More than 25 percent of people in committed relationships admit they tend to avoid money talks. But whether you’ve been with your spouse for years or you and your partner are just starting to think about how your financial decisions affect one another, it’s empowering to talk about your money and financial goals.
Ready to have the talk? Here are a few steps to help navigate the money conversation, so you can own your financial future – together.
- Make it a date! Try planning a money date where you and your partner discuss your money habits and goals. Initiating the conversation is sometimes the most difficult part, so planning a specific date and time to discuss money can help alleviate those nerves. Keep it casual and talk about the basics of your current financial situation. Don’t worry too much about the hard numbers. Just discuss your goals, values and overall money management style.
- Work together. Many couples manage their money by dividing and conquering, with one person in charge of day-to-day household spending, and the other handling long-term saving and investing. But if you can, try to rotate responsibilities or share them equally. Schedule a time to sit down together each month to pay bills, review expenses and check on your savings. Pro tip: Avoid using the word “budget” if possible, as many people associate this word with feelings of deprivation. Instead, have the mindset of developing a spending plan.
- Know when to take a break. Money struggles such as credit card debt and student loans are a burden and can add stress to your financial talks. Always be honest and agree to disagree. If the conversation about money gets heated, don’t be afraid to take a break and revisit once you’ve had a chance to cool off. You can also call in reinforcements by scheduling an appointment with a Summit financial expert. They can help you work through these challenges and find opportunities to compromise.
- Celebrate your progress. Plan a fun activity like a bike ride or movie for after your money date to celebrate your progress. Talking about money is difficult, and every conversation is a step in the right direction – and should be rewarded as such! Remember: As long as you’re both open to talking about your current or future money problems together, you’re already winning.
Planning Your Financial Future
The money conversation, or “money date,” shouldn’t be a one-time occurrence. You and your partner should strive to talk about money on a regular basis. You can also tap into a variety of Summit resources including worksheets, calculators and on-demand financial education. Then, once you get in a groove with your money discussions, you can start working toward bigger financial goals.
With the right preparation, we know you and your partner will dominate your financial world together! And, as always, if you need help along the way, you know where to find us.