Couples often say that their number one problem, or the number one reason they fight, is money. However, there are things you can do to avoid fighting about money. Of course, if money isn’t being handled correctly, it can add a lot of stress. However, if you and your partner have an open line of communication when it comes to cash, you can be free of these arguments.
Even in the best of times, money can be an argument starter. Someone usually ends up sleeping on the couch or possibly even getting the silent treatment. However, if you just talk about it, you can change the way your relationship handles money forever.
Here are a few tips to make talking about money with your honey a little easier:
Set a date, not for your wedding, but to talk about the finances. You oftentimes make appointments to do everything else that it is easy to forget that you also need to sit down and talk about your finances as a couple. It is an important thing to do! When you “set a date,” mark it in pen. Don’t make it something that is flexible because it won’t likely ever get done.
Once you’ve set a date, make sure you are both in a relaxed setting so that this discussion doesn’t end in a fight. Get comfortable, unplug (turn off your cell phones) and get ready for a serious talk with your partner.
You can’t really ease into it. Anything beyond, “Did you pay the dog groomer?” needs a more in-depth conversation. However, you can get a good idea about your partner’s ideas when it comes to finance. You can ask your partner a few of the following questions, and answer them yourself, so that you both can get a better idea about each of your ideas concerning the touchy subject.
• What would you spend a $1,000 tax refund on?
• Which of you is more likely to buy an expensive gift?
• Which of you is more likely to know how the stock market fared today?
• Which of you is more likely to do taxes?
• Which of you is more likely shop for the best deal?
• How do you view money?
• Three best and worst purchases as a couple?
• What is your biggest financial concern?
After you’ve scheduled (and completed) your money talk date, you should be able to reward yourselves. Talking about money and finance as a couple is difficult. You can set up a reward like dinner or a movie and write it on your calendar to remind yourself of the awesome incentive.
You should have this talk quarterly and agree to a few things after you’ve spoken:
• Try to change what one another finds troubling financially
• Accept mutual responsibility
• No blaming
• Be realistic with goals and decisions
Once you’ve been able to have one of these sit-downs successfully, you are on the road to better money management as a couple. Of course, money management starts with yourself, so be sure to check out our other money management tips!