HOW TO TALK ABOUT MONEY WITH YOUR PARTNER
I remember years ago, my husband and I, created a chest for our wealth corner.
We filled it in with coins, positive messages and a watch, we were clear that either negativism, time or money are relationship killers, so we made a commitment to be opened about money, to support each other and to make sure we always have time to spend as a couple and as a family.
In regards money, we were clear that the terms “your money” or “my money” don’t exist, it’s our money and as long as we have the basics on our budget covered, and by basics I mean food, shelter, utilities and our son’s education we are pretty much free to do whatever we want with our self-care money, aka money we allocate to do something we enjoy.
We are equal
Something that is important for us is to feel equal. There’s no “I am the bread winner” statement in our household or any kind of power messages. I work from home, I have a business. He understands that my career is as important for me as to being a wife and a mum. I contribute to this household either with my time or money. Opportunity cost you see, if I didn’t contribute with time to the laundry for example then we will need to find a way to do our laundry or pay someone else to do it.
It is important for couples to communicate openly about their financial situation.
Most marriages have their financial ups and downs. It can truly be a test to your relationship with your partner, especially in dealing with the downs. Life is not steady and especially with the current Covid-19 pandemic money can be an uncomfortable topic.
Here are some tips to communicate effectively and calmly about money
Pick the Right Time.
Put the kids to bed and find a non-stress time that you can sit down with your partner. Maybe on the weekend, when things are most relaxed, not before work when we can’t finish the conversation or after a long day. .
Make a list of what you’ve been thinking about, I prefer to offer solutions, so we can brainstorm together as well or better to show him a simplified version of my budget.
Don’t Make it Personal.
Don’t make it about you or make personality traits remarks of your partner and avoid personal attacks at all cost. This will get your partner to become defensive and not coming to any conclusion.
Be respectful of his opinions and listen without judgement. Remember you and him are equal in this and you both are working together not against.
Make a Plan.
Did I already say budget? What are your financial goals as a couple? What are your personal goals? And his personal goals? Discuss the situation and future plans as a couple and as an individual.
Always keep in mind the love you have for each other and that it is easier for him to understand your points if you speak politely and with a positive attitude rather than with rude demands and negativity.
If you at any point feel you are not making progress, just let it go, knowing that you have initiated an important conversation, you’ve let him know how you feel. You’ll find a better time in the future.