6 Tips For Discussing Finances with Your Spouse
Finances are a hot-button issue for many couples. Even those who agree on everything can still become wrapped up in money-related arguments. Sharing a bank account and making large purchase decisions comes down to more than money—it’s emotions, values, and priorities.
Discussing finances with your spouse isn’t always fun. The conversation might be challenging to start. Despite that, open communication is vital to both financial well-being and the health of a marriage.
With a steady approach, you and your spouse can discuss finances in a productive, judgment-free environment.
Discussing Finances with Your Spouse
1. Establish a safe space.
The most crucial element of a productive financial conversation is allowing your partner to speak without judgment. It’s essential to know every detail of your partner’s financial situation, including difficult topics, such as past debts, a low credit score, and other circumstances that could affect your current standing.
2. Explain your money mindset.
Much of the way you think about money was formed by your upbringing. You might manage money similarly to your family or the complete opposite. Whichever category you fall into—or somewhere in between—your values surrounding money have been building for many years. Open a conversation about what has shaped your financial perspective and how that drives the way you spend and save today.
3. Discuss your priorities.
As a couple, what are your financial and personal goals? Identify the central values in your life—present and future—to guide the direction of your conversation. Understanding how you would like your money to serve you will help you and your partner align your focus.
4. Create a clear plan.
Now that you’ve established your goals, create a plan to achieve those goals together. You and your spouse have the opportunity to align your efforts and make decisions about where you want to put your money, not where you have to put your money. When you are working together to achieve your mutual dream, it can be rewarding to design a plan that will make your ideal future come true.
5. Ask questions.
Open the floor to questions for both sides. You and your spouse may not know larger-scale details about each other’s finances. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:
- When do you want to retire?
- How do you picture our life after retirement?
- Do you ever want to move to a new house? City?
- How much of our children’s college do we plan to pay for?
- If we had money to spare, what would you prefer we did with it?
6. Find solutions together.
As this is a judgment-free zone, be careful not to assign blame to your spouse for financial mistakes or overspending. Instead, have an open conversation about why those mistakes happened and how you can work together to ensure they’re solved and don’t happen again.
Most of All, Remember You’re in this Together
If we were to choose just one tip, it would be to focus on the fact that you’re in this together. When your finances are good, it’s a win for both of you to celebrate. When finances are suffering, it’s an issue for you both to figure out.
Be compassionate with your partner, asking for the same in return. The more you work together, the better your outcome will be—for both your financial standing and your relationship. If you need an objective opinion or have hit a roadblock, reach out to your financial advisor to help you move forward.
Southwestern Investment Group’s family of advisors are here to help. We advise couples like you every day who are striving for a better life and a clear path to their dreams. Your advisor can help you get there. Contact us today to begin planning your best future.
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