Managing money and marriage can be a delicate endeavor. Timing is important. Discussing a major financial decision right before bed may not be a good idea. My spouse and I made a pact to not discuss money on Sunday (God’s day) because we don’t want to set the day off in a negative direction. You also have to have money boundaries that work for the two of you. The two of you may decide on an amount of money (fun money) that you can spend without having to discuss it. Trying to micromanage your spouse’s spending is not going to have a positive outcome in most cases. It’s also important to discuss money goals. What do you both want to accomplish with the money you earn? Have you discussed retirement? Do you have adequate life insurance? If you have children….are you planning for college expenses? Do you have a budget? Which one of you crafts and maintains the budget? Not talking about significant money issues will NOT solve the problem. It’s not just what you say but HOW you say it. If things get too heated it’s OK to call a time out as long as you agree on another specified time to discuss the issue. Remember you are on the same team. Have you merged your two paycheck into 1 checking account? Do the two of you operate from separate accounts? What bills get paid from each account? The two of you may want to have a Money Date. This is an opportunity to discuss money issues specifically. You don’t have to go to a restaurant. You can have the date on your front porch if you wish.
Money Talk Guidelines:
- Use a civil tone of voice
- Discuss one topic at a time
- Agree to research a topic and bring it back later
- Don’t play the blame game
- Take responsibility for poor decisions
- Be willing to forgive each other for mistakes
- Be consistent in scheduling money talks (at least once a month)
- Listen closely to each other
- Remember that you both are on the same team
Discussing money issues in your marriage can be both challenging and rewarding. It is my hope that suggestions in this post can help guide your money conversations. What talking tips could you add to my list? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.