How Couples Should Discuss Money Matters (Without Ending Up Fighting)
Surveys show that people will talk about almost anything before they will talk about finances. In a lot of cultures, it has even been considered rude or taboo to talk about finances. You might have wondered why money is such a hard topic and one reason could be because money means different things to a lot of people such as control, power, love or security, depending on how one sees it. Some would say that money has been a reason behind around 90% of marriages, but you do not have to fall prey to it. You can handle your money matters with your spouse with these tips at hand:
Find a Time When You Feel Neutral
Since you and your spouse are going to be talking about a very sensitive matter, correct timing is essential. Therefore, do not wait until the other spouse has charged up an unnecessary shopping list on the joint credit card or when a steamy financial issue arises.
When you want to start a conversation about finances, the goal would be to have a calm and relaxed conversation. There should be very little or no triggers which could cause an argument. There could be no better time to discuss money when both your minds are set.
Focus on Each Other’s Strengths
You know your partner’s strengths and weaknesses probably better than anyone else in the world. No matter how strong your spouse might seem to you, he or she has some soft spots and you should be aware of such when bringing up a sensitive topic at hand. There are some triggers which will make your spouse angry or emotional and when that happens, you might not be able to tackle a financial concern calmly and intelligently.
Your spouse might not be the best in financial matters such as organizing due dates of bills or taking care of tax records, but this is where you have to step in. Your finances will be better off when you work together instead of individually.
Know Your Standing
Talking about finances might not be the topic which you yourself would like to talk about the most, so you should be honest about how you feel. If you have been living alone for long periods of time already, you might find it hard to welcome another person in your finances or a family. If you earn more than your spouse, you might feel uneasy about the risk of letting him or her handle all of it, especially if your partner does not have very good spending habits.
Do not lie to yourself or to your partner about your feelings regarding finances. When you are honest with each other, this will help you assess and tackle to possible obstacles in your relationship.
Talk About Earning Money
Spending habits might be the most common source of conflict among couples, but earning money is also a possible source of conflict. Most couples focus on spending, saving and investing money and not too much on how money is earned. How we earn our money can shape our relationships with money in a substantial matter too.
Discussing how you earn money is an important part of money talk. If you have plans to work part-time, leave your job to start your dream business or planning on investing a fraction of your savings on something that sounds good to you, you should know how your partner feels about such.
Get Third Party Help
When you and your partner just could not get into terms about finances, do not worry too much as there are some people who are equipped to help you and your partner get into terms. You can seek the help of a counselor to help you sort out your woes and help you arrive at conclusions. There are already a lot of professionals who are equipped at handling financial disputes amongst couples such as marriage counselors or therapists.
While money could be a hard topic to bring up, especially when you and your spouse have different financial habits, you cannot avoid it. If you value your marriage, you need to settle and prevent all possible sources of dispute including finances. What did you think about this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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