Communication is an essential part of a healthy relationship. Whether you are just starting as a couple or have been married for many years, communication about money is vitally important. There are many different ways to communicate about finances. So let’s look at some practical ways to have healthy communication.
Have an approach
Before you dive into any conversation about money, it is crucial to have a clear plan in place. Your plan may include setting aside time to talk, writing down your thoughts and concerns ahead of time, or having an agenda for the conversation. Establishing communication boundaries and rules can also be helpful. Be honest and open. One of the most important aspects of communication around finances is openly sharing your thoughts and feelings with your spouse. Be willing to take responsibility for your actions and communicate what you need from your partner. If you face financial challenges, be prepared to discuss them honestly without making excuses or blaming others. Avoid sweeping problems under the rug or avoiding difficult conversations altogether. Get on the same page. Every couple has different goals for saving and spending their money. Prioritizing your values is an essential step toward achieving financial wellness in your marriage, so you must clearly understand where you are and where you would like to be in the future. There may be some topics that feel uncomfortable or touchy-feely to discuss, but being able to communicate openly about them is key to gaining trust and respect in your relationship. A great way to get started is by discussing what each partner believes should be our shared values around money (e.g., security, freedom, helping others).
Agreement and compromise
Work towards agreement and compromise in your financial discussions. Limit thinking about “winning” over your spouse. Consider financial decisions as ways to reinforce your long-term goals. Be heard and acknowledged before seeking common ground.
Plan ahead of time
Conversations with no agenda can allow for brainstorming and create an environment to ask questions without emotions or the need to make an immediate decision. Even if they are hypothetical, prior discussions can frame a healthier and more productive conversation if a hypothetical situation becomes a reality.
Communicate with others
Working out financial discussions or disagreements with your spouse is not always possible. When couples feel they have tried everything and are still stuck, it can be helpful to turn to the assistance of a third party to reach solutions. This might mean counseling or seeing a financial advisor together for an unbiased perspective on how you can move forward as a couple. There is nothing wrong with asking for help!
Make an impact!
There are many ways that you and your spouse can make a positive impact on the world through healthy finances. You might volunteer or donate time, money, or talent to help others in need. You may start a business together to employ people in your town. Regardless, money is a part of life, and turning it into a positive can significantly benefit your marriage!