Is it awkward to talk about money and finances with your partner? If so, you’re not alone. The topic of money and money strategies is uncomfortable for many couples. Actually, it’s one of the biggest stressors in a relationship and can be responsible for tension, arguments, and even divorce.
You’d think something that’s a part of everyday life wouldn’t be so taboo. But… it is. And, it’s important to get it right because our experiences with money shape how we approach it in our relationships.
When couples don’t discuss money strategies…
- They fight over it because one or both of them don’t agree with the financial decisions being made.
- One person resents the other because they feel ignored or disrespected.
- They eventually discover they don’t have the same financial dreams.
- They discover they do have the same financial dreams, but different ideas about how to achieve them.
3 Easier Ways to talk about Money Strategies
The good news is, the two of you can defy the odds and be different from everyone else. You just need to employ simple communication strategies that’ll turn talking about money into an easy topic to approach.
#1: Plan A Money Date
Think of a money date as a calm and non-intimidating way to discuss money strategies. When the subject of money turns sour for most couples, it tends to be in the heat of an unplanned discussion or when a money decision has to be made. It’s hard to set goals or have a rational, balanced discussion like that.
Planning a date is a pleasant and positive way to have the much needed heart to heart about finances with your partner. Make sure the date is peaceful, relaxing, and in a place where you won’t be interrupted.
#2: Take Turns Asking Questions
Your money date is not you heading into a board room with a briefcase stating your demands. Your date is a shared conversation where the two of you get a baseline for each other’s views on money.
Questions you’ll want to ask (and answer), include:
- What did you learn about money growing up?
- How did your parents handle money?
- What’s your biggest financial fear?
- What are your short-term and big-picture financial goals (a.k.a your financial bucket list)?
#3: Create Your Financial Worksheet
This is a lot more fun than it sounds. Once you’ve gotten everything out and in the open, it’s time to put your money story on paper. During your money date, bring paper and a pen and jot down what’s happening.
What are your current expenses? What’s your debt? Do you have an emergency fund? Now is the time to start discussing your future money goals as a couple. Determine what’s attainable and how long it’s going to take you to achieve it.
Money isn’t something you discuss one time and that’s it. You should revisit this subject monthly – in some cases bi-monthly, depending on the stage of your relationship and whether or not you’re living together.
Discussing it regularly is a healthy way to make sure you remain on track and actually reach your money goals.