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Money and relationships: how to talk about money with your partner
In long term relationships, talking about money is a necessity especially once houses, marriages and children are involved so being able to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about money is a must.
Talking about money with your partner can be difficult, particularly if you are in the early stages of your relationship and you’ve not had a money discussion previously. It is important that the conversation is not one-sided so that you can both raise your points without intimidating or offending your partner!
In the UK, we tend to be quite secretive about our personal finances – hesitating to reveal how much we earn. We may be prepared to demonstrate how much we own but rarely how much we owe. So to most of us money is a very personal thing, often putting us on the defensive if money is mentioned.
With very different attitudes to money being held by so many people, you will need to identify if there are any obstacles such as sharing or spending money that do, or could potentially could, stand in the way of a frank discussion about money.
The first thing you should always do when it comes to discussing money with your partner is to keep your objective in mind. Like it or not, the best way to manage your finances successfully is to be organised and structured in your approach. The objective of your discussion should hopefully see you working towards the same goal and you may also discover that you share the same aims when it comes to your money.
If this happens, then you are in the lucky position of having a conversation with your partner which is likely to go well as you are both on the same page when it comes to your finances. But what if you are not in that position?
Then here are our top tips to help you talk to your partner about money in a way that will hopefully suit both of you:
Make each other aware of your worries and aspirations
Financial worries can be a huge strain on a relationship and you should always be open and honest with each other regarding any worries you have about money and any aspirations which may affect your financial future together. By making each other aware of your thoughts and ideas, it means you can plan much more easily and you are both less likely to feel alienated with the plans you make.
Listen to each other’s fears
Always listen to each other’s fears about money. You should never dismiss or attack another person’s fears because not only will they feel strongly about them but it is not likely to help your conversation. Finding out any fears can help you work towards dealing with them and will help you put together a plan that will stop you being fearful of cash and money conversations in the future. Try and identify sticking points and be prepared to make compromises, if necessary agreeing a trial period for ideas and then reviewing them together.
When it comes to talking with your partner about money or making changes to your finances, you should always be patient as change doesn’t happen overnight. Try not to put too much pressure on any changes which you may have proposed. You should also always try to stay focused on what you want to achieve financially, both personally and as a couple.
If your partner won’t talk about money or avoids a proper conversation about money with you, it can be very difficult and it can make you want to quit trying. However, you should never quit as it will only make matters worse in the long run and you risk damaging any goodwill that you have already built up with regards to this conversation.
You should always carry on the conversation on this subject because only once you talk about money openly and honestly can you plan for the future whether you need to repay debts or you want to save up for a once in a lifetime holiday.
Try to be inclusive with regards to dealing with the finances
If your partner is reluctant to talk about money, one of the best things you can do is try to be inclusive and share the task of managing the household finances with them. If tackled constructively, benefits should soon become apparent. This will hopefully show your partner that the finances are not something to be feared and they will also have a better understanding of your current financial situation and how to deal with any problems that occur.
By opening up the task to include them, it should hopefully break down any barriers, demonstrate benefits and make the task less daunting for your partner who may become much more open to the idea of talking about money and your financial situation as a couple.
If you are worried about money or you are struggling with debt, whether you are dealing with it on your own or with a partner, get in touch with ourselves on 0800 901 2488. Our friendly advisers will listen to your problems and offer you advice and the best solutions to suit your situation.