Couples finances: What works and why

When it comes to finances, it’s not the easiest topic to discuss with your significant other. It can be hard to expose your financial background, especially if you don’t feel like you are where you should be. However, it is an integral part of committing to a long-term relationship, even more so if you have plans to get married. With that said, here are a few ways to make the finances talk and transition a bit easier on both of you.

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1)     Take the emotions of out it – At the end of the day, you are talking numbers. It’s very important that both of you stay calm and not get worked up about anything that is laid out. You are in a partnership for a reason, so there is no reason to get upset about things you may find out. The number one problem in relationships is money related. You don’t want to have it affect you negatively. Communication is very key to getting all the details out on the table.

2)     Talk about all the big things – Make sure you take time to talk about kids, emergency funds, education, travel plans, etc.  All these things are major financial commitments and you both need to be on the same page on how money will be spent and allocated.

3)     Break down accounts – What type of accounts will/do you have? Will you have 2 savings accounts? What about separate accounts then divide the bills? Or will you be combining everything in joint accounts? No matter what you prefer to do, create a detailed spreadsheet and lay out how things will get saved and paid.

4)     Make sure you have weekly “meetings” regarding finances – I know meetings is the least romantic word I could have used, but it is important to make sure both of you know what is happening with your finances on any given day. It’s great idea to set aside some time one day a week or every two weeks where you just sit down and see where you are at financially. How bills are going, what balances are at, what kind of spending you are anticipating for the week. Believe me, it will make a world of difference.

No matter what you do or which way you do it, communication is the biggest part of the whole money topic. Put it all out there, and I promise you will be able to come up with a great plan that works for you!

Comments

  1. My husband has pretty severe ADD, and it takes the form of having a huge difficulty dealing with money. Especially abstractly. So I’m the CFO.

    That said, in the past 8 years he has drastically changed his habits. He’ll still sometimes buy on impulse for something unnecessary, but it doesn’t happen a lot. He’s also learned to keep checking our bank account (we have a weekly spending allotment) to make sure we have the funds.

    And when we go to the mall, he doesn’t immediately want everything he sees. Or, if he does, he’s learned to keep it to himself, so I don’t feel like a mom: “No, you can’t have that. Or that. Or that.”

    It’s far from perfect, but it’s a good start. And we have the rest of our lives to keep working on it.

    • It’s great to hear that things have changed over the course of your marriage, perhaps over the next few years he will take even more responsibility. Here’s to hoping for the best, thanks for your comment!

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