After a perfect yoga class not so long ago, I invited a friend over for a glass of wine. Well we may have finished the bottle, but at least we went to class first! As we were sitting around sipping and being blissful, the conversation about relationships and money came up.
It was a profound enough conversation, I decided to so some research (not that night, of course) and I came upon a study that couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are more than 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month.” Yikes!
If you are married or in a relationship, it’s critical to learn how to talk about money in a healthy way. After all, money will be around your entire lives, so you may as well take the time to learn how to talk about it, manage it and use it more effectively as a couple. While every couple is different in terms of how they relate to and manage their finances, here are some basic tips to help you talk money with your honey.
Learn about each other’s money history
When you learn about each other’s money history, it allows you to have more compassion and understanding about your partner’s current money behaviors. For example, maybe your significant other grew up in a household that was always stressed about money, living paycheck to paycheck. This may play into how they manage their finances today. When you understand each other’s past financial experiences, you can be sensitive with one another as you drop what no longer fits and work on improving your money management skills.
Talk about money in weekly money dates
Most couples usually have the money talks at the worst possible time. One partner comes home after a long day at work only to be confronted about why they aren’t saving for retirement or why they spent so much on a recent purchase. Blaming your significant other about money stress can be easy when you don’t have another approach. But instead of bombarding each other with your money worries, schedule weekly money dates where you can both commit to coming together to discuss money and your financial goals. This way, you have devoted time to address finances together and can have a more thoughtful discussion.
Practice, practice, practice
Like anything else in life, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. Anything new can be hard, but over time, if you make a point to have regular conversations about your finances, the easier it will be. Keep going and remember the “why” behind these talks.
Remember, you’re not alone. We are all challenged by money talks with our loved ones. But take the steps necessary to change this—for yourself and for your relationship.