I once read a study that couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are more than 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month.” Yikes!
If you are married or in a relationship, it’s critical to learn how to talk about money in a healthy way. After all, money will be around your entire lives, so you may as well take the time to learn how to talk about it, manage it and use it more effectively as a couple. While every couple is different in terms of how they relate to and manage their finances, here are some basic tips to help you talk money with your honey.
Learn about each other’s money history
When you learn about each other’s money history, it allows you to have more compassion and understanding about your partner’s current money behaviors. For example, maybe your significant other grew up in a household that was always stressed about money, living paycheck to paycheck. This may play into how they manage their finances today. When you understand each other’s past financial experiences, you can be sensitive with one another as you drop what no longer fits and work on improving your money management skills.
Talk about money in weekly money dates
Most couples usually have the money talks at the worst possible time. One partner comes home after a long day at work only to be confronted about why they aren’t saving for retirement or why they spent so much on a recent purchase. Blaming your significant other about money stress can be easy when you don’t have another approach. But instead of bombarding each other with your money worries, schedule weekly money dates where you can both commit to coming together to discuss money and your financial goals. This way, you have devoted time to address finances together and can have a more thoughtful discussion.
Practice, practice, practice
Like anything else in life, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Anything new can be hard, but over time, if you make a point to have regular conversations about your finances, the easier it will be. Keep going and remember the “why” behind these talks.
Remember, you’re not alone. We are all challenged by money talks with our loved ones. But take the steps necessary to change this—for yourself and for your relationship.
Brittney Castro, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, entrepreneur and personal finance expert for women, is the Founder & CEO of Financially Wise Women, a Los Angeles based financial planning firm for women. She specializes in working with busy professional and entrepreneurial women who are passionate about life and want to gain clarity around their money. Brittney’s mission is to help women plan and create the life of their dreams, free from anxiety about money. She is known for her innovative, non-judgmental, compassionate approach to financial planning. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNBC, Financial Planning Magazine, Investment News, and Registered Rep Magazine. Away from the office, you can find Brittney working out, drinking green juice, reading, playing at the park with her dog Arya and of course dancing. Sign up to receive your Financially Wise Toolkit jam packed with great tools and resources to help you on your financial journey at www.financiallywisewomen.com. Follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/brittneycastro.