How To Talk About Finances With Your Partner

Financial planning is a crucial part of a healthy relationship. Yet so often couples find it difficult to have open and honest conversations about it—avoiding talking about finances beyond the bare minimum.

Whether it’s due to a lack of trust, different money values, fear of judgement, conflict, or simply not knowing where to start, discussing finances with a partner can be a challenge. Making you feel vulnerable and not want to approach the topic.

But when planning a life together, it’s an absolute must. So here are my top tips for navigating financial conversations, so that you and your partner can overcome your barriers and create a productive, supportive conversation around your financial well-being.

Here are my tips:

  • Set a time and place: choose a time when you’re both chilled and can give the conversation your full attention. Dan and I try to make it an event. Usually, Dan will make a Sunday roast and whilst he’s cooking, I’ll be sitting in the kitchen with my laptop going through the finances and then we sit and discuss everything during dinner.

  • Be open and honest. Take your time to share your thoughts, feelings and concerns. Ensuring that both you and your partner have space to process and respond.

  • Organise your thoughts ahead of your discussion so you know exactly what you want from your talk. For example, do you want to start budgeting, review current spending habits or set financial goals?

  • Let go of past behaviours or mistakes and concentrate on the present and future. Whilst looking back can help understand how you both operate, dwelling on the past can create divides—and when working on goals (especially with finances!) you want to be aligned and united on your approach.

  • Be realistic and supportive, but remember that people have different relationships with money. Some people view money as security and prefer to save, others see money as fun tokens and prefer to spend—everybody is different. So when discussing how to navigate finances try to be empathetic, and avoid blame and criticism—instead, seek to understand their point of view.

  • And finally, keep communication channels open! Financial well-being is not a “one-and-done” conversation. It’s an ongoing process and should be regularly reviewed. One way to do this is to set monthly check-ins/reviews/chats as an objective. Not only is it good to keep on top of things but this will make the next chat feel less weird and awkward because you both knew it was coming—normalising the process and helping you both to feel more comfortable when discussing your finances!

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