We received an email from a Queer Money listener who asked us to share our thoughts on how to talk about money with your partner when it’s hard to talk about money with your partner. Dale says:
Would you do a podcast about one partner in a relationship who is severely in debt while the other is financially sound? I have no debt and a good credit score. My partner has $16,000 in debt and has a poor credit score. I tried helping him because it’s really holding both of us back and have had no luck. We live together and aren’t married. Do you have any advice?
This is a great Queer Money topic because most couples, especially gay couples who must appear “fabulous”, rarely talk about money when they get together. We get together because of hormones and pheromones, not debt to income ratios. However, financial stress is the leading cause of relationship stress.
How to Start the Talk about Money
Our advice to Dale and his partner and to other couples who need to talk about money is to first figure out what your hopes and dreams are as individuals and as a couple. Dale should say to his partner, “I heard the Debt Free Guys say on Queer Money that all couples should do this exercise to have a successful relationship.” Then, he and Dale should do the Debt Free Guys’ Hopes & Dreams Worksheet to start their talk about money. It’s important to focus first on the positive, big picture goals to start the talk about money on a positive note.
Follow that exercise up with the Debt Free Guys’ Financial Blockers Worksheet. This exercise invites you to talk about what’s preventing you from achieving your hopes and dreams from the first exercise.
Because Dale’s partner’s $16,000 of credit card debt and poor credit score is already causing friction in their relationship, Dale should ensure either he or, preferably, his partner lists these as two financial blockers. It’s, also, important that Dale lists his own financial blockers so that his partner doesn’t feel like this is an attack or make him feel unnecessarily bad.
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