4 Tips to Sweet Talk Your Partner About Money

Cuddle up and talk about money

Cuddle up and talk about money

I love my husband.  That is a fact, but it is also a mantra that I repeat to myself before we sit down to discuss anything about household finances.

No matter how innocuous the discussion may be, it typically causes one or both of us a bit of tension.  It should come as no surprise that the number one reason for divorce reported last year was money problems.

In our first five years of marriage financial discussions were a battle ground. 

Nobody escaped unharmed and we discovered that we had VERY different perspectives about managing money.  We also happened to have very different attitudes about what was worth spending money on and what was not.

We now have ten years of marriage under our belt and thankfully, a lot has changed.

We have learned how to mitigate much of what caused bad reactions over the years.  We have developed a bag of tricks which allow us to discuss finances like two loving adults who respect each other.  I selected a few of these tricks to share with you… well anything rated PG (blush).

1.      Approach the discussion with the right attitude.

Like my mantra above, always approach any financial discussion with a reminder to yourself that you love your partner and that you both want the very best for each other.

2.      Discuss in advance your goals for the conversation. 

Establishing the goal up front allows one or both of you to reign in the discussion when necessary.  It is not uncommon to veer off into separate yet related financial matters when discussing something specific.  Making the goal clear up front makes it less confrontational when you need to bring your partner back to the discussion at hand.

3.      Make the time and reduce distractions.

You need to be prepared to give your partner your full attention for financial conversations.  Not only do finances deserve your full attention, but distractions like children or a pinging IPhone can create frustration or even undermine the value of your respective opinions.

4.      Talk about debt!

You really need to be on the same page when it comes to debt.  I am not only speaking of unsecured debt like credit cards, I am also talking about mortgages, home equity loans, car loans and more.  There should be can no secrets, no hidden cards or no under reporting of what is owed.  Those secrets can and will come back to bite you.

So those are my top four.  Do you have any tips to tricks to add?  What do you think the key is to successful financial discussions?





About Suzanne Coblentz

8 Responses to “4 Tips to Sweet Talk Your Partner About Money”

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  1. Travis says:

    All four of your tips are so very important! One that I would add (and which is very important to all aspects of a marriage) is to be willing to compromise. As you mentioned, two people will have very different view points as to what is worth spending money on. I may not think the wife needs a new outfit, while she may have a very different opinion on that subject. If you can tell something is important to your partner, finding a way to fit it into the budget can make for a happy spouse. I like to call it winning by losing. 🙂

    • LOL I really like that tip @Travis 🙂 but you are completely correct about being prepared to compromise. It is so important to step outside of yourself and see things objectively…which is no easy task. Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. Communication between a couple especially about finances is crucial. You are a team and if anything you should be willing to put a united front in making budgets, tackling debt etc. As you have aptly put it, an amiable attitude and compromise must be there, and perharps to add…blaming each other for mistakes done doesn’t help much most of the times, own up and try to find solutions instead of dragging in unsavory financial histories into every discussion about money.

    • @Simon that is a really great point to add! You can’t keep score while you are tackling and blocking. Thanks for bringing that one up because the blame game is a great way to make a perfectly innocent conversation about money turn ugly. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. After being with my wife since we were 15 our worst fights and really the only times I ever doubted us as a couple came over the discussion of money. Now that we are 25, own our first home, and expecting our first child I am very pleased we now see eye to eye on our big financial picture. Please do yourself a favor and have this discussion at a relatively early stage of your relationship as it will only get more difficult later on. Great advice and thanks for sharing your personnel experience!

    • @WalletEngineers Love hearing that you and your wife are now on the same page financially. That is no easy achievement. Working to develop sound communication with your partner is worth the effort and will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals now and in the future. Thank you so much for reading!

  4. Talking about money has always been a problem between my wife and myself as well. The key is to be direct and be honest about what you are going to talk about.

    • @MoneyandPotatoes you have that right! Honesty is so important and there are ways to be direct without offending or alienating your spouse for sure. Thank you so much for commenting!

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