How to Have Conversations as a Couple About Money and Budgeting

How to Have Conversations as a Couple About Money and Budgeting

April 07, 2023

As a couple, talking about money can be one of the most difficult conversations you have. It touches on so many areas of life that are often personal and emotional.  

But having these conversations is essential to ensuring your financial future together. Consider these findings from a Ramsey Solutions study when it comes to finances and divorce: 

  • Money arguments are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. 
  • High levels of debt and poor communication lead to stress and anxiety when it comes to finances. 
  • Nearly half of couples with $50,000 or more in debt say money is their top reason for arguing. 
  • Nearly 2/3 of all marriages start in debt. 
  • 1/3 of people who argue with their spouse about money admit to hiding purchases because they know their partner won’t approve. 

Here's how you can make these conversations about money and budgeting a little easier for both of you. 

Set Expectations  

Before having any kind of conversation about money, it’s important to set expectations for yourselves.  

  • What do you each expect from the conversation?  
  • What topics should be discussed?  
  • Do you want to talk about budgeting or retirement planning?  

Setting expectations will help keep the conversation on track and ensure that both of your needs are being met.  

Be Open  

It’s important to be open with each other when discussing finances. This means being honest about your financial goals, dreams, and concerns. Being open with each other will help bring clarity to the conversation and ensure that both partners are on the same page. If there’s something you don’t feel comfortable discussing right away, let your partner know in an open and honest way so they don’t feel like they’re being kept in the dark.  

Hire a Financial Planner Together  

If you find yourself struggling to have these conversations or if you need a third-party opinion, consider hiring a financial planner together. A financial planner can provide unbiased advice and help both partners create a plan for their finances that will work best for them as a couple. They can also help with retirement planning by providing tips on ways to save for retirement and ideas for investments that could benefit both partners.  

Having conversations about money as a couple isn't easy but it's necessary for a successful retirement planning down the line. By being open and honest with each other from the start, setting achievable goals together, and working with a financial planner, couples can navigate these tricky conversations without feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about their long-term plans for their future finances. When done right, these conversations should leave both partners feeling more confident about what’s to come.