How to Have the Money Talk with Your Partner
Talking about your finances with a partner should not be something that you are shy about. In fact, it should not even be something that happens only when you share a mortgage or are thinking about getting married. Get the money talk out of the way as soon as possible.
As when you come clean about how you manage your money and understand how your partner budgets his; you can better understand if your relationship is compatible. Like it or not, money can control a huge aspect of our romantic relationships; especially those where we think we have a long future ahead.
Here are some tips on how to raise the conversation about budgeting and money management with your partner:
Set a “money date”
Instead of bringing up money issues in the spur of an argument, set up a money date where you both can discuss your relationships around money. Unlike any other dates, this is one date that you should never have to worry about. Let the words flow and talk as casually as you can.
By taking this first step it helps you build a foundation of trust and understanding of how your partner talks about money. Therefore, the next time you have your money date you are able to see eye-to-eye and be more transparent with each other.
Discuss your values around money
Different individuals spend their money differently. Prioritisation of activities involving money varies from one person to another. List down your top 5 most valued expenses and explain it to one another.
Perhaps you may value travel more while he/ she values working out. Finding out what he/ she prefers to spend his/ her money will help you understand and lessen future financial arguments. Identify your similarities and differences. If there are more differences then meet each other in the middle and compromise.
For example, you may only travel once a month, while he prefers to have a gym membership than lots of holidays. The beauty of this conversation is that it helps you understand what you value and he/ she will then support it in return. So long as you both come to an understanding, instead of a heated debate about your money woes. Remember, stay positive instead of pinpointing what is wrong with their values!
Plan for your future:
If you find yourself thinking that he or she’s the one, yet haven’t gotten around to talking about managing your money, it is definitely time!!
Instead of making assumptions about how you are going to manage your money in the future, talk about it. Will you guys have shared money? Are you going to have separate bank accounts? This is important as it kickstarts your financial journey together.
The sooner you talk about retirement plans, the better. The only way for you to plan your future together is by talking about it. The future is unexpected and inevitable but you can prepare for it by talking about concerns such as money.
Do understand where they are coming from.
The first thing to do is NOT get upset. People come from different lifestyles and family backgrounds and therefore, are not raised with the same monetary beliefs.
Additionally, their personal financial management approach may be more inclined towards spending whilst you may be more of a saver. Instead of getting angry, take the time to understand their background and how they developed this money sense. From there, decide whether it’s better or worse, and help each other develop similar money habits.
Whether you have a million dollars or are swimming in debt, your partner has every right to know. Being transparent with your money and honest with your accounts will help build a better relationship.
If you are not ready for this conversation, just let it be known. Do not have the money talk just for the sake of saying you have discussed things over. Be open and willing to listen and learn from one another.
Do something fun afterwards
After the much-dreaded talk, do not turn away from one another. Do something that you both love. Whether it’s watching a movie or just going for a run, ending it on a good note will make you both not dread the next time you would have to talk about money.
Because if this relationship is worth investing in, then money talks are always a given! Don’t be afraid to voice out your concerns especially if you think that your partner is not spending his/ her money wisely.
Explain where you’re coming from and give him/ her the chance to speak out. As long as there is trust and honesty, your relationship with money and each other will be better After the gruelling talk, spend time together doing something both of you love. This will give you enough time to process what you spoke about and put it in perspective.
Remember, the hardest part is to start talking. Once you have passed that hurdle, talking about money or managing your finances together will become much easier. The key to ensuring that you get the most out of this discussion is to be open and willing to listen to your partner. Keep the conversation going to a point that money stops being a source of stress between the two of you.