4 Tips for Successful Financial Conversations
Talking about money can be an emotionally charged endeavor for any couple. People’s ideas about saving, spending and investing vary widely, and it can be difficult to get on the same page as your significant other. However, if your financial goals, priorities and saving habits aren’t aligned, you may find yourselves arguing frequently about money. Here, we offer four tips to help you initiate positive conversations about saving for the future.
#1 – Share your financial history.
People begin forming ideas about money early in their lives. The relationship your parents had with money can greatly impact your own values and beliefs. For example, if your parents struggled to pay their bills, your saving and spending habits may be very different than your partner’s if they grew up with parents who had enough assets to spend freely.
It can help to talk with your partner about your history with money and how that impacts your habits today. Ask each other questions such as:
- What are your earliest memories about money?
- Did you hear your parents argue about financial issues?
- Did you see your parents getting up early and coming home late from work?
- Do you remember saving your allowance to buy a special toy?
- What are the most important things to save for?
- What’s your proudest financial accomplishment so far?
The answers to these questions can provide you both with a greater understanding of your partner’s motivations and priorities.
#2 – Discuss your biggest financial fears.
We all have money-related fears. Some people worry that they won’t have enough to pay bills and put food on the table. Others are concerned about providing for the people they care about. Some people fear that others won’t view them as successful if they don’t live in a big house and drive a fancy car.
It’s important to discuss your financial fears with your significant other and make a plan to address them. Until you both feel confident and secure with your financial situation, it can be difficult to move forward as a team.
#3 – Talk about what you hope your future will look like.
It’s important to agree upon future goals that you’re both excited to achieve, as this is the first step toward being able to successfully prioritize smart saving and investing behaviors. Not only that, but discussing your dreams for the future, and finding common dreams to work toward, can bring you closer as a couple.
#4 – Discuss your values and priorities.
Financial conflict often occurs among couples who have different financial values. For example, one partner may be willing to go into debt to purchase a nice car, a big house and designer clothing. In contrast, the other partner may value security and prioritize saving in an emergency fund and living a lifestyle that’s well within the couple’s financial means.
If you’re going to move forward as a team, it’s important to discuss your own money values and gain an understanding of your partner’s. Try to find common ground and agree on a financial strategy that meets both of your needs.
Could you use some help initiating a positive financial conversation with your partner? Creative Planning is here for you. Our experienced professionals understand the many challenges that couples face while navigating their finances. We’re here to help you achieve financial harmony, both today and long into the future. Schedule a call to learn more.