Valentine’s Day brings thoughts of flowers, chocolate hearts, and candlelit dinners. You probably aren’t thinking about budgets and investment portfolios! However, money issues are a leading cause of relationship stress. As a result, good communication skills about finances may not seem romantic, but they help you create a solid foundation for your life together. Here are some tips for couples to use when talking about money.
- Talk about your financial goals and dreams, and listen to your partner’s aspirations. The more you can see the specific details of your future life together, the easier it will be to save money for it.
- Provide a consistent message to your children about your finances. If you say no to a request, your spouse shouldn’t say yes, and vice versa. Try to involve the grandparents, but changing their behavior may be more difficult! Additionally, kids shouldn’t stress about family cash flow, but they can understand that money isn’t limitless.
- Divide available spending money between you and your partner. These funds can be used for anything each of you wants—no judgment from the other person! This behavior avoids the stress of needing to explain shopping trips or eating out at work.
- Make financial decisions together. The interaction keeps your relationship closer. Additionally, the knowledge will keep one partner from being lost if he or she is suddenly in the position of needing to handle everything.
- Don’t use money as a weapon. If you are disagreeing about something else, don’t bring up finances as another topic to extend the argument. Talk about money issues when you are both calm. You may not be whispering sweet nothings, but you shouldn’t be angry or disrespectful.
Finally, remember that opposites attract. If one of you is a spender and one of you is a saver, appreciate your differences even as you develop communication strategies. You really wouldn’t change your partner, even if you could. Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Fine Print: This article is educational, not investment advice. Investing is risky, and you can lose money. Talk to your financial team about any strategies before you implement them.