Many couples put off discussing money until they have a major disagreement. This is a mistake because it will only create more issues down the line. Instead, you should talk to your partner about finances as soon as possible.
In this article, we will discuss ten tips for talking about money with your partner that can help improve financial awareness and strengthen your relationship!
Have an open and honest discussion.
One of the biggest mistakes couples make when talking about money is keeping their cards close to their chest. You must speak with your partner about everything, including financial questions and concerns.
If things make both of you uncomfortable or uncertain when it comes to money, then these should be discussed in the open with no shame attached to either party. This will help build trust in your relationship with each other because neither one of you has anything to hide!
You must be honest with each other about financial goals and concerns, so your significant other will be able to help where needed. Plus, this can foster trust in the relationship!
Set aside time for discussing finances.
If possible, try setting aside some time for discussing finances instead of doing it after one too many drinks at dinner or while watching TV together; both scenarios may lead to miscommunications. Make sure to stay calm during such conversations as well.
You can also ask your partner to reciprocate and be honest about their finances if you feel comfortable doing so! This is an excellent way for both of you to get an idea of how each other feels financially, which will help with future planning and goals!
Money talks are difficult.
Remember that money talks are never easy, but they’re necessary to grow closer together and save up and reach financial goals.
Don’t let it stress you out; just have fun with the conversation instead! Lastly, always remember — communication is critical when talking about money with your significant other, no matter what kind of relationship or stage of life you may be in now. So open those lines of communication today so tomorrow won’t be too late!
Speak the same financial language.
You and your partner must speak the same financial language, whether it be talking about money or spending it!
If one of you likes to talk in terms of percentages while the other prefers whole numbers, then there may be some misunderstandings down the line when planning for future goals and during money conversations.
This will help reduce stress levels both now and later since all parties involved can better understand each other!
Discuss savings goals.
If you and your partner have a joint bank account, then talk about how much the total balance should go towards savings every month or week!
You and your partner must have a savings account to start saving up for the future, whether it be an emergency fund or planning a vacation! Talk about how much money should be saved each month. This will help reduce stress levels because neither one of you will feel like there isn’t enough money saved up at any given time.
You can then get on board with this plan together, so the two of you are working towards similar goals without sacrificing too much quality time together either!
Understand your partner’s financial goals and priorities.
Even when you are in love, it is easy to get caught up in your own financial goals and forget about the person you committed yourself to love.
However, understanding your partner’s plans for their money can help reduce stress levels in the relationship!
For instance, if one of you wants to save more towards retirement while the other doesn’t see a need for retirement yet since they’re young, this will cause some tension down the line. This could lead to both parties feeling slightly disconnected because there may be conflicting opinions or views on how much money should go where at any given time.
Remember that life happens too; maybe one party was laid-off recently, so they don’t feel comfortable putting away as much money as they would have liked.
This is a great time for you and your partner to work together, sticking with the plan laid out by both of you!
Each person in the relationship needs to be aware of their own goals and those of their significant other, so there will be no miscommunications or assumptions made down the line during future conversations about money.
To feel more connected, try asking questions from time to time, such as “How much do you want to save up for retirement?” or “What are some financial plans we could start working on together?”. You might be surprised by the answers!
When it comes to money, there are two different types of goals that you might be interested in achieving: short-term and long-term.
Short-term goals usually involve smaller steps like putting away $20 for a night out or saving up enough cash to cover the cost of your partner’s birthday gift next month.
Longer-term achievements can include big-ticket items like buying a house or planning for retirement — while these milestones may seem far off right now, discussing them with each other will make both partners better prepared when they finally come along!
Create a budget together.
If you are married, have a child together, or live with one another somehow, then creating a budget together is a critical step! You should do this together, not one person over the other. It is essential to know exactly where your money is going and what you can expect in terms of expenses (i.e., utilities, grocery bills, gas) each month before making larger purchases or committing to savings goals for this year or next year.
If it helps get the conversation started about financial planning together without too much pressure on either party, consider using an online tool like Mint. This website allows you to track your income and spending easily; all data are saved securely so that only those who have permission can access them within specific parameters set by yourself upon signing up. You may even want to use a Google spreadsheet if that is easier for you both.
Doing a monthly budget can help both partners understand how much money is coming into the household (such as income), where that money is going (bills like rent or car payments), and what’s left over at the end of every month. While there will be some natural variation in spending based on things like shopping trips or when bills come due, having an idea of how much discretionary spending exists within your budget will give you more control when it comes to financial planning.
By going through this exercise together, you can help each other set and manage realistic expectations for your family’s spending habits over the coming months or years.
For example, if one of your partner’s wages will be increasing soon but yours won’t until next year (or vice versa), understanding that from the outset might save some tension later on when unexpected expenses arise!
At least then, everyone is aware of what is happening with money within a household rather than being caught off guard by something they didn’t know about before.
