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Having a conversation with your partner about finances can ward off future disagreements
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Steve Fast

Talking money with your valentine

Relationship experts champion communication as the key to happy couplehood. This advice is especially true with money matters.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey revealed that for 52 percent of Americans a lack of interest in managing one’s personal finances was a “deal breaker” with a potential mate.

And, once in a romantic relationship, money can be a common cause of friction. Spending issues
were the source of disagreements with nearly a third of couples (31 percent) surveyed.

For couples celebrating their first Valentine’s Day or their 50th, getting on the same page about finances is something that will smooth the road to romantic bliss.

Financial communication can’t come too early or too late

In the early stages of a relationship, it may seem awkward to bring up money. However, getting
an understanding of your romantic partner’s views on financial matters should go beyond a discussion of who is picking up the check at dinner.

Having a conversation about what your parents taught you about money (or what they didn’t teach you) can be a good place to start when creating a dialogue about spending, debt and saving.  

Of course, financial concerns are an ongoing facet of any relationship. Maintaining unity with your valentine requires more than just a one-time sit down.

Couples don’t always tackle financial matters as a team

According to an American Psychological Association survey, only a third of couples equally share financial decisions. This division of labor can turn out to be a source of conflict. Even if one partner handles day-to-day spending and another makes long-term money decisions, a few simple steps can help keep couples in sync.

Make it a date: Set up a regular time each month to talk about household finances. Carving out time to review finances will help keep financial goals and concerns from slipping through the cracks when schedules get busy.

Value proposition: What are the expenses your partner feels are most important? When is an expense a necessity and when is splurging on convenience items appropriate? If couples talk about spending priorities, miscommunications over how money is spent are less likely.

Seek some help: Couples might not always agree on the best way to meet financial goals. And one partner, or both, might not be confident about the best path for savings and investment. Sitting down with an expert who can explain what options are available will provide helpful options towards achieving financial security. 

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