How to Talk About Money with Your Significant Other
The moment you realize that your relationship is getting serious or if you are already married, then you need to sit down with your significant other and talk about your past, present, and future financial situation. Sometimes, these conversations tend to happen naturally, but in other cases, you will need to initiate the conversation about money.
It is not always that easy and most of the times, you need to gather all of your strength to get going. A recent study showed that at least 75% of Canadians who have ever been in a serious relationship admit that setting both short and long-term financial goals with a partner is much harder than doing it alone.
However, some people still believe that they can manage their finances much better with a partner other than by themselves. So, how do you talk about money with your partner? Here are some helpful tips that you need to understand.
Set an Open Environment
Most people will become sensitive when the topic of money is brought up, so make sure that the environment you set before you start the conversation is friendly and quite open. Don’t demand to talk about finances and expect to sit down with your spouse at that very moment to have a conversation.
The best approach is to start mentioning about money and suggesting that this is something both of you need to find the right time to sit down and talk about it in the future. This gives both of you ample time to think about the issue and prepare for the occasion. On the day of the conversation, focus on effective communication skills, especially if something is upsetting or a bit surprising to you.
For instance, if you suddenly found out that your fiancée or partner has already taken a personal loan or is swimming in a credit card debt; don’t make him/her feel bad about their past financial decisions.
Start Discussing Goals and Dreams
When bringing up the sensitive topic about money, it is always good to focus first on the positive things. Most of us love being ambitious and hoping for bigger and better things in the future. Therefore, start your money conversation by discussing the financial goals and ambitions that both of you have about the future.
Exchange your biggest dreams and what is on your to-do list in terms of financial goals. What does retirement look like to both of you or where do you want to travel to in the future? If anyone of you could purchase one thing regardless of the cost, what could that be? Beginning your financial conversation in this manner will ensure that you are at ease and ready to discuss your past, current, and future financial situation.
Always Be Honest with Your Partner and Yourself
Honesty is a big virtue, especially when you are discussing something that can be so emotional such as money. But, it is also good to appreciate the fact that it can be really hard to be honest with your significant other if you haven’t accepted your personal financial reality yet.
Before you start to have this conversation with your partner, make sure that you have an internal conversation with yourself first and appreciate how things are. For instance, if you have taken a significant personal loan that you are already repaying, make sure that you come to terms with it and be ready to share everything with your partner.
If they are any part of your financial history that you aren’t proud of, accept it and make a swift plan to move forward. Coming to the conversation table with an honest account of your past and the current financial situation will help set a positive tone and make everything simple.