How to talk to your partner about money

Money is consistently the number one thing that couples fight about, so in this episode of Change in your Pocket, we give you practical advice on how to talk to your partner about money.

– Video supplied by BrightRock

Welcome to the Change Exchange. Today we are talking about the highly emotional topic of money and marriage, because money is consistently the number one thing that couples fight about.

So having a relationship where you can speak openly about money is very important, but it is not that easy. So how do you talk to your partner that elephant in the room when it comes to money?

Get into the habit of talking about money on a regular basis, not just when there is a crisis – like the credit card limit being blown or when debts are piling up. Have a monthly appointment with your partner where you discuss money. Make it at a regular time and place that is always in your diary.

Find a place where you meet which is your “money” place. It must not be in your home but somewhere neutral, like a coffee shop. The owner of our local coffee shop has got used to us arriving with our laptops and spreadsheets and keeps us comforted with coffee and muffins – although sometimes a stiff drink would be more appropriate!

At your monthly meeting discuss the monthly budget and make your financial plans. Discuss your financial goals and how you will reach them. This is also the place to discuss money issues – like overspending on a credit card, for example.

It’s really important that during the rest of the month you do not discuss money, especially if you are feeling emotional about it. Have a “to discuss” box in the house where you can put notes on what you want to discuss or that credit card bill that nearly gave you a heart attack. Leave your money issues for your monthly appointment.

When talking about money, you also need to have a “no shame no blame rule”. Your partner will not want to talk about money if they feel “blamed”. Discuss the problem and find a way to resolve it together.

Also, make time to talk to your partner about what money means to you. Here are some questions to discuss with your partner:

  • What role does money play in your life?
  • What needs to happen in the next few years for you to feel like you are making good progress?
  • What money mistakes have you made in the past that you want to avoid in the future?

We all have our emotional baggage when it comes to money. Understanding your own and your partner’s will make it easier to put that baggage down and move on.