Tips to avoid embarrassing situations and talking about money and budget to your Spouse.
You and your spouse talk about all kinds of things – your hopes, dreams, challenges... So why is it sometimes so difficult to talk about finances? For some reason, talking about money, budgets and debt can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable, but having those tough conversations is unavoidable. Here are some tips to help make a difference:
Make Time to Talk
Don't initiate a hard conversation when your spouse won't expect it or will perhaps already be annoyed about something else. It is not breakfast conversation or a talk you can have in the car on the way to a night on the town. Set aside time each month to chat about finances. You'll have time to prepare, and money issues are less apt to get overwhelming if you address them regularly.
Adopt a No Blame Rule
Financial discussions can soon devolve into heated arguments. Avoid a major blow-out by adopting a “no blame” rule when discussing finances. Instead of pointing fingers, you can talk through your issues and take responsibility for your own actions. Stay committed to learning from your mistakes and moving forward in a more positive direction together.
Track Your Progress
At each monthly meeting, take note of what you are going to do going forward. At your next meeting, take out the list and assess how you are doing. Are you making progress? If the answer is “no,” how can you change that in the next month? Making a list can also help you manage your monthly money meetings and can be an effective accountability tool.
Make Your Decisions Automatic When Possible
If you and your partner decide to set aside $300 for vacation each month or simply build your savings, get a head start by making the payment automatic. You should be able to set up automatic payments with your bank or savings institution, and you won't be forced to re-make the decision each month.
Set Spending Thresholds
Avoid ugly surprises by defining spending thresholds. The predetermined limit will prevent one of you from making a huge purchase without the input of the other. It may be as little as $40 or as much as $400, depending on your budget, but the important part is that you talk about it together and stick to the rule.
Talking about finances is made easier when you try to gain a better understanding of the things that matter most to your spouse or partner. Taking that approach will reduce stress and enable you to make better financial decisions together.