5 Ways To Talk To Your Marriage Partner About Money
Talking about money does not come easily or naturally to most people. It is one of those “taboo” subjects that you don’t discuss in public. However, you don’t want to wait to talk to your spouse about money when the bills are piling up, and the checking account is empty. If you’re going to establish a strong foundation for your future together, you need to have the “money talk.”
Start small and casual.
Most people wait until a financial crisis to talk to their spouse about their finances. By then, stress and anger have built up, and you can resort to blaming or shaming your partner. It hurst your marriage when you personally attack your partner. Their defense mechanisms kick in. Instead of being able to talk about your finances, you are screaming and fighting.
Start talking about money when there is no crisis Think of it as planning for your financial future together.
- If we want your spouse to share with you freely, you must give them your undivided attention.
- Don’t lecture, discuss. Instead of talking at your partner, talk with your partner.
- Try to understand each other’s points of view. Ask questions and wait patiently for an answer.
- Pick the right time and place. Choose a time when you are less likely to be stressed out, exhausted, or engrossed in something else.
- Ease into the conversation slowly. Try one of these introductions.
- Bring up a money goal you are working on saving for, like a vacation. Ask your spouse what money goals they have.
- Find an article about couples and finances and share it with your spouse. Bring it up later and discuss what each of you thought of it.
- Look into Personal Finance classes at a community college and suggest that you and your spouse attend together.
Don’t keep secrets
Honesty is essential in any relationship. Make sure you and your partner share your credit history, debt liabilities, and other obligations. Don’t hide your purchases from your spouse. Don’t keep hidden bank accounts. If you don’t discuss such things, you can never truly develop a strong foundation from which to build on. Tell the truth and be open when it comes to money.
If you both are open about your financial struggles, you can put your heads together to find a strategy to address them. Struggles could include:
- Paying off Student Loans or other Debt
- Large Credit Card Bills
- Poor Credit Score
Since both people have disclosed personal money-related information, it can make each of you feel less vulnerable and create a more level playing field when you put it all out there. Both people may feel an emotional connection by opening up with personal and private information.
Create a financial plan
Both partners should look at the joint financial picture in black and white. How much Money do you have coming in each month? What debts do You have? What are your major expenses? Have you started saving?
Who currently manages the budget, pays the bills, or organizes the finances in your household? Many individuals wrongfully assume the other party in the relationship is willing or able to handle all these responsibilities. It doesn’t matter who manages these tasks or how you divide the duties. What matters is that do it.
Once you have created a Financial Budget and a way to pay off debts, set dates to track how you are doing.
Establish Goals Together
What goals do you have for your future? Perhaps you’d like to travel, change careers, start a business, own a new home, continue your education, or start a family. Whatever your dreams are, be sure to establish a financial plan for them with your partner. Use one of your money dates to jot down some goals and ensure they are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Money goals could include saving for:
- A home
- Home renovations
- A new car
- A cruise
Whatever your goals are, they start with an open conversation and a solid plan.
Set Regular Money dates
Schedule a “money date” once or twice a month to discuss your financial situation, review your budget, and discuss upcoming priorities. You should pleasantly surprised at your progress toward realizing your goals. By taking an hour here and there to check your progress and proactively address potential issues, you are building a solid marital bond to last a lifetime.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises