The craziest thing happened to me this past week after talking to my wife about our finances.
She said, “ this was a really good conversation. I am glad we talked.”
Balancing love and money can be brutal.
Most couples want to avoid tension, arguments, and- of course- breaking up or getting a divorce. One great way to do that, it seems, is to talk about money.
It does not matter if you have been married for ten years or if you just got engaged, it’s always a good idea to come clean about your financial life, talk about your financial dreams, start talking about financial habits, and decide who the chief financial officer at home is going to be.
Although I’m a financial planner, my wife and I are not perfect. We still sometimes overspend on stuff. We have financial matters we still need to address. We are human. However, one thing I am good at- Is having honest conversations with my wife, Meghan.
Here are 3 tips to improve your financial relationship with your spouse.
- Be aware of the mental state your partner is in when you approach them.
- Ask for permission to talk about finances, and be OK if that person is not ready to engage in money talks at that moment.
- Do NOT do it after a long day.
- Get out of the house and maybe go on a walk or get some beers.
- Do not start with numbers.
- Remember when you started dating and you would talk about life with your partner? Start there. After all, the reason to have money should be to make your vision of an ideal life come true.
- Ask each other about future goals you want to accomplish.
- Be honest, tell your spouse if you have ANY money concerns.
- Connect the numbers to life goals.
- Make sure one of you takes the role of the chief financial officer in your household, or hire a professional to help.
- Discuss how you are currently doing towards your financial goals, and how future life changes might impact those goals.
- Pick 2 or 3 items you want to work on and decide on clear next steps as well as who is in charge of executing them.
You can control your money talks at home. They can bring you closer in your relationship or pull you apart. We are all busy, but one thing we can all agree on is that finding time to talk about finances is critical to a strong relationship.
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About the Author
Nestor Vargas provides comprehensive financial life management to help families and professionals, better communicate about their money life, accelerate their savings plan, and live a purposeful life. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, he is never paid a commission of any kind and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.