Most of us recognize that budgeting, careful spending habits, avoiding excess debts, and regular conversations with a skilled advisor are keys to financial health. But even if you’re doing all of these things, you might be overlooking something else that is crucial to your long-term success: Are you talking to your spouse about money?
After all, the two of you share a bank account, along with goals for the future. But some people experience extreme difficulty talking about money with their spouse. Since couples who regularly discuss money usually report greater feelings of happiness in their relationships, it’s important to learn how to approach this delicate topic.
Plan ahead. Don’t bring up a serious financial talk without planning ahead of time. Focus on a few key points that you want to discuss, and plan the talk at a relaxing time. Keep in mind that you and your spouse might have different backgrounds, and therefore differing views on spending and saving. Approach the conversation with these differences in mind, and focus building a bridge between your viewpoints.
Start by setting goals. Begin the conversation by discussing the goals you both share. Then you can transition the talk into figuring out how to meet those objectives.
Try to agree on spending limits. Many successful couples say that they have agreed to discuss purchases over a specific dollar amount, before making them. You might agree on a limit of $100 or $500, or something else, depending on your budget.
Be completely honest. In a nice way, of course, have this talk without glossing over difficult details or hiding anything. You both need to know exactly where you stand on financial matters.
Avoid derailments. It can be easy for discussions to become derailed into side topics or insignificant details. Agree ahead of time to discuss only a few important topics.
Bring in a professional. Some challenges require professional assistance, and there’s no shame in that! A marriage counselor can help if money discussions frequently dissolve into a fight. A debt counselor can help you devise a strategy to get out of debt. And, of course, a financial advisor can help with planning for the future. Give us a call, and we can help you and your spouse identify future goals, and make a plan to work toward them together.Read More