Creating a long-lasting union with healthy finances with your spouse requires hard work.
Have you had any money talks with your spouse or partner? Most of us can discuss anything before money. But yet, money is the number one cause of 90% of separations/divorces.
For couples planning to get married soon, are you ready for money conversations? The right time to start having these talks before you sign on the dotted line. No need to wait until you say “I do”. Whatever money issues you have with your partner, it won’t vanish after I-now-pronounce-you-man-and-wife. In fact, marriage may even amplify your money issues.
Why it is important to have money talks with your partner
The vital point to look at your partner’s money condition is the point at which they become interwoven with yours. This will appear when you live together and taking care of tabs, jointly. At this point onwards, your partner’s money condition, habits, and values can have a material impact on your finances. Whether this impact is positive or negative depends on your having healthy money conversations.
Money issues can come up anytime in a relationship, for example when:
- dating for the first time
- you move in together,
- have children
- you purchase a house
- you need to resign, and
- regardless of whether you choose separation
Why do couples find it difficult to discuss money?
The differences lie in our life experiences. We were each brought up in different homes and under different conditions. Every one of us may likewise have a different perception of money too.
For example, you might be a high-roller when you meet your thrifty partner. Both of you also have differences in money values, habits, and goals. Yes, it may be true the opposite attracts with love. But for matters of money, the opposite doesn’t attract. It will bomb the relationship if we take no extra efforts to address the differences.
4 steps in having a money talk with your partner
1. Have the talk during a neutral time
Try not to hold up discussing money only to bring it up at an unsuitable time. For example, your partner has just loaded a storm on the credit card. Or, another hot money issue emerges. The aim is to have a quiet, casual conversation when there’s no specific money issue close by. Tell your partner you want to discuss your future, how both of you as a couple can cooperate to achieve common objectives.
Set a day and time and focus on it.
2. Set up for the discussion
No interruptions. Take a walk; sit on the patio. Get a sitter and turn off all disruptive devices – no TV or mobile phone. Give this discussion your full focus. This likewise intends to make a trustful atmosphere. Listen with intent and be in the now; try to understand your partner. Pose inquiries for clarity.
3. Pick a subject for discussion.
If this is the first time that both of you sit down to discuss money (and there will be more), you need to disclose your existing individual finances, all your money goals… all your expectations and wants.
Honesty and trust are important. For instance, don’t deny the reality you’d like to have your own house… You may also need to talk about money management in your family while growing up.
These topics will get you to better understand your partner and establish a base for pushing ahead as you build solid and healthy finances.
At last, you will need to choose one goal to chip away at, with additional to come.
4. Set a subsequent discussion on a weekly basis and keep it going!
This is only the start. Future money subjects may incorporate choosing a family Chief Financial Officer, setting the financial limit, overseeing debts, taking care of bankings and checking and defining ongoing goals.
The most important rule to foster healthy finances
No secrets and surprises, including debt. Bare yourself naked, financially.
For example, finding a dream home is difficult. Imagine how you would react or feel if a bank rejected a loan applied to finance your dream home because there were old bills from your spouse still unpaid as revealed in your spouse’s credit report.
These old debts will affect your ability to get a bank loan as a couple.
Hot buttons: Debts and Bank Accounts
2 controversial subjects are likely to arouse strong emotions among couples. Have a discussion about this before it becomes a topic for an argument.
The first is the debts... Debts can be a distressing experience to a couple, and possibly the easiest to ignite an argument. Attempting to manage it by yourself and keeping under wrap away from your spouse will cause the stress to be much worse.
Inform your spouse about your debts when you can. The sooner you have the discussion, the simpler it will be for the couple.
Work on an arrangement together to reduce the debt consistently with no late installments. Regardless of whether you and spouse maintain separate banking accounts, this debt may still influence your capacity to apply for joint credit.
Another controversial topic for a couple to sort it out is banking accounts.
For instance, do you need separate accounts, one or a mix? Many young couples face this issue.
Allow yourself plenty of time to think through. There is no reason to rush it.
Follow whatever system that works for you both as a couple. Your financial systems ought to cater to your common objectives and needs, which you have been freely talking about.
To maintain a good relationship with your spouse and to have a good financial life … the key is communication.
Listening, compromising, and realising action plans will give you a brighter future.
Consider professional services if you find that there are barriers to communicating as a couple. Building a healthy financial life with your spouse is the foundation for building a healthy future together.
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Do you have any tips for surviving a money conversation with your spouse? Share with us your experience in the comments below.