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It’s time to talk about money with your partner
Who knows why? But talking about money with a partner is hard, right? Get these 5 tips for having a hugely successful money talk with your partner to make that money talk easier.
Talking about money with your S.O.
On one hand, talking about money can be hard. On the other hand, it’s widely important to be on the same money page with your significant other. Even if you don’t have the same financial goals, being on the same money page with your partner or spouse can be the difference between financial success and financial failure.
We’ve both said that we wouldn’t have been able to pay off our share of our $51,000 in credit card debt if it wasn’t for us talking about our finances, getting on the same money page and then working together to reach our mutual goal of becoming debt free.
Relationship satisfaction and financial security are just two of the five building blocks of a happy gay life. That means, getting on the same financial page with your husband or partner will not only lead to better intimacy and connection (i.e. better sex), it also means gaining control of your money (i.e. not having debt, not living paycheck-to-paycheck). Get all five building blocks of a happy gay life here.
The questions are, then, how do you broach the subject with a significant other who’s resistant to talk about money? How do you have the money conversation with your main man so that it doesn’t become a fight?
Hear 5 unique ways to start the money talk with your partner:
As part of our 2021 Live Fabulously Not Fabulously Broke Campaign, here are our five best tips.
How to talk about money with your partner
1. Blame us for wanting to talk about money with your partner
Often, initiating the money talk is the hardest part. If it’s not part of your regular dialogue, it can feel awkward and unnatural.
So, we’re happy to take one for the team (keep it clean boyz). To kickstart the money talk, blame us.
Tell your husband that you read on this gay money blog or you heard on the Queer Money® podcast a bunch of reasons why couples should talk about money. Deflecting the blame for wanting to have this talk will take some of the pressure off you and it’ll make him feel like you aren’t putting pressure on him so much as taking the advice of a third-party.
Need a few reasons why couples should talk about money? Here are some:
- Couples who talk about money are 78% more likely to report having better sex
- Couples who talk about money do better with their money
- Talking about money reduces – even eliminates – one of the top three reasons couples separate – money problems
- Talking about money will make you a team working toward your financial goals
- Talking about money with your partner will reduce your and his financial anxieties
2. Bring up the money conversation in public
Another way to take the seriousness out of your first money conversations is to bring the topic up in public. Whether out for dinner, at the bar or walking in the park, bringing up the money talk in public will prevent him from feeling like he’s being backed into a corner or attacked.
It’s open. It’s free. It may even be fun.
3. Start the money conversation with your hopes and dreams
The trigger for most couples talking about money is often that something went wrong with their money. A payment for a bill was declined. You’re out of money a week before payday. Like us, you realized that you’re both buried in credit card debt. One of you is tired of always paying for everything.
Using these negative situations as reasons for bringing up the money talk with your partner, is a recipe for a financial fight. Financial fights rarely end with positive results.
We suggest flipping the script. In your first few money talks, focus on your goals and dreams.
What does your dream home look like and where is it? Will you have kids? If so, how many and how will you give them the life they deserve? Will you pay their way through college? What charities would you both like to support and how would you like to support them? What does retirement look like? When will it start and where will it be?
Once you pinpoint and share these dreams, then ask, “What do we have to do to make them happen?”
How much money do we have to save? How will we save this amount of money together? What do we have to do differently today so we can have (that house, those kids, that retirement, etc.) tomorrow?
Then, take it a level deeper to find out what you should do immediately to get started on your dreams. How much debt and what kind of debt must you pay off? How do we fix our credit scores? How much should we start saving and investing today? How do we earn more money?
Starting first with your dreams and then backing into how you’ll fund your dreams helps keep the money conversation constructive and positive.
4. Listen more than you talk during the money conversation
It may be that you’re the one who’s finding the courage to start the money conversation with your partner, but you’ll keep the conversation amicable if you do more listening than talking.
For starters, this will give you better insight into your partner’s true feelings. Understanding where he’s coming from, what the meaning is behind his words, will inform how you can keep the conversation constructive. Understanding him to this degree will help you uncover his true thoughts and feelings.
We all have a lot of emotions attached to money. Not only are our finances an indication of our financial security, but we also let it be a barometer of our self-worth. This is why so many of us emphasize all the things that we have even if we don’t have the finances to have them.
Doing less of the talking and more of the listening will help him feel that you’re having a conversation and not debate or an argument. It’s very likely the talking about money is a negative experience for him – it is for a lot of people. Letting him do more of the talking will help him feel like he’s being heard and not confronted.
This will keep the conversation a positive one now and give you the tools to have more constructive conversations later.
Get the #1 hurdle to your success:
5. Have the money talk in small doses
Speaking of time, let this conversation happen over time. It doesn’t need to – and would be better if it didn’t – happen all at once.
Because so many of us bring so much baggage with us into adulthood around money, the money conversation can be heavy no matter how much advice you take to keep the talk constructive.
Because of this, it may also be true that your man hasn’t thought about the answer to some of these bigger questions. Don’t put too much pressure on him to have all the answers now. Table the conversation until an agreed-upon date.
Simply say, “I just have some goals I’d like to achieve together. Let’s continue this talk next week.” This way, when you bring up the money talk again, he knows it’s coming and can prepare himself in the meantime.
These are our five starter-tips for talking about money with your partner. Trust us! As hard as the conversation may be to have, having a constructive money talk will be amazing for both your finances and your love life.
If he’s worth having, the money talk’s worth having.
Here are more tools for succeeding at life and money with your partner: