25 Sep How To Discuss Finances With Your Partner
According to a study by Utah State University, couples who argue over finances have a 30 percent higher chance of divorce. Financial conflicts are frequently cited as one of the main reasons that couples break up. Creating and sticking to a budget or maintaining a savings account is nearly impossible if there is a lack of communication about money. But don’t panic: financial disagreements can be managed by talking about money, keeping your emotions under control, planning for the future, and being open with each other.
Make money talks happen
Your first money talk should take place as early on in the relationship as possible. As a couple, you will need to decide whether you want to combine your accounts or keep them separate and set financial goals for each year. Based on your annual expenses and retirement plans, how much money should you plan to save? You shouldn’t be blindsided by your significant other’s outstanding debts, desire to become a stay-at-home parent or income disparity. Ideally, money talks should happen before marriage, but it is never too late for an honest conversation.
Keep emotions under control
Don’t wait to discuss money until you’re angry about a financial decision your partner has made. When you start yelling at each other and bringing up past hurts, your conversation will quickly escalate into an ugly argument. You or your significant other may hesitate to bring up money concerns in the future if each discussion ends in a fight. Talking about a low credit score or overwhelming debt will expose vulnerabilities you or your partner may not feel comfortable with. A supportive and understanding attitude is critical for establishing financial trust.
Plan for the future
Discuss not only how you want to save money, but also how you plan to earn more in the future. Picking up small side gigs you can work on from the comfort of home can help you and your partner make it through a tight financial month. You may need to adjust your joint budget to reflect you and your partner’s preference for saving or spending. Does he or she prefer to “live in the moment” or is a savings account a priority? Your financial habits now will directly affect your retirement plans in the future, so make sure to address any disagreements sooner rather than later.
Be open with each other
In a committed relationship, you should never keep financial secrets from each other. Between 25 and 35 percent of American couples are guilty of financial infidelity. To avoid unnecessary conflicts, open bank statements and bills together, instead of hiding them away in your desk drawer. When discussing finances, it’s helpful to frame your conversations around “we” instead of “me vs. you.” How to spend or save money affects both of you, and discussing what’s best for “us” will help unify your budgeting and financial planning.
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