When it comes to your financial future, many different variables come together to determine your success. Budgeting, saving for retirement, planning for taxes, making investment decisions… all of these issues are important. However, there might be one more issue that you’re overlooking, and it’s just as essential as all the rest: Do you talk to your spouse about money?
You might believe that the two of you share the same goals and dreams (along with a bank account or two), but are you really on the same page where money is concerned? You might hope to avoid discomfort or even a fight, but failing to discuss finances can be even more disastrous. Take these steps to open the lines of communication, and you can prepare for a secure financial future together.
Plan the conversation. Don’t just spring the talk on your spouse unexpectedly. Choose a time when you’re both relaxed.
Consider the history. If you and your spouse come from different backgrounds or have unique histories, your approaches to spending and saving are likely to be different too. Try to see your spouse’s point of view.
Focus on goals. Open the conversation by discussing the goals you both share. That way you establish common ground right away, and you can use these goals as a focal point for the rest of the conversation.
Consider a spending limit. The two of you should agree to a spending limit for impulse purchases, and talk to one another before spending money over a specific amount.
Honesty is the best policy. This topic can be difficult, but honesty is still the best policy. You both deserve to know every detail of your financial matters.
Avoid side-tracking topics. Stay focused on the big issues, and avoid the distraction of smaller side topics. This often leads to arguing over petty details, which you don’t want.
Work with a professional. Some problems require expert assistance. A marriage counselor can mediate the talk and help you avoid fights, or a debt counselor can help you get spending under control. If you need advice on planning for the future, give us a call. We specialize in helping our clients prepare for a stable retirement.