How To Talk to Your Partner About Money

Talking money with your partner or spouse is daunting - most divorce happens as a result of the financial issues so getting on the same page is critical

Relationships. We love ‘em, we hate ‘em, we can’t get enough of ‘em. It’s already hard to communicate our feelings and expectations about how we want to be treated - as humans, we struggle to confront the ones we love. Imagine how much harder it is to communicate about money, something we don’t really even talk to our friends about! 😯

Why is it important to get on the same page about money?

Many people tend to go about their money habits completely separately from their partner, especially if they’re not married. The reason why it’s important to get on the same page is because you’re more powerful together 💚 If you had to make all of your money decisions alone, you are limited to to your own purchasing power, debts, and expenses.

Here are the benefits of having some shared finances:

  • You can pool money for a down payment on a home
  • You can reduce your per person expenses by buying in bulk
  • If someone loses their job or gets a pay cut, they have a better support system and can hopefully rely on their partner if their savings are tight

However, this is not to say that you should share ALL of your finances. It’s smart for each person to have their own accounts, in addition to a joint account. Keep reading to see why…


What are the pitfalls of shared finances, and how to avoid them?

Here are some of the sticky situations joint accounts may lead to, and how to solve them.

  1. If one person is watching and constantly criticizing the other person’s spending:

Having separate as well as joint accounts allows each partner to create their own personal budget and not feel like someone is watching over their shoulder when it comes to spending. You want that Gucci bag? Great - buy it with your own stash. This is usually the best option, unless one person is spending much more than the other and is not contributing as much to the joint account. Which brings me to…

  1. When one person isn’t contributing as much as the other:

The point of a joint account is to build up savings together, whether that’s for emergencies or a shared goal (like buying a home), as well as paying for shared expenses (like date night). If one person feels like they’re setting aside much more than the other, that might spur a conversation around whether their partner is overspending in their own account, or is simply hoarding money. The best way to get around this is to set expectations together on how much each person will contribute monthly, and keep each other updated on whether you will reach your personal goal. Having that accountability partner is 🔥

  1. If one person is making financial decisions with shared cash without consulting the other:

This one is a massive red flag 🚩 If someone is taking out of the cookie jar without consulting you, or buying something against your wishes, it may be a sign of deeper problems in the relationship. Exploring other options or seeking a therapist might be a good idea in this case.

So how do I get started with these conversations?

We won’t sugarcoat it - it’s awkward initially. Set up a time with your partner one night when you’re free, maybe make some snacks, and go through the following steps:

  1. Go through each person’s budget together (if one person doesn’t have a budget, encourage them to take a look at their expenses before the meeting)
  2. See if there are any budgets you can combine to save money (food, transport, etc)
  3. Set a goal for yourselves (emergency savings, house fund, etc)
  4. Decide how much each person can contribute, relative to income and spending

Not all of these need to happen on the same day - perhaps you do budgeting one day and goal setting on another, but this should be a good start. Good luck!

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