How To Talk Money With Your Partner Can Be Easy
People will talk about sex, before they’ll talk about finances.
Why is it so difficult for us to talk about money? Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people: power, control, security, or love, for instance.
It’s been estimated that money issues account for 90% of divorces.
Rather than avoid the conversation, make it an important priority to prevent it from becoming an issue.
Here are some practical tips to get you started.
Find a Neutral Time
Don’t wait until your spouse has charged up a storm on the credit card or another hot financial issue arises to broach the subject. The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no particular money issue at hand.
Give a Little to Get a Little
Volunteer your own feelings about a financial issue and it may encourage your partner to do the same. If your relationship is the first priority, you’ll both have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money. Discuss 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.
Know Where You Stand
Be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you’ve always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be “taken care of” financially. If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if his or her spending habits are not good.
You have to be honest with yourself about these feelings in order, to be honest with your partner.
Bring in a Third Party
If you can’t seem to talk about finances, seek out a counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. This could be a financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor.
Track Your Spending and Saving
Knowing where your money is going is the first key to financial security, and keeping a budget, which includes tracking your spending, is the only way to really know where your money is going.
Agree to Disagree
Come up with spending and savings goals and guidelines, then let your partner manage his or her own spending money.
Designate a Bill Payer and an Investor
One of you is likely to be better at day-to-day management of the household expenses. It’s okay to designate this person as the bill payer, but the other person should be involved and should know what needs to be done and how to do it.
Keep Separate Credit Cards
Each of you should have at least one credit card in your own name in order to maintain a separate credit history. If you divorce or your spouse dies, it will be difficult or impossible to get a mortgage, loan, or credit card without it. Having a joint card with both your names on it doesn’t work.
An income gap can cause issues if one person is making a lot more than the other. The person that’s making the money can sometimes start to feel like they’re the one who gets to make the financial decisions, creating an imbalance. This shouldn’t be a big issue if you combine finances from the beginning and deal with debt together. Sit down and have a conversation about how to make the situation more equal. You have to make sure that both people have enough money in their retirement account and in their emergency fund.
And make sure to talk about what unpaid work is worth – things like running the house, cleaning, cooking, and raising kids involve a lot of labour, work that would take a lot of money to hire someone else to do and that should be valued. And whatever you do, don’t be with a person that makes you feel bad based on your salary. This is a form of bullying no one should accept in a healthy relationship.
Each person will have a financial style. Are you a saver or spender? Are you thrifty or buy quality in order to avoid repetitive purchases?
If you need help to navigate this difficult situation, let’s set up a meeting and get you on track in the right direction.
It can be easier than you think.
Book your consult today here.