Updated: Mar 27
Not everyone is super comfortable discussing finances, especially with a loved one. Learn how to approach talking about finances with your partner.
Tip #1: Start small.
Finances can be a very overwhelming topic! After all, it's such a broad topic and there are a lot of things to cover. Instead of starting big and wide, start small and narrow. Bring up just one aspect of finances that you want to discuss. It's easier to talk about and your partner may be more willing to open up. A few examples:
Do you know what your credit score is?
How much are you saving each month?
Are you contributing to your 401K?
Do you have a debt payoff timeline for your existing student loans?
Check how your partner responds. If they respond negatively, chances are that their money mindset is hurting their financial success. That should be addressed first before anything else.
Tip #2: Visualize the end goal and work your way back.
This sounds very simple and it is. For some people, it's hard to discuss something when they don't understand the end goal or purpose. Why do I need to know what the 50 30 20 budget rule is? Why does contributing to my 401K right now matter? It's such a specific item or task - how does it fit into a bigger picture. When you start with the bigger picture, it's easier to work your way back and discuss what needs to happen to meet the end goal. It's also much more action-oriented, which in turn will make the both of you more accountable to hitting those goals!
Tip #3: Bring up your own victories and wins.
When someone doesn't know how to manage their finances, it's not easy to get them to open up. One way to get them interested is by bringing up your own successes. By talking about what you are doing, they are curious and want to hear more about how you're doing it. A few years ago, I told my then-boyfriend that I started a Roth IRA because my earnings would be tax-free, unlike my 401K at work. He wanted to hear more about the differences between a Roth IRA and a 401K and at the end of the discussion, he went to set up a Roth IRA for himself.
I didn't ask him why he doesn't already have one, I didn't act like he was stupid for not knowing the benefits of a Roth IRA. I just simply told him what I was doing and why I was excited. He was hooked on my win that he wanted to take action!