Money is one of the most common reasons why married couples divorce. Usually, a lack of communication about money, or a lack of shared financial goals, is what leads to resentment and trust issues that cause a marriage or long-term relationship to end.
So it is important to make sure to have a talk about finances long before getting married or committing to a long-term cohabitation. But even if you’re already married for many years, you may still have difficulty keeping calm when the subject of the conversation is money. How can you have this talk in an adult and effective manner?
Be Completely Honest About Your Views on Money
If you are a saver, you shouldn’t feel ashamed about the fact that you put most of your paycheck in the bank or always look for a deal. If you are a spender, you should be honest about why that is. Understanding how you view money can help you and your partner create a financial plan that you can both live with.
Plan to Deal with Your Own Debt
In the event that one partner has a large student loan debt or pays for their medical care out-of-pocket, that person should ideally pay for that debt on his or her own. While the other partner may be able to provide assistance from time to time, that person shouldn’t be unfairly burdened by someone else’s life choices.
Approach It as Something That Concerns Both of You
Talking about money is something that most people don’t do because they find it to be a personal matter. However, when a couple gets married or lives together for long enough, one person’s financial situation impacts the other person. When a couple starts to think about their money as a joint fund, it becomes easier to talk about it.
Each Person Should Have a Say In Big-Ticket Items
As part of a money talk, some time should be spent talking about how to deal with big-ticket and long-term spending. For instance, a couple may agree to consult with each other for purchases that exceed a certain amount — whether it’s $100, $1,000 or $10,000 — or before making any decisions regarding their retirement fund. For those who really don’t know how to deal with long-term spending and saving issues, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional financial planner for advice.
Remember That You Are Both on the Same Team
You and your partner are both on the same team when it comes to creating your plans for the future, and healthy finances are a big part of that process. Therefore, there is no need to belittle each other or act in a condescending manner. In the event that the conversation strays off course or become less than respectful, it may be a good idea to take a break.
Talking about money can be a tricky issue for any couple. However, by approaching the issue in a respectful and tactful manner, it can be done without causing hurt feelings or resentment. This can open a good line of communication about an issue that many couples don’t talk about, which ultimately causes larger issues in the future.
Disclaimer: Dolphin Asset Group is not allowed to provide tax or financial advice. All information contained herein should not be construed as such. Readers are advised to seek independent advice from a qualified professional.