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One of the biggest issues a couple may face in their relationship or marriage is that of money. This is often because financial matters are never really discussed together in detail, and the different spending habits and expectations can lead to a clash. That’s why it is vitally important to discuss money early in the relationship once things turn serious. This will enable you to discover if you’ve found someone who is compatible with you moneywise, and enable you to better build a life together.
Broaching the subject of money with your significant other never seems to be a comfortable or easy task. Too often either one of you might automatically go on the defensive, which subsequently leads to an argument. To avoid this, wait until things get more serious in the relationship. If you start feeling that you might want to spend your life with this person, it’s probably a good time to have the discussion.
The money talk should be more of a relaxed conversation rather than a series of direct questions aimed at the other person. Try talking about your own lifestyle, the lessons your parents may have taught you about money and finances, and what you would like to do to plan for your financial future. Talk about how much you like to save and how much you typically have left in your budget for leisure activities. In a free-flowing conversation, your significant other should also feel comfortable discussing the same information.
It’s highly unlikely that you and your significant other will agree on everything financially, but you should be able to determine during the course of the conversation if compromises might be on the table. If you’re looking to settle down, calm compromise can be key to a strong financial marriage. However, you should also look for red flags that could be an indication of future financial issues. For example, if the other person is comfortable accruing lots of debt, or has no plans to save for retirement, you might find that you aren’t financially compatible. Likewise, if the other person expects more from you financially than you are able to provide. It’s good to know these truths up front.
When discussing finances, try to remain relaxed, friendly, and open. This puts the other person at ease. If you come across too forceful, overly inquisitive, or just plain pushy, the conversation isn’t likely to go well. If the other person exhibits any of the same behavior, then change the subject and have the conversation another day. One of the best ways to talk about money in a serious relationship is to treat the other person as a partner, not an adversary.
Remember, disagreements about money in a relationship or marriage is commonplace, but if you approach the subject in an understanding and open manner, you can avoid many arguments.