacy and how you can build it within your relationship.

Financial Intimacy: Defined

Intimacy is defined as a closeness and/or familiarity in something or someone. Therefore, financial intimacy implies a closeness and familiarity into the financial situation of an individual or couple. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has to be shared 50/50 or all in joint bank accounts. It just means that however you decide to manage your finances, you are doing so in an open, honest and healthy fashion.

Determining the Degree of Financial Intimacy in Your Relationship

There are a few key indicators of financial intimacy within a relationship. The first indicator is that you are having recurring transparent conversations about your financial situation… the good, the bad and the ugly. Discussing key money management principles such as spending habits, short- and long-term financial goals and how you intend to achieve these goals as a team is critical. Another key indicator is your ability to both celebrate successes and key milestones as well as mistakes and other deterrents along your journey. While it isn’t expected that each partner will always be 100% in agreement with every aspect of a financial plan, it is necessary for both partners to concede and align on a joint strategy and prioritization if you want a path to sustainable success.

Building and Optimizing Financial Intimacy in Your Relationship

Depending on the assessment of your current situation, you and your partner may have some actions to take in order to build and optimize the degree of financial intimacy in your relationship. Let’s take a look at a few major components of financial intimacy individually: 

  1. Transparent Communications: Sharing financial information openly and honestly is arguably the most critical component to building strong financial intimacy within a relationship. This includes past and present successes and failures as well as forward looking goals and aspirations. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all aspects of money need to be merged, but all information should be shared, and dialogue should be had around what will remain separate vs combined on a go-forward basis.
  2. Inclusiveness: All future financial decisions should be made jointly. This is especially critical when making large decisions, including big purchases, major life events, savings and/or investment strategies.
  3. Equality: Regardless of whether income is coming in equally or a single partner is the sole provider, if you want to build financial intimacy, there needs to be equality and ownership of all financial assets and liabilities.
  4. Sustainability: Some people are naturally impulsive while others are more conservative and apt to plan ahead. Regardless of your partner and your personalities, financial intimacy requires an element of planning and commitment that both partners can align and stick with over time. This sustainable plan should be aligned with your joint goals and aspirations.
  5. Flexibility: The only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty and change. Flexibility is critical and completes the financial intimacy circle. Some may contend that if the situation is fluid and dynamic, what’s the point? The point is that flexing in the face of change is exponentially easier when you have a baseline to begin working from.

Financial Intimacy: Key Benefits

Now that we’ve defined financial intimacy, assessed the degree of intimacy currently present in your relationship and discussed the major factors of financial intimacy and how to build and optimize them, let’s take a look at the return on investment you should expect to receive:

  1. Increased accountability: There is no right or wrong way to divide financial responsibilities, however ensuring that all facets are covered and understood by both partners is critical to success. Many financial arguments stem from late or missed bill payments, over drafting a bank account or maxing out a credit card. Getting these foundational responsibilities aligned will avoid issues later and enable focus to be placed elsewhere.
  2. Reduced stress: Financial well-being has no finite beginning or end… it’s a perpetual cycle and at times can be stressful. Optimizing your financial intimacy and streamlining your financial operations will increase confidence leading to additional clarity while also reducing propensity of missed budgets and overspending.
  3. Optimized cash flow: With clear accountabilities defined and streamlined operations in place, you will be in a position to optimize your cash flow both in the short and long term. This optimization, in turn, maximizes the probability of achieving or maybe even exceeding your aligned financial goals, ultimately leading to financial freedom. Success breeds success!

We Can’t Do It On Our Own… What Are Our Options?

Some folks cannot build the degree of financial intimacy that they desire on their own, and that’s okay. Whether it be fundamental misalignment or attitudes towards money between partners, lack of structure or trust due to historical baggage or just wanting an independent third party at the table to provide objectivity and accountability, options are available.

Just as you would invest in counseling for other facets of intimacy, Financial Accountability Coaches can be a life changing investment for each partner and the relationship they are building together. A qualified Financial Accountability Coach will listen empathetically as a client lays out their financial status, goals and priorities. They will utilize an inclusive approach, ask probing questions and challenge their clients to dig deeper and clarify the underlying whys in their stated goals. They will provide a structured framework aimed at providing transparency and sustainability and then challenge their clients to make tough decisions and hold themselves accountable for transforming words into actions and staying on track over time.


In conclusion, if you aren’t fully satisfied with the degree of Financial Intimacy present in your relationship today, act on it. The longer issues are avoided, fester or kept hidden from your partner, the bigger the problem is going to get. The bigger the problem gets, the higher the likelihood that financial stresses will spill over into other facets of your relationship, drastically reducing the probability the relationship will remain healthy and viable. If you can’t do it on your own, or you just prefer to have an independent party support you on this critical journey, consider investing in a Financial Accountability Coach. Regardless of how you decide to approach, building a high degree of financial intimacy within your relationship is an investment you will not regret!

If you’re wondering how to find the absolute best coach for yourself who has the experience and training to understand and evaluate your unique situation, and who fits all of the criteria we outlined in this article, check out The Accountable Network’s unique Coach-Match system! Book a FREE one-on-one call with an actual human being (not a Google Form or Bot!) who will learn all about you, your unique situation and the transformation you’re hoping for. They will then use that information to scan their network of 150+ coaches specializing in over 50 niches to find you the coach that is the best fit for YOU.

Book a FREE zero-commitment Coach-Match assessment session today →





About the Author

Anthony Soviero

My path to financial freedom has been a long and winding one, riddled with experiential learning along the way. Early in adulthood, my wife and I managed to rack up a ton of debt, despite having well-paying, full-time jobs. One day we woke up and decided we were done… We built an aggressive debt elimination plan and began to execute it, as a team!

We rode the positive momentum and began to focus on building financial intimacy. We were determined to eliminate the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights we had been experiencing. With that motivation, we transformed our approach to money management, decision-making and wealth building.

With my daughter now in college and my money working for me, I am leveraging my 20+ years of corporate finance and leadership experience and shifting my focus to helping other couples build the financial intimacy that has been so critical to my success.


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