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Financial Harmony: Talking To Your Partner About Money

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Finance may not be the easiest conversation topic, but it’s an important one. So, what’s the best way to foster financial unity on the home front? We’ve come up with some suggestions we hope you’ll find helpful.

Skip the candy; talk candidly. If you want to be successful in managing your money, you must find comfort in talking first. Being transparent about your earnings, debt, and beliefs about money may feel uncomfortable, but full disclosure is critical when it comes to making joint financial decisions like whether you want to merge finances or how you want to tackle bills. Make check-ins a regular conversation (versus a one-time event) so that when financial hurdles happen, you’ll already have a baseline sense of how your partner will want to move forward.

Create joint financial goals. What do you want to achieve as a couple? Do you need to create an emergency fund or start saving for a home purchase? Do you need to budget for an upcoming vacation or pay off a high interest credit card this year? Narrow down some primary financial priorities, and then decide how you want those goals to be reflected: as a shared document you periodically refer to? As a vision board? As categories within a financial app? Everyone has their own preferences. The importance here is finding common ground when it comes to money milestones.

Organize accounts. If your beliefs about money are aligned and you generally see eye-to-eye, congratulations! Who spends what is half the battle. On the other hand, if fully merging finances is a pain point, consider keeping three accounts: one for you, one for your partner, and one for joint spending. Decide what falls under the shared category. For example, will medical expenses and gifts for family be shared or separate? Take time to fine-tune what constitutes “mine,” “yours” and “ours,” and how much you want to budget within those categories.

Need a little guidance when it comes to planning your finances or creating a realistic household budget? Our partner GreenPath Financial Wellness works with thousands of people each month to help them pay down debt, improve their credit and achieve their goals. Caring, qualified counselors are ready to connect with you today, and the call is free and confidential.

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national nonprofit.

 

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