Talking To Your Spouse About Money

AdminBy AdminOct 30, 20170

Studies have shown that money problems are the number one cause of divorce in this country – more than infidelity, disagreements over raising the kids and all other causes. Disagreements and fights over household finances can escalate quickly, leading to problems with trust, hurt feelings and other serious ramifications.

That is why it is such a good idea for couples to undergo financial counseling as part of their pre-marriage preparations. Spouses who are on the same page financially are more likely to weather the inevitable financial storms, from job losses to unexpected expenses.

If you and your spouse are having trouble with the finances, it is important to sit down and have an honest, open and frank discussion about expectations, boundaries and rules. Setting the ground rules will help eliminate any misunderstandings and reduce the chances of future fights over money.

Saver Vs. Spender

Saver Vs. Spender

It is not unusual for one spouse to be a dedicated saver – and the other a profligate spender. Spender and saver can get along fine – as long as they both understand the rules of the relationship.

Couples can start by setting a spending threshold – the amount of money each spouse can spend without the input of the other. It is simply unrealistic for spouses to consult one another about every business lunch or impulse purchase. The key is to agree on a figure, whether that amount is $25 or $250, and to agree that all purchases over that threshold require the input of both husband and wife.

Be A Good Listener

It is important for couples to be understanding and considerate of each others needs when discussing money. Decisions about money often go beyond the financial realm – buying a new purse or electronic gadget can make us feel better and give us real satisfaction. Understanding the role emotions spend in financial decisions is critical.

Spouses should avoid blaming one another for financial problems, and instead work through future spending decisions as a couple. It will take the commitment of both parties to eliminate current debt and avoid racking up new bills.

Tune Out Distractions

Tune Out Distractions

Talking to your spouse about money is a serious matter, and it deserves your undivided attention. Set a time and date for the discussion ahead of time, and make sure you and your spouse both have plenty of time for the discussion.

Be sure to tune out any outside distractions before you get started. Turn off the TV, switch off your cell phone and computer and keep outside noise to a minimum. This will help you stay focused on the discussion at hand.

Develop A Spending Plan

It is not enough to discuss your current financial situation and views on money. To be successful, you and your spouse need to agree on a plan going forward. Developing a budget is a great way to control spending, get out of debt, and save for the future.

Take the time to develop a written plan that includes all sources of income, monthly bills and anticipated spending. Start with a rough draft, then fine tune it each month to get a handle on your spending as a couple.

Conclusion

Talking to your spouse about money is not easy, but it is important. You and your spouse do not have to agree on every spending priority, but you do need to respect each other and make smart decisions as a couple. Sitting down and having an honest discussion about finances is a great first step.

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