Communication Strategies for Talking about Money with a Significant Other
- How To Deal With Money Issues in a Relationship
- Talking About Finances in a Relationship
- How To Have Hard Conversations About Money
- What Should Couples Discuss at Different Stages of a Relationship?
- Planning for Engagement and Marriage
- Planning To Buy a Home
- Planning for a Family
- Planning for Retirement
- How To Know When To Seek Couples Counseling for Financial Stress
How To Deal With Money Issues in a Relationship
Talking About Finances in a Relationship
- Schedule regular meetings to talk about money. If you have children, make it a family meeting. Make it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
- Manage expectations about the meeting. Life changes, such as a job loss or promotion, affect money. Be prepared for emotional discussions.
- Make clear how each of you values money. Does one partner like designer labels while the other does not?
- Work together to find a compromise or financial plan that satisfies both. Identify what expenses are a priority, and make a plan to pay for them.
How To Have the Hard Conversations About Money
Additional Resources for Couples With Money Problems
- “7 Reasons Spouses, Partners Lie About Money” from AARP: Financial infidelity in relationships and their causes.
- “9 Money Secrets of Happy Couples” External link from Real Simple: Money practices that may help preserve relationships.
- “Arguments About Money Aren’t About Money” from The Gottman Institute: An explanation of how personal experiences with money shape perceptions and behaviors.
- “Don’t Let Money Ruin Your Relationship” from Psychology Today: Tips on how to avoid tension caused by money disputes between partners.
- “Happy Couples: How To Avoid Money Arguments” from the American Psychological Association: Strategies to use together to tackle money issues.
- “Keeping Money Secrets From Each Other: Financial Infidelity on the Rise” from NPR: An examination of the strain caused by hiding debt from your partner.
- “Let’s Talk About Money in Our Intimate Relationships!” from Psychology Today: A discussion around the question: “How does money affect relationships?”
- “Why Communicating About Money Is Key to a Healthy Relationship and Financial Future” from Forbes: Struggles that come with relationships and financial stress.
- Couples and Money by Jackie Black: Questions that will help couples understand each other’s values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors as they relate to money.
- Couples Money by Marlow Felton and Chris Felton: Perspective on the financial dynamic of a partnership by a married couple in the financial services industry.
- Home Finances for Couples by Leo Ostapiv: Advice on financial planning and practical exercises and budgeting tips.
- Thriving in Love and Money by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn: Research to help couples understand each other, which will lead to better financial decision-making.
- “Hitched: Improve Your Marriage by Talking Money” from Hitched podcasts: An episode with Dr. Karen Sherman on why partners have a difficult time talking about finances.
- “How Should We Manage Money as a Couple?” from NerdWallet’s Smart Money Podcast: An episode that offers tips on communication and more for partners.
- “Your Money and Your Mind: The Money Talk That Every Couple Needs to Have” from Ted Talk: A video episode that highlights tips to start the conversation about money.
What Should Couples Discuss at Different Stages of a Relationship?
Planning for Engagement and Marriage
Additional Resources for Couples Before They Get Engaged
- “Here’s How Many Couples Believe in Combining Finances Before Marriage” from The Knot: An article about merging finances and the importance of “money dates.”
- “Six Financial Issues To Discuss Before Getting Married” from Forbes: Topics for couples to discuss including tax implications and property debt.
- The Couple’s Guide to Financial Compatibility by Jeff Motske: Tips from combining finances to retirement planning from a Certified Financial Planner.
- Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, Rachel Carlton Abrams and Doug Abrams: Interactive activities and prompts for talking about important subjects, with a section on money.
- Your Money, Your Marriage by Cherie Lowe and Brian Lowe: Stories and lessons on how couples can identify unhealthy financial habits and address them.
- “5 Conversations Couples Should Have Before Merging Finances,” from Sunday Night Sit Down: A video featuring Talaat and Tai McNeely, founders of His and Her Money online community, on subjects such as debt and budgeting.
- “Couples and Money,” from The Confident Wallet podcast from the Washington Post and T. Rowe Price: An episode on taxes, merging assets and debt with an emphasis on partners having the same goals.
- “When Is the Best Time To Talk Finances When Dating?” from The Dave Ramsey Show: A video with the show host explaining that the first date is probably not the best time to discuss money.
Planning To Buy a Home
Additional Resources for Couples Thinking About Buying a Home
- “15 Crucial Considerations for Newlyweds Buying a Home Together” from Forbes: An expert panel’s advice on mandatory considerations for buying a house and the long-term impact of this decision.
- “4 Crucial Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Buying a House Together” from Realtor.com: This reality check includes considering what is affordable and what will happen if the couple splits.
- “Tips for First-Time Home Buyers” from Ramsey Solutions: A breakdown of different aspects of the process from researching neighborhoods to what to expect.
- “Looking for the Best Mortgage (PDF, 144 KB),” from the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Tips for shopping and negotiating for a home loan or mortgage.