Many couples probably have different ideas in their heads regarding how much free cash exists every month after bills are paid. This step helps put all those thoughts out on paper, so everyone can understand where there may be some room for savings or where there’s more pressure to cut back on spending.
Knowing how much money you have coming in every month is only half the equation, of course — the other side of that coin involves understanding what kind of expenses are likely to go out of your account each month and keeping track of those as well.
Both partners should take decisions.
There might even be a temptation to split up these tasks based on who earns what; however, it is essential not to fall into this pattern because both members’ incomes should play an equal role in helping make household-level financial decisions like saving for retirement or deciding whether now is the time to buy a new car.
By splitting these tasks up or relying on just one person, you might unintentionally marginalize the other partner’s ability to be involved in financial planning and decision-making—and that is not okay!
No one should feel like they haven’t been included or informed about things happening with money, after all; if anything, this kind of behavior will only make it harder for couples over time because both partners won’t know what each side is doing until it’s too late (if at all).
Schedule meetings to talk about your budget together.
Instead, try scheduling meetings once every month when you can talk about your budget together, as well as any upcoming purchases or life events that could affect your spending habits moving forward. This way, everyone has an opportunity to voice their concerns before they become problems, and you can make decisions together about how to best manage your household’s financial situation at the same time.
While having this conversation might feel awkward or stressful at first due to many factors like differing personalities or incomes coming into play, it will only get easier over time—and that is a good thing!
Discuss what you can do to help each other achieve their goals.
If you both want to save for a down payment on a home, how can one partner’s income help the other achieve that goal sooner rather than later?
What could this mean in terms of cutting back spending or getting another job if necessary? What kinds of sacrifices will need to be made, and what kinds won’t have to happen at all (like going out as often)?
Everyone should know these answers before they agree about helping each other reach their goals—and then holding each other accountable for working toward them should be a part of everyone’s responsibilities within the household.
No one wants to feel like they are being taken advantage of or used, after all—and it can make sense not to ask your partner for help if you know there will only be more pressure on their end without any opportunities to contribute themselves.
Let your partner know what they can expect.
If you are asking for help, be sure you let your partner know what they can expect in return (like being able to help them reach their own goals, for example) so they know what to expect moving forward.
This is a great way to keep the conversation going in between budget meetings so you can check in with each other regularly rather than just saving all your talking for when it’s time to plan out next month’s income.
This kind of dialogue will help both partners understand how they can best support one another over time by taking turns listening and asking questions, which might look different depending on who needs what at which point (for instance, if one person wants more financial independence while the other requires more emotional support or vice versa).
Many things make relationships work; however, communication has always been central to making sure everyone involved understands where their partner stands financially and emotionally. With any luck, by setting up these kinds of conversations early on in your relationship, you can foster a shared understanding of what will help both parties achieve their financial goals.
Establish clear expectations about who does what around the house financially.
If you have a joint bank account, it can be helpful to set up specific roles for each partner so there is no confusion later on about who was responsible for what.
Here are some examples:
- One person manages the household bills and pays them on time, while the other makes sure that enough money is in the bank when they need to go out of town or pay for anything else that might come up.
- One person budgets for the entire household, including groceries and living expenses, while the other manages the money left over after those needs are met.
- Both partners are responsible for bringing in an income to keep certain goals alive (like paying off debt or building up savings). Still, only one is accountable for things like home repairs, vacations, entertaining guests, or making sure credit card bills get paid on time every month.
- Both partners make decisions together about how much needs to be saved toward retirement (and by when) versus spending now — but one person takes responsibility for actually executing those choices;
- The couple decides which accounts they will use based on their individual goals, then both work towards saving together without stepping over boundaries or feeling like they are being mistreated.
When everyone knows exactly who needs to do what when it comes to money management at any given point in time, there will be less confusion about where responsibilities lie—and more opportunities for each partner’s financial dreams to become a reality!
That said, this should also include clear expectations regarding how many resources can be used to achieve both people’s goals within a given time frame.
It’s helpful to set up a joint account that you use for shared expenses, but it might be appropriate to have separate accounts so each person can manage their own money and save toward different goals.
When it comes to deciding who will do what, the possibilities are endless — but both partners should have a voice in this decision and feel comfortable with how those decisions turn out going forward. Hence, there is no resentment or confusion about where each person stands financially down the road.
For your relationship to become one that can weather any storm (financial or otherwise), having clear expectations from the beginning is an important first step toward achieving success together!
Consider the benefits of opening a joint bank account.
If you decide to open up your own individual accounts after establishing clear expectations between one another, consider an additional joint bank account that can be used for shared expenses (for example, groceries and regular household bills).
This way, you each have your own individual accounts, but you also have a shared account to use if needed for things like vacations or repairs around the house.
This way, you don’t end up feeling as though one person is footing all of the bills and therefore can’t enjoy themselves with their money while their partner does.
It is easier to see exactly where each person is spending.
