How do you talk about money in a marriage?
Even if you are in a relationship for a very long time, discussing about money is always a tough thing to do. Even if you are financially stable, when it comes to ‘money talk’, both the partner gets conscious.
In the seven years of marital life, my husband and I faced difficulties discussing money issues in the early years. More than him, I was super uncomfortable whenever we discussed about money. Sometimes we had arguments about who spent more and unnecessarily, etc, etc.
Today, after years, we have established a good amount of understanding and it has helped us in managing our financial discussions healthily.
Today we will discuss how to talk about money with your spouse in a new relationship efficiently. First, when you are committed to a new relationship, there are things we aren’t comfortable enough to discuss.
According to several surveys, money is one of the main issues that generates stress in a relationship. Often it has been found that couples don’t feel comfortable discussing about their finances.
They don’t want to discuss their income or savings or anything. Especially, if both are earning, then they decide to keep their money separate.
Financial differences often become an emotional and stressful point of contention in relationships. You might have different goals and needs when it comes to money, or one of you might have a tendency to spend more than the other. No matter where you are financially, understanding and talking about your finances with each other is key to having a healthy relationship.
I agree talking about your finances can be difficult and frustrating. For couples to maintain healthy relationships, it’s important to discuss money in a way that is open and honest.
Still, the money issue remains prevalent.
With time, not only couples who are in a new relationship but also couples who are married for years must communicate openly with their spouses and partners about their financial history, issues, debts, and goals.
This article will help you navigate how to start a conversation about this difficult topic, and learn how to go about it in a healthy way so that both spouses can feel heard and understood.
8 ways to talk about money with your spouse
Start communicating early about money with your spouse
It is always wise to start communicating about money at the early stage of your serious relationship. If you are certain about commitment in your relationship, then you should start taking baby steps regarding ‘finances.’
Why baby steps?
Most of the people find it very difficult to talk about money to their spouse or partner. It can be awkward to start this type of conversation, so it is essential to keep an open mind and stay positive. Good communication skills are needed in order to do this successfully in your relationship.
If you take baby steps, by which I mean start your conversation about money a little in every meeting, it will make you feel comfortable with the person to talk about money.
Let me give you an example: while dating, you can bring up the ‘money talk’ in the middle of a conversation at the right time and place. You can ask your partner about her/him credit score or what are their future financial goals.
A lot of couples only like talking about money when they are arguing about it or something has gone wrong with their finances. Also, it leads to relationship issues that later turn out to be one reason for breakup/separation.
Once you both are comfortable discussing each other’s money aspirations and goals, you will see it will be a lot easier to talk about the ‘money issues.’
So, my next suggestion would be to share each other’s financial history when both get comfortable in sharing their personal life details.
As I was saying previously, sharing financial openness is one of the key elements in a happy relationship. When you both know each other’s position in your relationship and there is an abundance of ‘trust’ for each other.
Then, there is no harm in disclosing each other’s income, credit score or savings. Because both deserve to know about each other’s financial history.
By disclosing the details, it doesn’t have to come to any conclusion. It is just a crucial step ahead in your relationship journey.
The more transparency there is in a relationship regarding the finances, the better off both partners are going to be in the long run.
Be honest about your financial expectations
Well, this is something that both the partner should clearly tell each other about their financial expectations. By financial expectations, I mean, both should express what they are intended to do with their money.
When you are in a committed relationship, often both tend to share each other’s money, they have a joint bank account. Here, suppose either of the one is a bit spendthrift, and the other is economic.
Here, both should sit and have a calm conversation about their expectations of how they will gonna spend money without being judgmental.
Don’t ever say that this is ‘my money that you are spending or you are wasting my money.’ A statement like this would end up in ego clash, hence an ugly fight over money.
So, if you don’t like your spouse being spending money unnecessarily, instead of mocking him/her, you can make them understand on financial security and expectations.
Sharing money goals together
My next and most useful tips would be sharing money goals that I follow in my marriage, and it works. As a couple, you can start a conversation about what’s working and what’s not working financially for both.
Set monthly money goals based on you and your partner’s needs and values. It is always a better idea to set small and short-term goals on things that work for both.
Also, if both want to keep their money separate, then communicate appropriately about what financial responsibility each will take.
For example, if the wife/girlfriend takes the responsibility of paying the house rent and other utility bills, then the husband/boyfriend takes care of the other things along with savings.
If you have clear communication about ‘money matters,’ then you will never face relationship conflict that concerns ‘money.’
Be comfortable about splitting your money
Couples who are on the same page about their finances are more likely to stay together. Money is one of the leading causes of divorce, so it’s important to be comfortable about splitting your money with your spouse.
If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to be comfortable about splitting your money with your spouse. Money is often a source of stress and conflict in relationships, so it’s important to have a healthy discussion about finances.
Splitting your money with your spouse can help you both reach your financial goals. It can also help you stay on track with your budget. This can be a great way to keep both of your finances in order. You may find that splitting your money gives you more control over your finances.
There are a few things to consider before you start splitting your money with your spouse. First, you need to decide how much each of you will contribute. Second, you need to agree on what type of account you will use for this purpose. Finally, you need to establish some ground rules for spending and saving.
Talk about savings
Now, as the article is about ‘how to talk about money with your spouse in a new relationship, I think ‘money savings’ is an important part.
So, like in the first few points, I have emphasized on ‘communicating about money matters at an early stage.’ When both establish trust and faith in each other, start talking about how should they do their savings.
Once again, while talking about ‘money savings,’ there might be differences in opinion, but with realistic discussion, the problem won’t last long.
Especially when in a new relationship, it gets harder to talk about ‘savings.’ During my early days of a relationship, my husband and I had opposite thoughts about ‘money.’
I am more economical; I think twice before excessive spending, and my husband had a weird thought that money is earned to spend.
Well, of course, when I first heard that it wasn’t what I expected of him. But with time and thousands conversation on money and savings, now he knows very well why savings is essential, no matter what.
Likewise, if you are in the same situation, take baby steps and start communicating about how, when, and where should they invest and save their money.
Well, your partner may feel that you are pressing him/her, but eventually, it will work.
Savings for Retirement/Future
Are you having an education loan or house loan or car loan?
Whatever debt you have, be frank with your partner about your financial picture. Commit to significantly reducing your debt, don’t expect him/her to pay off.
If your partner wants to help, then that’s your luck. But don’t keep your partner in a blindside about your current debt issue.
Sometimes, people think that if they tell their partner about their debt, then he/she might runoff, especially when in a new relationship.
Because eventually, the debt comes on your partner’s shoulder as well if married, which becomes a hindrance and causes financial stress between a couple.