Financial Conversations to Have with Your Partner
February 9, 2023
When you are planning a future with your partner, many different factors come into play in the equation. But, ask yourselves this, are you having a dialogue about financial matters too?
Talking about finances with your significant other can feel awkward or uncomfortable. Emotions and finances are really intertwined and people can experience all sorts of emotions around money, some of which may even put unwanted stress on a relationship. But the biggest mistake you can make is to assume that you and your partner have the same outlook on financial priorities without actually talking with each other about them. Being open about your concerns and goals is the first step to building a healthy financial future together.
If you plan to have a conversation about finances, give your partner advance notice that you want to have this type of discussion. No one appreciates being blindsided by serious talk about money and it can make people feel defensive. When you do have the talk with your partner, we suggest starting with small, easier questions to begin the conversation.
- What are your financial values/priorities?
- What are our financial goals for the next year?
- Are we meeting our monthly expenses? How much income do we have left over each month?
As your comfort level grows, you can graduate to discussing more complex and important questions, such as:
- What are your financial goals for the next 5-10 years? Will one of us need to buy a new car? Do you want to buy a new house?
- What is your greatest financial fear?
- What are your career goals and how will this affect our combined income?
- If we plan on having children, who will be the primary caretaker and how will this impact our income?
However you decide to approach talking with your significant other about money, make sure to be supportive and listen. Share your own concerns and goals and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or admit mistakes. Also, don’t feel like you need to solve or answer every financial question you both have in one sitting. Managing and improving your finances is a lifelong pursuit and your ability to maintain transparency and flexibility with your partner is important to ensuring success.
If you’re looking for support or someone to talk to, there are tools and resources to help you along the way. Two great options that MSUFCU offers are financial planning services and calculators. These resources can help you plan out the years ahead of you, including future savings plans, retirement, insurance, and more. Find more information about the Credit Union’s financial planning tools at msufcu.org/financialplanning.