Money can be a very hard topic to talk about, especially if you have debt. So how do you talk about it as a couple without fighting? Well, we are not experts but I wanted to share my experience managing money as a couple.
Now I am not saying that things never get heated when we talk about money as a couple. Because sometimes things get heated. Let’s face it, we can all be set in our way. Our way is the best way, right? But when you are a couple, you are not the only person involved in managing money. There is two!
And normally, you and your partner come from different lives (were raised differently). So how do you come together to be on the same page with money?
I want you to know that I have been there and some days I’m still there. But there are things you can do to help. I am going to share 5 things we do to help us manage our money together.
This one is so so important! Do not hide what you are spending money on or the debt you have.
My husband and I were raised very differently when it comes to managing money. And because of this, my husband was terrified to tell me the amount of debt he had. It took him 3 months after being married to finally tell me. He was ashamed of it and it put a lot of stress on our brand new marriage because he was hiding all the accounts from me. But when he finally told me, we could move forward and work on it together, taking a lot of the stress with it!
So please be honest and talk about the amount of debt you have plus what you are spending money on.
ASK QUESTIONS – DON’T SAY NO!
This has helped us a lot. I found that I was always telling my husband “NO” when it came to purchasing items. After some time I decided to start asking him questions instead of answering with a “yes” or “no” (this is only for things we did not need).
I did this to let him take a step back and really think about the item. Here are some examples of questions I ask:
- Why do you want that? (this helps me understand where he is coming from)
- Does it help us reach our goals?
- How much do you think you will really use it?
After asking a question (or questions) and discussing it, we both have a very good idea where each of us stands. And normally the person who wanted to make the purchase decides not to or we both agree to purchase the item together.
SIDE NOTE: My husband does the same thing to me when I want to purchase something that is not a need.
MEET IN THE MIDDLE
This is something everyone needs to learn, meet in the middle. Sometimes you shouldn’t but most of the time you should.
What I mean by this is that one of you will have to compromise and one will have to give (meeting in the middle). Maybe one of you is always spending and the other one never spending (always wanting to save), you need to meet in the middle. This way you both get a little bit of what you want!
My husband and I were this way when we first got married and it was hard. But when we finally started meeting in the middle, managing money got a little easier. And now we are normally always on the same page because we have grown together (we think alike)!
SIDE NOTE: Because we ask questions and meet in the middle, we normally can make a discision about not purchasing most items before talking about it, we understand each other.
TALK ABOUT GOALS
Everyone needs goals and couples especially need goals to be on the same page. So take a walk and talk about what you each want out of life. Maybe it’s being debt free, saving more money, retiring early, traveling, etc… But be sure to listen to each other and ask questions. Understand exactly what your partner wants financially and decide your goals together.
TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR DOING
This one can be hard but you both need to know how you’re doing financially. Remember you are being honest! The easiest way I have found to do this is at the end of the month (or in the middle) we go over our budget. Because guess what, we created it together and we now will see how we did.
TIP: Make sure you create a budget together!
MANAGING MONEY AS A COUPLE
Sometimes these 5 things are hard to talk about but if you are honest, ask questions, meet in the middle, discuss goals, and talk about how your finances are doing. You will find that managing money as a couple will be easier. So take a walk with your partner and start asking them questions to get you both on the same page.