Talking about money has become a bit of a taboo in our society and it is one of the biggest issues that married couples experience. Typically, there is a spender and a saver. In my marriage I am the spender and my husband is the saver. However, over the years I have learned how to become the saver and how to only spend within my budget.
Talking to your partner about finances may be uncomfortable, intimidating and cumbersome. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be; finances are one of the most important aspect of relationships, it’s probably the most important, next to communication. So having these types of conversations are necessary and for some, may be the make it or break it moment in their relationship.
I’m going to give you a couple of tips on how to talk to your partner about money, what tools can streamline this process and how to work as a team towards financial freedom.
Tip #1 – Don’t use accusatory language
Addressing your partners spending is a tricky process to get started. They may feel like you’re nagging or micromanaging the money that they make themselves. So when you decide to start this conversation try to avoid using “you” language, for example, “you spend too much money” may come across as an attack. The receiver of the message is most likely to get defensive and stand offish to anything else that is following those types of statements. Try saying something like, “I really want to get our savings account up to $1,200″, or, I feel like setting a budget would be a good goal for 2020”. By using “I” instead of “you” you are taking ownership of the message instead of accidentally casting blame with “you” language.
Tip #2 -Focus on goals
Start a conversation with your partner by highlighting what goals you would like to achieve. Achieving goals feels good! Achieving goals with your partner feels real good! So highlight things like, ” I want to cut back on spending because a vacation sounds nice and we could save up for one”. Or,
“I want to set a goal to pay off my credit card by the end of the year” or maybe, “I want to cut back on spending so that we can save up to buy a home”. Sometimes it’s easier to change our habits when we set a goal to work towards.
Tip #3 -Simplify the process
I know that managing your money can be overwhelming so simplify the process by using apps. In the past we have used Mint, a budgeting app that shows you your budgets, monthly spending and savings. It also automatically categorizes your transactions so you don’t even have to think about it! It takes a bit to get everything entered however, it is super user friendly and a big time saver.
Tip #4 – Don’t let money talk be a taboo in your house
Money is SUPER important, it’s just as important to talk about it. Don’t let it be a taboo in your home; hash out details, set goals and be open about spending. By avoiding the topic you’re only hurting yourself so making finances apart of your daily communication is key.
Tip #5 – Celebrate small triumphs
Getting your partner to get on the same page as you with finances can seem like an uphill battle, so it’s important to celebrate smalls wins along the way. Did you get them to download and use Mint? GREAT! Did you hit a financial goal? GREAT! Celebrate with drinks. It’s also important to remember that talking with your partner about finances is already a win, you’re moving in the right direction and that is something to be proud of.
I’ve listed a couple of books below that might help you get started