Money Conversations for Couples Sharing Finances
One of the leading causes of stress and arguments in relationships is money. If you and your partner currently share finances or are planning to do so in the future, it’s important to have open conversations about money to ensure that you are both on the same page financially and avoid any money-related hardships down the road.
To start your money conversation, use these questions to spark the financial dialogue that can help to make a marriage last.
Questions to Ask Your Spouse While Talking About Money
Should We Set Up Separate Accounts?
Discuss if it makes sense to set up separate bank accounts in addition to your joint account. Going this route may allow you both to enjoy the benefits of a joint account while still maintaining your own independence (especially to buy gifts for each other!). Actively budgeting money towards your shared account will also allow you both to contribute to shared expenses in a more equal way, which can prevent resentment that can develop when one partner feels she/he is shouldering more of the financial burden.
How Do We Set Up Budget Tracking?
A budget can give you and your partner the chance to create a spending plan for your family’s money, guaranteeing enough money for the things your partnership needs.
Since the key to sticking to your budget every month is tracking, figure out how to track your budget. Will you create a spreadsheet or download a budgeting app and both be responsible for updating it? Or, meet at the end of every week and update your budget in a notebook together? Collaborating towards a shared goal can build a sense of teamwork and you will have your best partner beside you as you figure out how to spend any of your team’s surplus.
How Did Your Parents Deal with Money?
Many of us learn how to deal with money by watching our parents. If your parents were good with money, ask them to share some strategies that helped them thrive financially as a couple and as a family. On the other hand, if your parents struggled with money, find out why and try to avoid falling in their footsteps.
As we try to understand our own financial strengths and fears, reflecting on our entire financial lifetime can unearth biases that affect our current financial approach. Sharing these financial genes with your partner can help to build a unified approach for your future that builds on your shared powers and combats any lingering anxieties.
How Can We Improve Both of Our Credit Scores Together?
At some point during your relationship, you may want to purchase a car or mortgage or take out a personal loan to pay for a home improvement project or a vacation. If you would like to land good interest rates and favorable terms, it’s important that you both have good credit scores.
Discuss the various ways you can improve both of your credit scores together, such as paying your bills on time, keeping credit balances low, and taking out a personal loan and paying it back on time. Attacking your credit scores today will unlock opportunities and savings for your family as you mature. Check out Advance America’s blog on how to improve your credit score.
What are Our Financial Goals?
It’s vital for you and your partner to align on some common financial goals. Would you like to pay off your student loans by a certain date? Do you want to save for a down payment so you can buy a house in the near future? Is paying for some of your child’s college education important? Do you have an idea of when you’d like to retire? Once you figure out your shared financial goals, focus on designing a plan that can help you meet them.
How Can We Save For Emergencies and For Our Future?
Saving money can protect you and your significant other from financial hardship in the event of an emergency. It can also help you reach your long-term financial goals. Living below your means, building an emergency fund, taking on side jobs, using coupons, and sticking to a budget can help you build wealth as a couple. Discuss which saving strategies make sense for your financial situation.
Whether you’ve been married for years or recently started dating your partner, talking about money is important if you share finances. It can help you avoid financial stress that can take a serious toll on your relationship. With these simple questions, you can begin to watch your bank accounts, your credit scores, your wealth, and even your love, grow and mature until death do you part.