How to Discuss Money with Your Spouse

How to Discuss Money with Your Spouse from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

If we were to make a list of things people hate to discuss, money would probably be near the top. That’s why it should come as no surprise that money problems are among the primary reasons couples experience strife. To avoid seeing that in your life, here’s how to discuss money problems with your spouse.

Delayed vs. Instant Gratification

It’s important to recognize there are different archetypes when it comes to saving and spending. Some people are diligent about saving and willing to make sacrifices today so that they can reap the benefits in the future. Others live in the moment without much financial planning for their later years. Striking a healthy balance between the two is where your greatest opportunity for success lies as a couple. You have to be willing to compromise a bit of immediate gratification for long-term comfort.

Talk Before Money Becomes a Problem

Ideally, you’ll have this conversation early in your relationship. Start by talking about your goals in life. What do you want to achieve? What does your partner want to achieve? Where do each of you want to be in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years? Be gentle about it. Do not belittle the other person if their goals are less ambitious than yours. Make it a collaborative effort. Work together to set financial goals for your relationship. Try to come to an agreement about what’s important for the two of you and what you’re willing to do to get there.

Look at the Situation Objectively

Evaluate your spending habits to determine where you can cut back on and redirect towards savings, investments and debt elimination. Be willing to share yours first. Lay everything bare and be open to discussion. This open-mindedness will encourage your spouse to do the same. Avoid passing judgment on anything you see from them. A judgmental attitude will only serve to hamper the process. Objectivity is the watchword here. Find points upon which you can agree and establish a plan for accomplishing the resulting goals.

The plan should include the following:

  • Creation of a mutual budget.
  • Setting smart financial goals.
  • Some spending on guilt-free fun.
  • Prioritization of getting rid of debt.

When Things are Already Out of Hand

If you find your partner is already struggling to make minimum payments on his/her debt, you’ll need to come up with a strategy for getting rid of it before you pool your resources.

Depending upon the severity of the situation, debt settlement may be the best solution. However, be careful to choose a reputable company with a strong track record of successfully helping people get out of debt. For example, these Freedom Debt Relief reviews can help folks read about client experiences.

If Old Habits Resurface

Even the best-laid plans will occasionally go off track. We live in a society of consumption, so people are going to slip from time to time. Stay calm, and regroup with your spouse. Gently remind each other of the goals you set and understand how this set you back.

When it comes to how to discuss money problems with your spouse, talking openly and honestly—without judgment —is the only way you’ll ever get it to work. You have to think “we”, rather than “me”; be willing to listen to one another and keep your ultimate goal in mind—retirement without money concerns.

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