- Nolo’s Essential Guide To Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray, Ann O’Connell and Marcia Stewart: The authors offer a collection of insights on how things work and what mistakes to avoid, including advice from real estate professionals, legal experts, buyers, sellers and others.
- “Avoiding the Biggest First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes in 2020” from Homebuyer’s School: A video episode with tips on conducting research and who to work with while buying a home.
- “Best Mortgage Tips for Home Buyers” from Couple Money Podcast: An episode that focuses on understanding the paperwork involved with mortgages and the home-buying process.
- “First Time Buyers” from Real Estate Today: A National Association of Realtors podcast episode on starting a home search, mistakes to avoid, accessible mortgage programs and more.
Planning for a Family
Additional Resources for Family Planning
- “27 Tips To Save Money When You Have a Baby” from Parents: Tips on hospital add-ons to skip, cost-conscious clothes and savings on baby gear.
- “5 Smart Money Tips for New Parents” from Her Money: Tips include updating wills and reviewing beneficiary designations.
- “Budgeting for a New Baby” from Investopedia: A rundown of one-time expenses, ongoing expenses and tools to use.
- “Don’t Become a Parent Until You’ve Hit These Money Milestones” from The Balance: Job security, insurance costs, emergency funds and other factors to consider when planning a family.
- “Personal Finance: How Much Does It Cost To Raise a Child?” from U.S. News & World Report: Factors that influence the cost of raising a child and budgeting suggestions.
- “There Are Two Money Moves Every Parent Should Make Before Having Kids” from Insider: Tips from parents about travel before baby, college savings and emergency funds.
- “Ready for a Baby? Ask Yourself These Money Questions” from Northwestern Mutual: Tips for how to know if you are financially ready for a child.
- Baby or Bust: Financial Planning for New Parents and Parents-to-Be by Nicola Field: Financial considerations for parenthood, from taking leave to living well on one income and more.
- Preparing for Baby: All the Legal, Financial, Tax, and Insurance Information New and Expectant Parents Need by Nihara K. Choudhri: An e-book published by the American Bar Association that covers tax breaks, wills and estate planning, savings plans and hiring a nanny.
- “Make Your Donations Go Further; Plan for Baby Expenses” from NerdWallet’s Smart Money Podcast: An episode’s second segment with a focus on major expenses that come with a baby including child care.
- “How Do We Plan for a Baby While Paying Off Debt?” from The Dave Ramsey Show: A video segment about health insurance coverage for a newborn and strategies for saving money before the baby arrives.
Planning for Retirement
Additional Resources for Retirement Planning
- “7 Tips on Planning for the Future as a Retired Couple” from The Balance: Factors to consider before retirement such as strategizing Social Security claims, staggering retirement and understanding retirement spousal benefits.
- “Retirement Planning Tips for Married Couples” from AARP: A discussion about ensuring that couples make retirement plans together and when retirement makes sense.
- “A Retirement Planning Step That Married Couples Shouldn’t Skip” from Forbes: Effects of widowhood and reasons for couples to include it in their retirement planning.
- The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle by Roberta Taylor and Dorian Mintzer: Advice, anecdotes and exercises related to 10 conversations that couples need to have as they plan for retirement.
- Don’t Go Broke in Retirement by Steve Vernon: Information and tools to generate the most income from Social Security benefits and retirement savings.
- “How Much Money Do I Need To Retire? Retirement Planning 101” from The Motley Fool: A video about retirement topics related to Social Security and employee savings plans.
- “Investing Basics: Planning for Retirement” from TD Ameritrade: A video guide to different retirement accounts, including Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs and how to invest them.
- The Retirement Answer Man Show podcast: Everything from a health action plan to explanations about mutual funds for those planning to retire.
- Retirement Starts Today podcast: Financial topics range from financial scams that target seniors to managing your 401 K.
- The Retirement Wisdom Podcast: Discussions about exit strategies, early retirement, Medicare and more.
How To Know When To Seek Couples Counseling for Financial Stress
Additional Resources To Know When To Get Couples Counseling for Money Problems
- “10 Ways To Prevent Money From Ruining Your Marriage” from Forbes: Steps for couples to take to avoid destroying their relationship.
- “Do You and Your Partner Need Financial Therapy?” from MassMutual: Differences in confidentiality standards between financial therapists and couples therapists with a discussion of how financial experts can help.
- “Marriage Counselor or Financial Coach: Which One Do You Need?” from Ramsey Solutions: Tips for which type of counselor is suited for different situations, including financial infidelity, bankruptcy or gambling.
- “10 Steps To Stop Fighting Over Money With Your Spouse” from The Scope of Practice: A podcast episode on communication and having healthy discussions about money.
- “Stop Money Fights Before They Start – With Adam Kol” from Marriage Kids and Money: A podcast episode on avoiding disputes, including action items such as creating a budget together.