Money: Tips For Discussing Finances with your Partner
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, October 2009
Can women and men talk about money without ending up in an argument? Money is an emotionally loaded topic that few couples discuss directly. However, many individuals have a troubled relationship with money and sooner or later it is bound to become a potentially explosive issue in a relationship.
In order to have a productive discussion, here are some tips to guide you in your approach:
• Always Be Respectful - Avoid diminishing your partner. Don't become accusatory. Find a non-stressful time when money is not a loaded issue. Agree on some ground rules: no interrupting each other; no long tirades; no insults.
• Share Childhood Messages About Money - Discuss how your parents saved, spent, and talked about it. How did they deal with allowances? What specific money messages did you get and how might they be affecting you today?
• Share Your Old Hurts, Resentments and Fears About Money - Mention your concerns and fears about your partner's money style. Then acknowledge what you admire about their methods. Positive statements help to make partners feel safe enough to give up the negative aspects of their behavior.
• Talk About Your Goals for the Future - Share your hopes and dreams. Then consider making a shared budget or a spending plan together by merging the hopes and goals that have come on your list more than once.
• Talk Regularly - Set a time to have the next money talk. Aim for weekly conversations in the beginning, then monthly ones.