If you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about your finances, it’s important to talk to your other half.
Chatting to your partner about your finances might not be on top of your to-do list, but it isn’t something you should avoid.
According to research, money problems are quoted as one of the main reasons long-term relationships fall apart. So if you or your partner are struggling with money, or just have something you’d like to clear up, it really is worth laying it all out on the table to help you move forwards.
Whether it’s setting a budget or agreeing to cut down on spending in certain areas, these tips can help you clear the air about your money.
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They might be your nearest and dearest, but do they know about your finances?
According to our own research, a whopping 87% of us would rather discuss marriage concerns rather than financial issues. And when it comes to talking about money with our loved ones, it was revealed that over a quarter of Brits don’t feel comfortable chatting about their finances with their other half.
Not knowing about your partner’s financial state could make you vulnerable should the worst happen and something happens to your partner. Plus, if you and your partner are in a long term relationship, it’s worth sharing your goals and concerns to help make sure you’re on the same page.
Set a date
The last thing you need is to be distracted when you’re having a serious chat about money. Pick a time when you’re less likely to be interrupted, like when the kids are out or if you have no important plans for the day.
Also, make sure there’s no blaring TV or radio in the background which could distract you from your conversation. Giving your partner a heads up about the conversation in advance will also mean they’re not caught off guard and unprepared.
Keep your cool
It’s easier said than done, but it’s important to remain calm to help you reach a conclusion. Try telling yourself you can acknowledge your emotions once the conversation is over, but you need to stay calm and logical in order to have a productive chat.
To help you stay calm, remember to keep the conversation on track without veering off into other topics. If you’d like to talk about paying off debts, it’s not the time to bring up those dishes left in the sink!
Even though you’re discussing money matters, the problem often stems from an underlying issue. Money can represent all sorts of issues in a relationship, such as control, power or security.
For example, if you see money as the freedom to do what you want, your partner might see money as a way to save for opportunities in the future. To help you understand where your other half is coming from, it could be worth discussing why you feel differently about money.
Treat it like a business meeting
Talking about finances with your partner can often be tricky, so make sure you don’t make things worse by making personal comments.
It could help if you think of the conversation like a business meeting. For example, you could both take notes and come up with a plan that you both agree on. Whether you use spreadsheets or PowerPoints, handling the conversation like you would at work could help you keep raised voices at bay.
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of not listening to each other when you just want to get your point across. Make sure you both take turns and actually listen to each other and you could be surprised at the difference it makes.
Make realistic goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t try to sort everything out in one go. You could both work together to create a list of small, achievable steps to help you get where you both want to be. It’s important to make sure you’re both happy with the list, so compromise on both sides will help.
Rinse and repeat
You might be relieved the conversation is over, but it’s important to keep talking about your money situation down the line. Regular ‘check-ins’ could help you make sure you’re still on track and avoid bottling up any hard feelings.
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.