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How To Speak To Your Spouse About Finances

| October 06, 2019

Money can be the origin of many marital problems. It is time that you take control of the conversation before it’s too late.  

You want to discuss financial and life goals, such as buying a house, paying off credit card debt or planning for retirement, but your partner has no interest or it ends up in a screaming match.

Below are several tips to help with communicating to your spouse about finances in a way that will bring you closer together.

Consider your spouse’s money background. What role did money play in your spouse’s life growing up? Did they grow up poor, which makes them overly tight about budgeting? Or maybe they grew up rich and don’t understand the importance of tracking your spending.

If you have an understanding of each other’s views on money you can have a more productive conversation about finances.

Recognize the emotions involved. It is important to share with each other your expectations and frustrations. Do you have feelings that one is spending responsibility while the other is digging a bigger hole? When discussing these expectations and frustrations it is important to choose words carefully and avoid screaming at each other.

Timing is key. Pick a day to discuss finances when you are both in good spirits and not exhausted. Don’t try to have a conversation about finances after a long day at work, or catch your spouse off guard and ambush them.

Set goals and plan for your future. Many couples don’t have a clue what the other person envisions for financial goals or retirement. Take time to write out your individual goals, then share them with your spouse.

Listen and be negotiable. Genuinely care about your spouse’s wishes. Work with your spouse to start prioritizing each other’s goals. Maybe it is important for you to have lunch with co-workers once a week and your spouse would like to have the house professionally cleaned once a month. Work together to prioritize goals, and compromise to meet both your wishes. 

Meet with a professional. Schedule a meeting with a financial advisor who believes in holistic planning. Share your financial goals with them and let them help you navigate through those goals and put together a plan of action.

Discuss finances routinely. Discussing finances can be stressful, so reduce that unnecessary stress and anxiety by making it part of a routine. Decide if you want to sit down together once a month or once a quarter to discuss your budget and check on the status of your financial goals. Are you failing to meet your goals? If so, why and how can you can you make adjustments? Or have you reached your goals and need to set new ones?

Don’t let finances be the root of your martial problems. Use these tips to talk with your spouse about finances and retirement goals in a way that brings you together, so you can live happily, and prosperously, ever after.