How do I talk money with my partner?
Did you know that money is the leading cause of stress and tension in a relationship? As a result of this, many couples avoid discussing money all together. However, sweeping the topic under the rug isn’t going to make it go away. Bola Sol, Editor of Refined Currency tells us her tricks for talking money in a relationship…without getting dumped in the process.
Talking money with your partner doesn’t always have to end in a fight. Remember these simple rules for open and honest conversations and you’ll find this will bring you closer, rather than driving you apart.
Set the scene for conversation
What’s it really about? More often than not, when the topic of money is brought up, it has less to do with money but a whole other issue or problem the person is facing. If there is another issue at the root of the conversation, deal with that first before talking about money.
It might be that you and your partner have a totally different relationship with money. Do you put all your spare pennies in a jar while they spend theirs on takeaways? Are they frustrated with you for never buying the toilet roll? Conversations about these little habits can really help to clear the air.
The perfect timing
An ideal discussion about money should take place when money has yet to become an issue. If you are newly engaged or planning to move in together and haven’t yet discussed money, the time to do so is now.
Find a neutral time to speak openly where you won’t be distracted by phones or anything else life may throw at you. It might not sound romantic but having a ‘money date’ once a month to discuss your financial future could be a start.
Be honest and open
Be honest with yourself and your partner. It’s easy to drag up the past when chatting about money so check yourself before you do. It’s not always easy, especially when you both have to face the facts, whether you are trying to get out of debt or attempting to improve your credit score. Be open with your partner about how you feel about money and what it means to you. The earlier in the relationship you can have solid conversations about money, the easier it will be when making bigger financial decisions together such as buying a property, going on holiday or getting a cat.
Speak and listen
In order to make the topic of money less daunting, listening is just as important as speaking. For example, if your partner earns more than you and you feel that you don’t agree with their spending habits, the discussion is the perfect time to hear their side. Making up money scenarios is great way to find out your partner’s approach to money. i.e. what would one do if you lost a job or got into debt? What are your saving goals and what do you like to spend on when you have extra disposable income? Is your partner happy to rent or is purchasing a home a plan you can both work towards?
You are planning a holiday together and you’ve both decided to split the costs. Your partner overspent on their budget last month and is unable to match your contribution. Think about your reaction when your partner informs you. Arguing with your partner at a time like this does more harm than good. Instead of assigning blame immediately, find ways to prevent it from happening again. Work together to rectify any current financial mistakes and make suggestions that will benefit both you and your partner. Set realistic goals and agree on money management tactics. This article provides some good advice for taking the pressure off your relationship.
The initial conversation may seem challenging but once tackled, you can both work together to achieve the financial future of your dreams.
For more advice about money and relationships, check out article about how to have difficult conversations about money.
For more articles from Bola Sol, check out Refined Currency.
- Go to Money Advice Service for free and impartial money advice.