Avoiding the ‘money talk’
According to a Money Magazine poll of married adults over age 25 with household incomes above $50,000, 70 percent of couples argued about money more than household chores, time spent together, sex, snoring, and what’s for dinner. What gives? Most likely, they, like many other couples around the world, are avoiding the dreaded ‘money talk.’ “Most couples aren’t on the same page when it comes to money,” says Kitty Bressington, CFP, a financial advisor for Linden Financial Consultants in New York. She recommends setting aside time each week to have a conversation about finances—and putting absolutely everything on the table. “People often split the money conversation between household budgets/spending and investing,” she says. “Money conversations should be about all things money,” including topics like spending habits, budgets, investments, and family spending history. Here’s how to stop fighting with your partner, period.
Jumping right to the big topics
Although it’s important to talk about money, jumping straight to the million-dollar question (which differs depending on the couple) is a huge hurdle to leap right away. Instead, Bressington recommends keeping the conversation light and short for the first couple of weeks. Focus on what the upcoming expenses are for the next week, and how well you both stuck to the previous week’s plan. Once you get comfortable with that, start discussing more long-term goals, or why you each have the spending habits you do. “Then you can start to build a solid money future,” Bressington says. And rest assured, money is one of those normal fights that even happy couples have.