HOW TO TALK TO YOUR PARTNER ABOUT FINANCES
Most Americans were taught at an early age that money is considered to be a taboo subject.
Most Americans were taught at an early age that money is considered to be a taboo subject. As we get into new relationships, it’s important to have a productive conversation about finances. After all, it’s how you two will make informed decisions about major life milestones—buying or remodeling a house, having a baby, or planning for retirement.
Money is a very emotional subject, and is the root of many marital problems—it’s important to have this conversation before financial issues become a problem. Use these tips to talk about money in a way that brings you and your partner closer together—not further apart.
It Starts with History
You know your history with money—how much you spend, how much debt you have, and how you were taught about finances. Before discussing finances with your partner, understand the role money has played in their life. Did their upbringing cause them to be a super strict budgeter, or are they not capable of tracking spending? Know their views on finances so you can have a productive conversation.
Choose the Right Time and Place
Ambushing your partner at the end of a long work day with a conversation about finances probably isn’t going to yield the best results. Pick a time and place when your partner is relaxed and open to the conversation. And be sure to choose your words carefully to avoid starting and argument.
Telling your partner they’re doing something wrong financially will probably lead to disaster. Instead, consider having a conversation about your overall financial picture and ask for helpputting the pieces together and getting the numbers to add up. Be sure to listen to your partner’s concerns and acknowledge them. Work together to address potential issues and find solutions you’re both OK with.
Have Regular Check-Ins
Having regular conversations about your finances makes the whole subject less frightening. Work with your partner to decide when you should have check-ins about your finances and budget so that you’re mentally prepared for the conversation. This helps you both feel like you’re being proactive in managing your finances.
Ask a Professional
If you discover your financial views are too far a part, consult an expert. Have a financial counseling session from an objective third party to help you created a unified vision for your finances. In the long run, this will make future financial dialogue a lot easier.