When your bank account statements are broken down between personal and shared expenses, it’s also easier to see exactly where each person is spending without having any negative feelings about what you’re seeing.
Having a joint checking account can help prevent fights later on when one person thinks they are being treated unfairly by the other!
This is especially helpful if you decide to get married or merge finances somehow because this process requires an open line of communication from day one if both parties want it to go smoothly.
Consider opening up separate accounts for things like savings goals, retirement contributions, and paying off debt.
For example, one partner may be saving up towards a down payment on a house while the other is putting money away for retirement.
Both of these goals are important and should be addressed by both people to feel as though everyone has their own personal responsibility for financial decisions.
In this case, you could open up two different savings accounts that reflect your individual goals so you can each contribute toward things that matter most to you without stepping over boundaries or feeling as though someone else is getting more out of the deal than they deserve!
In the joint account, you could contribute to shared expenses in groceries, shared utilities like electricity or water, and regular household bills.
Figure out the difference between wants and needs.
Just because you’ve always dreamed of going on a fabulous vacation to Europe together does not mean that your relationship must thrive.
In fact, as tempting as it may be, consider saving up and paying cash for this trip if possible, so you don’t end up with any credit card debt or loans hanging over either partner’s head!
If one person wants something badly enough, they will usually find a way to make the purchase happen. This can lead to resentment further down the road when their partner feels like delivering an ultimatum about money (such as “Either I go on this vacation or we break up!”).
This type of thinking puts unnecessary pressure on both partners and makes them feel like they have to choose between their partner’s happiness and the well-being of their financial future.
Don’t be unrealistic about your spending habits, either!
Just because you want something doesn’t mean it is worth buying, especially if it means going into debt or breaking a budget for one person to buy something.
If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. Your partner should support your decision if you decide to pass on something because they care about your future and want what’s best for both of you!
If you’re going to be talking about money with your partner, both of you must have a clear understanding between wants and needs.
For example, while it may be nice to take a vacation or go out for dinner every once in a while, both of you should understand that this isn’t essential, and if your money is limited, then maybe these things will have to wait until later.
This is an excellent idea to ensure that both people can stay on the same page and know exactly where they stand regarding finances. After all, money affects every aspect of your life — from buying groceries for dinner to financing significant purchases like cars or homes!
Remain calm, and don’t get angry or defensive if your partner disagrees with you.
You can avoid many money problems just by staying calm and open to different types of opinions.
For example, suppose your partner chooses not to save up for retirement or prioritize their savings accounts over buying new clothes. In that case, they may have a different idea about how financial security works than you do!
It’s vital that both people in the relationship feel as though they are being heard, so be prepared to listen to it when one person makes a point that doesn’t sit well with you at first glance.
Take time to process everything.
To get through this type of situation without angering anyone involved, take time after the conversation is over to process everything fully before discussing it again. At this point, your partner should be comfortable talking to you about money, and the freedom that comes with being open is a great way for both people in a relationship to feel as though they have control over their financial future!
Suppose one person feels disrespected or unheard after speaking up during a discussion about finances. In that case, odds are something went wrong along the way — so don’t forget to take time to process everything afterward before re-engaging in an argument.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you establish boundaries ahead of time, so each person knows exactly what’s expected from them when handling money matters together (and if there are any doubts on either end, then talk more).
Saying things like “I can’t believe you would actually choose to spend money on that!” or “Why don’t we ever go out anymore?” will only make the other person feel attacked and defensive.
Money is a sensitive topic.
Even though it may be hard to bite your tongue when you disagree with something, try to keep in mind that money is a sensitive topic for many people!
Suppose one partner feels like they can’t do anything right or that their financial choices are always criticized. In that case, this could lead them down a path of resentment towards themselves or their significant other — which isn’t good for anyone involved.
Instead, figure out ways to compromise by considering alternatives to expensive purchases and doing things together as a couple, such as cooking dinner at home instead of going out or taking up an inexpensive hobby like hiking or biking together on weekends to stay active while also getting some much needed “couple” time.
Strive towards financial harmony by learning how to talk about money in an open-minded way with your significant other so both partners feel heard no matter what the outcome is at the end of the day.
Talking about money with your partner can be a tricky conversation. It’s never easy to talk about how much you make, what you spend and save, or where the money goes.
With that said, we wanted to provide some helpful tips for talking about finances so it’s not such an awkward topic anymore! We hope these tips will help get the conversation started for you!
If you want more ideas on how best to handle this sensitive subject in your relationship, feel free to leave us a comment below.
We would love to hear from all of our readers and help them navigate these conversations successfully.
Brenda Tillman is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a dedicated mom blogger, and a life enthusiast. She also has completed courses on Parenting Skills, Learning, and Education. She is married and is the proud mother of a boy and two girls. She loves being with her family and pets. She has been blogging for over five years now and enjoys sharing her thoughts on parenting, relationships, health & fitness as well as other topics that come up in life.