There comes a moment in every relationship when you need to have the talk.
You’ve done the dating stuff, you’re feeling nice and comfortable – until the cash chat comes along. It may seem awkward, but talking about money just makes cents and is essential to any good relationship. Even if you’re happily married, money will be the source of a disagreement at some point.
In fact, 7 out of 10 couples believe it adds tension to a relationship. So rather than sweep it under the rug, we’ve listed the things you need to know to make sure your next dollar discussion isn’t too daunting.
Set a Money Date
It’s important to make it semi-official. Rather than bickering over bills before bed, set aside time specifically to go through your finances. Jot down a list of topics you’d like to cover – bills, savings, superannuation – and address each, paying careful attention to what the other person is saying.
More often than not, one partner is in control of the finances but having a regular conversation will split the share more equally so you’re both across what is going on.
Don’t Point The Finger
We can all agree that money chats can quickly descend into a counterproductive blame game. But when it comes to “You just spent $300 on new shoes” vs “Maybe you should stop your weekly golf game” everybody loses.
Instead of using the talk as a platform to lecture your lover, be mindful that you both have the same end goal.
Ultimately you’re both going to have indulgences that can be used as evidence. Write up individual lists of things you can cut back on and then swap – you’d be surprised how honest we can be when we’re not on the defensive.
Pick A Joint Goal
Working together is the best way to maintain a steady and healthy bank account balance, so having a shared goal is a no brainer. Start with something manageable, like getting control of your super.
Currently, Australians between 25 and 35 have a total of $1.428 million in lost super. Make it a mission to track down your missing super as a team. Or come together and agree to clear your credit card debt. Aussies owe an average of $4,317 on their cards, so encourage each other to clear that figure by the end of the year.
Be Independent But Open
It’s a good idea for both you and your partner to maintain a degree of independence with your money and including this point in your talk will please both parties. Research has shown that 70% of loved up Australians will still keep some separate finances.
The important thing is to be transparent and communicate about what you’re doing.
When it comes to love – and money – honesty really is the best policy.
About the Author: Michelle House, Financial Literacy Expert
Michelle House is the Owner and Founder of RICH Living Revolution which she created to show people how to live a RICH life from the inside out. She is a wife, mother of 3 gorgeous children and a business owner who understands the importance of staying on top of the day to day finances, getting great value for money and overcoming self-doubt and limiting beliefs with money mindset.