In study after study, money is often cited as one of the top conflict points in marriage. Finances can be an emotional topic for couples, especially when money is tight. So it pays to get in the habit of discussing it on a regular basis, even if you keep separate finances.
“If you are not having the conversation, it’s important to start.” says Sherry Wallis, an STCU community development officer. “Often times, the benefits far outweigh the challenges that come with any deeply emotional discussion.”
Here are a few things that can help get – and keep – the conversation going.
1. Make the time
It’s easy to avoid important discussions when it feels like there is no time for them. Schedule a regular time for a “business meeting” with your partner.
2. Take an active role
As a partnership, it’s important that both of you take an active role in financial management. Even if you don’t handle the day-to-day paying of the bills, you should have a good idea of what accounts, bills, costs, and income are involved.
3. Keep emotions in mind
To avoid triggering an emotional response that derails your discussion, ask helpful questions rather than making statements about each other. For example, instead of saying “you spend too much,” try asking “I’m curious why you spent $100 at…?” It will help both of you understand and address the emotional motivations behind financial choices.
For more strategies for having these important discussions, visit stcumoney.org
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