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How to Discuss About Money with Your Partner

Feb 10, 2024
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Open communication about finances is essential to building a strong and successful relationship with your partner. Whether you’re saving up for retirement, planning a vacation, or just going through your monthly budget, there are a lot of situations that will come your way where money is the main factor. And being able to discuss money matters will help establish trust and transparency. Understanding each other’s values, goals, and plans will help you both make informed financial decisions.

I know there are couples who are having a hard time talking about their finances. And a reason behind it can be because of how money is handled and discussed within each person’s household growing up. But a decision where money is involved will surely come up, and delaying or avoiding the discussion about it will just hurt you both in the long run.

That’s why, in this article, I’ll be sharing 3 tips you and your partner can follow to ensure that no financial decision will negatively impact your relationship with each other. And the first tip is:

Set aside time.

Before talking about money, it’s much better if both of you are in the right headspace. And the best way to ensure this is by setting aside some time. You can simply ask your partner when it is a good day for them to talk about the topic you want to discuss. This way, you can make sure that both of you are not tired from any work and have the mental and emotional bandwidth to talk about your finances.

Now, the topic you’ll tell your partner should be as neutral as possible. It shouldn’t come off as something that’s against them, like specifically talking about their impulse shopping or their credit card spending. Because if you do, this can already cause an argument, and we wouldn’t want that. Remember that it’s about the two of you working together on it, not you and your partner competing with each other.

With that said, here’s the next tip when the day of your talk comes.

Follow a structure.

When it’s time for the discussion, following a structure will provide clarity and focus. And this, in turn, can help you achieve your objectives in an effective manner. So here are the 3 things you need to keep in mind:

1. Start with the goal.

Tell your partner the big reason why you want to talk about this certain topic. For example, “I wanted to talk about our monthly spending plan. Because while I do want to save for our future, I also want us to enjoy what we are working hard for.”

As you can notice, it’s all about the outcome. It explains its importance for you.

2. Understand each other’s emotions.

Next is saying about how you feel about the topic. Talk about your perspective, and let your partner do the same. Keep an open mind, and don’t react right away until you’ve thought it through.

Feelings are all valid, and it’s never wrong or right. Understanding where the other is coming from will make your discussion clearer and improve your relationship as well.

3. Choose the best course of action

Since you’ve both become honest about how you feel and what your objective is, here comes the part where you’ll talk about the details. It’s time to dive more about  the topic, whether this is about the numbers or other specifics.

You can only talk about this when you already understand each other. Then, after discussing, you make a decision together.

Again, you’re doing this as a team. Following this structure, working together will make you feel good. Because what’s important is that you’ve made each other feel seen and heard. And this will help you both come up with a decision that considers both sides.

Since we’re now done with the whole discussion itself, my last tip is a list of the important things you and your partner should talk about at some point in your lives.

Talk about the important things.

Here’s a list of the top 11 things I believe couples should know about each other.

1. Money values - What are your beliefs around money? How’s your relationship with it growing up?
2. Career goals - What are you aiming for? How can you support each other with it?
3. Cashflow and spending plans - What are your income and expenses?
4. Assets and liabilities - How much do you own (investments) and how much do you owe (debts)?
5. Emergency plans - What do you want to do in case of unexpected expenses?
6. Healthcare and medical care - What are your plans for your physical wellbeing?
7. Children - If you’re planning or already have a child, what are your plans for their education and values as they grow up?
8. Relatives and in-laws - How to handle them? What to do when someone needs help?
9. Retirement - Where and when will you settle down? What kind of life do you want to have?
10. Charity and legacy - How do you like to contribute for the greater good? What do you want to leave behind?
11. Estate - What are your preferences regarding estate planning? How do you want this to be handled?

I recommend you start with your money values first and work your way down the list if you haven’t had this kind of discussion yet. And while you don’t need to talk about all of these in one sitting, it’s crucial to set aside some time addressing each.

Remember that anything can change, and the important thing is to just let your partner know about it. Just follow these 3 tips, and you’ll both be on your way to a better relationship with each other and with money matters.

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