How to Talk to Your Spouse About Money

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Building wealth is a lot like building a strong marriage. Both require determination, passion and the ability to communicate effectively.

Determination

Marriage is not a spectator sport. Neither is building wealth. You must be determined to be in the game and make certain you’re not taking your current status for granted. Don’t take your eye off of the prize.

Action: This week, make financial and marital commitments to each other about areas where you both want to improve. Write them down and check on your progress throughout the year to ensure you’re improving. With the right attitude of partnership, the two of you will have a lot of fun planning together.

Passion

Having goals, dreams and desires are what fuels our everyday decisions. Keep that end goal in mind when you are going through your daily routine. Ensure the decisions you are making today are in support of the long-term goals for your marriage and your wealth. That passion for the ideal relationship and for financial freedom will drive you to success together.

Action: Set financial and relationship goals for the new year with your spouse. Is this the year that you’re going to finally eliminate those student loans? Can you afford that romantic getaway this summer? Plan together and get motivated to make your dreams become a reality.

Communication

As they say, communication is a two-way street. What drives you, might not drive your spouse. Take time to share your goals and desires with your partner and ask them to do the same with you. Even if your goals are different, through strong communication you will find a way to work together.

Action: Go on a monthly “Money Date”. This is time for you and your spouse to discuss your finances, your dreams and to have some fun.

How Couples Can Achieve Financial Goals

Since finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, this is an area where couples should want to get on the same page with each other. Many couples have said that money is the only thing they fight about. Sometimes all a couple need is to get the conversation about money started so they can express their goals and values to each other. This, in turn, allows them to work together toward achieving those goals in a way that aligns with the values they share. Once a couple agrees on their top financial priorities, it is much easier to put a plan in motion that allows them to make progress toward those priorities.

Below are four things you can do today to achieve financial goals faster with your spouse, so you can become a debt-eliminating, money-saving team!

Agree on Goals. The first step is to agree on your top one or two goals as a couple. Do you want to pay off your credit cards? Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to build up your savings? Whatever your top goals are, it is critical that you agree on them as a couple.

Create a Plan. The next step is to create a plan on how to achieve your goals. A good place to start is to create a spending plan (budget) that maps out how you will spend, save, and pay down debt. Creating a spending plan that balances what you want today with what you want to achieve in the future will involve trade-offs, and you both must agree to commit to your plan to be successful.

Review Your Plan. The third step is to review your plan monthly, so you can adjust quickly when things don’t go according to plan. Reviewing your plan every month (or more frequently) is critical because it keeps your spending and goals top of mind.

Focus on the Positive. Each party should do his or her best to make this a positive experience. Realize that you are a team working toward the same goals (once you agree on them!) Try not to place blame or focus on the negative. You can use money to strengthen your relationship by accomplishing goals together!

It’s a beautiful thing when couples are pulling in the same direction with their financial goals.