We know that money can be an awkward thing to talk about, even with your significant other. And while you may think that you can talk to your partner about “anything” some things must be spoken about delicately and with strategy. We recently read an article from Psychology Today with some tips and tricks for discussing money with your person, which we have included the highlights for you below. For the full article, click here.
1. Make Sure the Issue is Really About Money.
Too often, disagreements about money have little to do with money itself and more to do with issues of control, security, self esteem and love. Think carefully as you discuss money issues with your partner to make sure there isn’t a larger problem at the core. Be honest with yourself about how you personally feel about money. Ask yourself how your parents dealt with money, what it meant to you when you were growing up, and how you dealt with it in past relationships. Money is a tangible part of a relationship, so it is easy to project emotional issues onto concrete money matters.
2. Find a Neutral Time to Talk Money.
Couples don’t usually talk openly about money. The goal with your new partner is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no particular money issue at hand. Sit down with your partner and have what I call a “money talk.” Together, discuss different money scenarios and how each of you might address or resolve the scenarios (e.g., overdrawn checking account, fired from a high paying job, lost credit card, the pros and cons of joint or separate checking accounts in a committed relationship, etc.). If you have concerns about your new partner’s spending habits, financial decisions or role in managing money, express those thoughts during this talk as well.
3. Understand Your Partner’s Perspective.
Studies show that when it comes to money, men and women often have different views. Women see it as a sign of security and stability. They like to save for emergencies and become worried when financial problems arise. Men take more risks with money and see money issues as a threat to their self esteem. Try to understand your partner’s perspective. Compromise is often essential. It is fine to disagree on some issues, but don’t let them get in the way of your overall goals as a couple.
4. Set Rules and Limits.
Once you become a committed couple, it is important to work together to come up with general spending rules or limits. Couples can pick from a number of possibilities. For instance, you can agree on a threshold amount (like $100, $200), which you can spend without needing to report or consult one another. Above that, you need to discuss it before the item is purchased. Alternatively, for some couples it is important to keep a budget, which includes tracking all spending on a weekly or monthly basis. Discuss these options with your partner.