Discussing Finances with your spouse is key to happiness
Marriage is the social legitimacy of a couple. This is a critical step to make a new story in your life because you are ready for your next social and financial journey.
We have been raised from families where we are not allowed to talk about money on dinner. Father is only one person responsible for breadmaking. We had been disguised as to why our parents fought together on money matters. I have studied several papers about the misunderstanding of couples and shows that money is at the top of the list for couples to fight, the other two being sex and their difference of opinion regarding raising kids. So why are we hesitant to talk about money?
At the school we are taught world class formulas on algebra and trigonometry. After we finish school life we have taught complicated accounting formulas (Income Statement, Profit and loss account, Balance Sheet) who else care about personal income statements and Balance sheets. Thanks to households who have done brilliant tasks of household financing without formal education.
What is life after college? Parent says, Hey son/Daughter it is time for marriage, you are being aged, and wish I have a grandchild before I die. A new story begins in life but repeats the same story of father and mother.
10 uncomfortable financial conversation all married couple need to have
- How Much We Earn and Spend on a day?
- What is the credit situation?
- Who will be responsible for the budget?
- What is the system for personal purchases?
- Do we want to save or invest?
- What are your priorities when shopping
- How do you Manage saving after basic spending
- What is plan for big purchase
- How do you manage contingency fund
- Is there any retirement plan?
Quostining, answering and conversing on these matters seems easy but practically only few couples are able to do so why the answer is because we are raised in Patriarchal (Purush Pradhan) society. No it is not the true answer, eastern couples have also such a problem . The only answer is financial education and attitude toward money.
Money is a complicated topic and people have a tendency to avoid it rather face a potential fight. Research shows there are high changes to secure financially those who talked about the family finances regularly. It is the same page of Book where they read on a sensitive topic is worth as much as assets and considered as investment. Here are the six step to talking with your spouse about money without ending up quarreling with each other
- Find Commonality
A difficult conversation goes smoothly if you find common ground. Asking “ Where will the kids go to college”, Maybe your couple said “ I think kids go to public college instead of private” this would be realistic in the current financial situation.
- Set a Environment
Do you want to speak on financial matters after you have returned home from office work? Not actually. So set a stage where you can talk freely. Some may want to get out of the house and make this a true date night while others easier at home.
- Think about numbers—don’t point out fingers
Be careful not to comment on debt issues if one had a reason. But rather focus on the balance sheet. Where the true picture comes on total assets and total liabilities to pay. Family liabilities include credit card balances, car loan, college accounts etc.
- Plan today
Now what you do after having a Balance Sheet on your hand. You both try to reduce the debt burden, What our mother did is reduce spending that has been given by dad. But now both couples need extra revenue to earn. This starts with financial planning of short term, mid term and long term.
- Fix another Date
It is time to schedule the next meeting. That could be weekly, monthly or quarterly. Revive the balance sheet in the new date, keep record of income and expenditure and go ahead.
Money shouldn’t be a taboo topic for couples. It’s too important to discuss as in form of “we” by not judging each other, setting common goals, preparing for big purchases, contingency and retirement funds in future.
So say to your beloved, Hey honey! Let’s talk about money…