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Talking With Your Spouse About Money

Sometimes the hardest person to strike up a conversation about money with is the person you share your life with! Money is an extremely touchy subject that can quickly turn from an open conversation to a finger-pointing blame game. I've got Rachel here today sharing some tips to talk finances with you spouse!

How to Talk About Money With Your Spouse

According to a survey conducted by SunTrust, more than a third of married couples say that their finances are the leading cause of stress in their relationship. That being said, being able to discuss financial issues with your spouse is crucial to the longevity of your marriage. However, many of us simply don't know how to have this conversation. Here are some tips for starting an effective financial discussion with your significant other, and solving any money problems between each other:

Open and Honest Communication is Key

If you can't be honest with your spouse, then your marriage is doomed. Be truthful, and fully disclose your financial situation first as a catalyst for a healthy conversation. While it might seem daunting if your financial situation isn’t exactly all that great, hiding it would only make things worse. Trust is essential to any relationship, and it is hard to trust someone who's already lied to you.

Pay Attention to Your Spouse's Financial Behavior

Is your spouse a compulsive shopper, or a conservative spender? Are they liberal, or intolerant, with credit card debt? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you find some common ground with your spouse, before talking about finances. It will also help you address problems before they become impossible situations. For example, you might find out that your significant other has a ton of credit card debt, and hasn't been making monthly payments on the balance. If you start making those payments now, you'll stop the account from going into delinquency.

Discuss Each Other's Financial Goals

Talk about financial goals and values; this helps with implementing a successful, long-term financial plan. Focus on specific topics, and try asking thefollowing questions:

● Saving money - Do we want to focus on saving money for the future? Or, would we prefer to spend money now on things like vacations, restaurants, or fun excursions?

● Investments - How do we feel about investments like IRAs, 401Ks, or savings bonds?

● Children - How many children do we want to have, if any? If we do have children, should we save money for their education?

● Residence - Do we want to own a home, or just rent? Where do we want to live?

● Transportation - How many cars do we need? Do we want to buy a new car, or are we satisfied with buying a used one?

If you use the term "we" instead of "I", then you create a team atmosphere with your spouse. Write down each other's goals. It will help both of you create a plan that satisfies one another's wants and desires.

Create a Financial Plan

When you've collaborated with your spouse, and agreed upon some financial goals, then create a financial plan. The plan should include some hard facts, such as:

● Joint income

● Daily expenses

● Spending budget

● Emergency fund

● Current debt

● Credit rating

A qualified financial planner can also help you design a practical strategy. The important thing is that you consider your spouse's input, and make sure they're happy with the resulting plan.

Schedule Monthly Financial Meetings

Select one time each month to have a discussion with your spouse about finances. Keep track of your progress, and notice if either of you needs to make some changes. This doesn't have to be a formal discussion. If things become emotionally charged, then take a step back and try again the next day or some time that week.

Regardless of how things are progressing, stay positive and be patient. Negativity creates resentment. You want your spouse to feel as if they can talk openly with you about money issues. Remember, you're planning to spend the rest of your life together. Strive to achieve financial goals as a team, and you'll have a more fulfilling relationship.

Rachel is a media relations specialist for CreditSoup. In her spare time, she has taken a great interest in saving money where she can and sharing her experiences and advice with others.

Photography provided by Rachel Stubbe Photography at Thrive Conference.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a helpful post. Communication and a good plan is so beneficial. Thank you for sharing.


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