Let’s Talk Money, Honey
Love can make the world go ’round! But when you think about your favorite memories with your sweetheart, do you think about your financial conversations? Probably not. Money talk with your significant other is an important part of a complete and healthy relationship, although it can also be a major stressor and have an impact the relationship itself. This can be, in part, because of the emotional nature of money which is often accompanied by a deep personal history. Taking the time to have pillow talk that includes money talk can help to enhance your relationship and avoid conflict down the road. With this in mind, we share some financial conversation starters for you to consider to get started in making money talk an intimate part of your relationship.
- Make Time for “Money Talk.” We all try to make time for fun and getaways for our love life to escape from the crazy pace of our daily lives, rebalance, and refuel. Consider using this away time to discuss your goals and aspirations for the next year. You can start the conversation by asking an open-ended question like: “What do we want to achieve this year?” Scheduling time to have a constructive conversation, whether an actual retreat, a money date night, or just “pillow talk,” can ensure you and your loved one are on the same page financially.
- Share About Yourself. Sharing about yourself is part of any relationship, romantically or otherwise. When it comes to an intimate topic like money, however, sharing your personal history can be difficult. We are often raised to be secretive about money (how much we make, what and where we spend it, how much we have saved) and as a result, it can be hard to let someone into your financial world. While revealing and sharing can make you feel vulnerable and accountable, it can also be deeply bonding as you think about financial decisions such as raising a family, shouldering debt, assessing credit, evaluating employee benefits, and establishing an emergency fund. More importantly, sharing can help keep serious money problems in check proactively and set the groundwork for future financial plans.
- Be Mindful of Your State of Mind. Honest, direct, and respectful conversations can change your relationship, and being able to speak your voice and be met with love and acceptance from your partner can help you both move to a place of genuine trust. Keeping this in mind when you talk to and listen to your partner can help you work together as a united team, and lends an opportunity to build a stronger financial relationship with each other.
- Set Goals to Turn Dreams Into Reality. Find common ground to dream about instead of dwelling on differences over money. For example, work together with your sweetheart to identify expectations and aspirations, such as buying a vacation home, sending your children to college, or retiring at a particular age. Having long-term goals encourages people to think more strategically, adopt new financial habits, and develop a financial roadmap to realize their dreams. And with long-term goals, the opportunity exists to continue the conversation and check-in regularly to help keep you excited, united, and focused on achieving your goals. You may even find the conversations to be fun; levity and humor can foster clearer thinking and help you connect more deeply.
As you think about these financial conversation starters, remember that the goal is not to complete all of these discussions at once. Rather, consider using these ideas to gradually incorporate money talks into your regular conversations with your sweetheart to make it an intimate part of your relationship.