9 May 2022

How to Talk About Money With Your Spouse

How to Talk About Money With Your Spouse

Discussing financial issues with your spouse can be stressful, especially if your views on money matters tend to differ. But talking openly and honestly about your family finances is critical to a happy, healthy relationship.

From earning and spending to saving and investing, you’re in this together and should be on the same page. You don’t want to let money issues drive you apart.

If you’re looking for tips to help you talk about money with the one you love, we have some ideas! Here’s some advice for having a productive conversation with your spouse about financial matters.


Set a Time to Talk

Talking about money in the middle of an argument about another issue is never a good idea. Talking about your finances is a serious matter, and you want to be calm and attentive during this type of discussion.

Think about the topics you need to discuss like your home budget, savings plan, children’s education, or retirement. Find a time to talk that works with both of your schedules.

Choose a time that allows you to dedicate all your attention to your spouse and listen to their views. Financial stress can drive a couple apart. In fact, it’s a common cause of divorce, so make your family finances a top priority.

Talk at home or find a quiet spot where you can be alone. Make financial discussions a regular occasion.

These critical conversations can help you stay aware of how the other is feeling and keep you moving forward to a strong financial future.


Think “We” Not “Me”

As a couple, you want a realistic family budget that suits both of your needs. As you have financial discussions, keep in mind that you’re in this together.

Your marriage is a partnership, and that includes your financial goals. Blaming your spouse for your money problems won’t help.

Try to speak in terms of “we” instead of “you” or “me.” The goal is to have an open discussion and get to the root of any financial issues you may be facing.

Find out where you differ and try to reach a compromise whenever possible. Working together and being honest about your financial struggles can bring you closer as a couple.


Ask Questions

Are there questions you want to ask your spouse about money issues? Don’t hold back.

Be upfront and honest with your questions and concerns. Brushing financial problems under the rug won’t solve the problem and will only lead to financial stress down the road.

Asking questions and understanding how your spouse feels about your family finances can help you come together to tackle any problems you may be having. Open and honest money discussions can help prevent future issues as well.

The goal isn’t to win or place blame. Instead, ask questions to understand each other better and move forward toward shared financial goals.


Take Time to Listen

As the money rolls out and the bills roll in, it’s easy to blame your spouse for financial problems. Take the time to listen to your spouse and understand the decisions they’re making.

Some people have a tendency to overspend. Others want to save everything. Extend your spouse a bit of grace and try to understand their behavior.

Listening is the first step toward reasonable compromise. For a family budget to work, you must have the same goals in mind and pursue them together.

Sometimes people don’t realize their spending habits are a cause of concern. When you take the time to stop and listen to your spouse, you can better understand their underlying motivations.

Honest communication is the key to solving your money problems together.


Forgive Mistakes

If you have a spouse who overspends, try to work through the problem together. Blaming won’t resolve the issue and will only create hard feelings between you.

Instead, try to come up with a solution together to prevent any financial mistakes from becoming an ongoing problem. To start the conversation, try to find out why your spouse is overspending or not sticking to the family budget.

There may be factors involved you aren’t aware of. Arguing with your spouse about money will only cause more problems.

Communicate, forgive, and work together to understand and solve any financial issues you’re having as a couple.


Share Your Money Story

Talk to each other about your history with money. Share how you grew up and what you learned about money from your family.

The way you were raised affects your views on money. It helps to discuss these issues to understand each other better.

Your past experiences may have more of an impact on your spending and saving habits than you realized. Reflect on your own experiences and discover your spouse’s experiences with money.

This knowledge may help you get to the root of any financial differences you may be having.


Talk About Your Fears

Are you worried about taking on a mortgage or paying for your child’s college education? We all have financial worries of some sort.

Fear can motivate you to make some good financial decisions. But it can also hold you back from taking a chance that may help your financial future.

It’s important to discuss your financial fears with your spouse, and it’s important to understand their fears as well.

Living in constant fear of financial ruin isn’t healthy or good for your relationship. Communication is key to understanding each other and moving forward on a positive financial path together.


Dream Together

What are your dreams for the future? Does your spouse know your goals for the future and do you know theirs?

Talking about your hopes and dreams for the future can help bring you together and connect you to a shared goal. Discuss what you want for the future as a team.

A shared financial goal is a big motivator for saving money. Sometimes it’s hard to save without a plan for what that money means to you as a couple.

A few examples of shared dreams might include:

  • Sending your kids to private school
  • Buying a new home
  • Getting out of debt
  • Being able to stay home with your kids
  • Taking your family on a dream vacation
  • Being financially secure for retirement
  • Paying for your child’s college education

Take the opportunity to share your dreams with your spouse and set some short-term and long-term financial goals together.


Discuss Your Thoughts on Giving

When one spouse is a giver and the other is not, it can cause a little friction. One of you may want to donate to every worthy cause while the other is a bit more cautious.

Neither of you is wrong, but it is important to monitor how much you give. Being a generous person is a wonderful quality, but you don’t want your giving habits to negatively impact your family finances.

Taking a look at what you earn, spend, and give can be eye-opening. Work together to plan for giving and try to limit spontaneous giving.

Take a look at your family finances and determine a set amount to give to charitable causes.


Create a Budget

Coming together to establish a family budget is one of the best things you can do as a couple. This establishes a foundation for working together to accomplish shared financial goals.

A budget helps eliminate or reduce misunderstandings and overspending. It helps you communicate about money without fighting because the guidelines for spending are already in place.

There are always unexpected expenses in life. Plan for those and how you will pay for life’s little emergencies.

Communicating about your finances and setting a budget can bring you closer to your financial goals and strengthen your bond as a couple.


Let’s Talk About Money

Talking about money isn’t always easy, but it’s critical for a healthy relationship or marriage. In fact, talking about money may be more important than the money itself.

Having open and honest conversations about what you’re earning, spending, saving, and investing as a couple is so valuable. It can help you set priorities and come together as a family.

When you feel like you need to talk about money issues with your spouse, don’t hold back. Approach them without accusations or blame and work together towards understanding and shared financial goals.

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