Let’s talk about money… Healthy habits for couples
September 15, 2020 by Balance
For married couples, discussing money is easy, right? After all, you took an oath to love and support each other no matter what…
If this all sounds kind of (or completely) unrealistic, you’re not alone. Reportedly, many people consider money more difficult to discuss than religion or politics.
That’s because finances (and specifically, debt) can be the source of great stress and even shame—but they don’t have to be. If money is a tough topic of conversation at home, these tips can help:
It’s important to check in with your spouse on a weekly basis. In addition to basics like income and expenses, make sure you keep up an ongoing conversation about broader topics. College savings, retirement, long-term vacation plans—these are big money goals that require coordination and team work.
If your spouse has debt and you’re a careful saver, be supportive. It’s understandable to feel resentment. But rather than dwelling on your anger, focus on what positive changes can be made right now as well as going forward.
That said, you might want to wait to make big purchases together until the debt is under control. One person’s poor credit score can hurt your chances of getting a joint loan.
Define wants vs. needs
You may think you’re both on the same page about your financial priorities, but you’ll never know unless you spell it out. To you, “entertainment” might mean Netflix, while your spouse assumes “entertainment” covers movie tickets and concerts (things that are less of a “need” to you).
Make sure you agree on what matters most and make your budget accordingly.