How To Strengthen Your Relationship Through Better Financial Communication
- The Money Couple: Courtesy of Bethany and Scott Palmer
In a 12-year study, more than 70 percent of married couples reported having conflicts over money—from how it's spent to who's controlling it. But talking about your finances doesn't have to be contentious, say Bethany and Scott Palmer, authors of First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple's Guide to Financial Communication. Known as "The Money Couple," they believe that if couples learn how to understand each other's financial tendencies, then it will allow them to have helpful, hopeful and squabble-free conversations about money. Here are their tools for improving your relationship by improving your relationship with money. —Glo
Avoid Financial Infidelity
Unfortunately, budgets and financial plans often ignore the reality that money touches every part of life: where you live, what you eat for dinner, and whether you'll go on vacation. So developing a healthy money relationship is about communicating your hopes and dreams for your finances. It's about understanding that your partner might have different expectations, whether it's saving for a house or splurging weekly on the "good" coffee.
If you're avoiding money talk or only arguing about it, then have a long and open conversation before the problem spirals out of control. You know these issues best, after all—they're the ones you don't want to talk about: things like debt, mistrust over spending, or anxiety about money. As difficult as it can be, you have to talk about those issues before they become irresolvable messes.
Disclose any money secrets you've been keeping and analyze why you kept them in the first place. Transparency is key when it comes to your finances, and coming clean is the only way to rebuild trust—as well as your relationship.
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