How to talk to your partner about money

 

Do you want to know the main reason people divorce?

Forget cheating, housework and who’s cooking dinner after work tonight – because money worries are the number one reason marriages end, according to new research.

A recent survey by Money Magazine shows that over 70 per cent of couples admit to arguing over money more than any other topic. The survey polled more than 1000 married couples aged 25 and over, who cited frivolous purchases, spending, and saving as the most heated money issues they argued about.

So yes, it’s safe to say that money is a topic most couples prefer to avoid.

The impact of stress

It’s not just the arguing that leads to relationship breakdowns, but also the stress that comes hand in hand with financial worries. This puts strain not only on your relationship, but on your mental health too.

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it can contribute to poor decision-making around managing your finances. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Discussions around money

Lynda Moore, from the Money Mentalist, has some key strategies on how to talk to your partner about money, without arguing:

Identify the problem

Before you even start delving into the finer details of your money problems, it’s important to know if money is the real reason you’re arguing.

The topic of money can regularly mask other issues in a relationship, such as trust or control.

Realising what the root of the argument is should be the first step.

There’s a time and place

Usually one person in the relationship wants to talk about money more than the other. If that person is you, make sure you prepare your partner for the talk. Set aside a time and place, ideally with no distractions, to have a chat.

If you’ve had a bad day at work and are feeling stressed, then it’s best to postpone the chat for another day, as it may end in an argument.

Communication is key

When it comes to talking with your partner about finances, an open line of communication is essential to keep any friction at bay.

Listening is key to good communication, but also the most underrated, and often missed, communication skill.

Sometimes, we might think we’re listening to our partner but, in reality, we’re not taking it all in. This is how arguments start. Ask your partner to repeat what you’ve said to avoid any miscommunication – this will give you an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.

It’s not a competition

You might be jealous of the neighbour’s fancy new car, but you don’t know if it’s on credit or cash, so don’t make assumptions. Remember to keep focused on you and your own backyard!

Social media has a big role to play in our competitive nature, as it’s a platform where we like to show off and celebrate achievements.

Parents play a part

Just like genetics, it’s likely you carry the same ‘money morals’ as your parents. It’s essential to understand your partner’s money morals, to see why you both may handle money the way your parents do. Keeping this in the back of your mind when you discuss money will make things easier.

Be honest about debt

This one is especially important for new relationships. Talk openly about your debt, and decide on some mutual goals that you can work towards together. The last thing you want is a hidden debt resurfacing when you need finance for a house or loan.

Talking about money with your partner doesn’t have to be hard. If handled correctly, it can actually be something you both enjoy chatting about.

By Stephanie Munro

First published 2 February 2018

JUNO does not contain financial advice as defined by the Financial Advisers Act 2008. Consult a suitably qualified financial adviser before making investment decisions. This story reflects the views of the contributor only. Content comes from sources that JUNO considers accurate, but we do not guarantee that the content is accurate. Charts are visually indicative only.


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