Honey, Let’s Talk Money
By Mabel Tan, founder of Bliss Concepts
You and your partner may be able to share with each other about anything under the sun. But, when it comes to personal finances, many couples tend to shun this topic. Why is it so difficult for us to talk about money?
It is not unusual that money is the leading cause of arguments in a marriage. As such, couples should make plans to get their finances in order, so that their happily-ever-after won’t depend on the cheque book.
Today, I am going to share six tips on discussing money matters with your loved one.
1) Find a Neutral Time
Do not discuss about money in the heat of the moment. For example, if your partner has just spent $10,000 on something where you feel is totally unnecessary, don’t put him off by saying he has wasted money or to lecture on his past spending habits.
The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there’s no particular money issue at hand ( i.e. Get to know your partner a little better, on what he/she likes to spend on etc).
2) Give a Little to Get a Little
You can give some opinions on a financial issue (it can be a third-party issue that was featured on the news) and this may encourage your partner to do the same.
Always remember that your relationship is the first priority and love is the centre, thus, both of you will have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money.
Discuss how your parents dealt with money, what it meant to you when you were growing up, and how you are planning to deal with it in the future.
3) Know Where You Stand
Be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you’ve always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be “taken care of” financially.
If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if his or her spending habits are not good. Be honest with yourself about these feelings in order to be honest with your partner.
4) Bring in a Third Party
If you can’t seem to talk about finances, seek out a trusted counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. This could be a financial consultant or marriage counselor.
5) Track Your Spending
Before you start telling your partner about your money habits, you will have to know where your money is going in the first place.
Keeping a budget is a great way to track your finances and expenses. You don’t need a complex budgeting method, but just a simple record or filing system will work. This will help you to moderate your finances, especially if the amount goes off-balance.
To start off, instead of throwing away your credit card bills each month, file them up and you can have a better idea of your average spending on credit card each month.
6) Agree to Disagree
You can individually come up with spending and savings goals and guidelines, then collectively as a couple, see how far off your goals are from each other.
There are many methods to managing money as a couple. For some, you may want to start thinking about consolidating your finances, but for others, you may prefer to do it on your own, even after marriage. There is no better method, but only the method that you two feels most comfortable with.
Talking about money can be a fun thing to do as a couple! It can bring you two closer to your dreams and goals and how you can work hard together for a bright future, So let’s start talking money!
For information about financial planning and money matters for your marriage, please visit Bliss Concepts at www.blissconcepts.mono.net.
Copyright © 2010 Bliss Concepts. All rights reserved.