4 Reasons to talk about money in a relationship

Money may be one of the most taboo topics of conversation. Talking about our finances can feel uncomfortable, as it brings up negative emotions for many. People even avoid discussing money with their significant other, afraid it will cause an argument, or worse.

Despite our discomfort, there are some good reasons why talking about money in our relationships is healthy. Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or newly dating, consider these four reasons to start a money conversation.

1. Spot potential red flags

How someone talks (or doesn’t) about money can be very revealing. If your partner is hesitant or outright refuses to discuss their finances, they may be trying to hide something. Debt, overspending or secret credit cards are all things people commonly keep from their significant other. Hiding money issues from a partner may indicate deeper problems with trust or respect.

money relationship

Money is also a topic that can spark strong emotions—worry, embarrassment, jealousy, anger—and our attitudes toward it are often formed from a young age. Someone reacting negatively to discussing finances might not entirely understand why they’re so emotional. There may be underlying issues to work through individually or as a couple that begin to surface when you talk about your finances.

2. Avoid fights

Money arguments are the leading cause of stress in relationships and a strong predictor of future divorce. No wonder people avoid discussing money in relationships! However, talking about the finances with your partner can actually help couples avoid disagreements.

A survey of Australian adults found that 61% of couples who talk about money together report that they rarely or never fight about their finances. The same is true for only 34% of couples who never discuss money. Couples who openly and honestly discuss their finances give themselves more opportunities to work through money disagreements, process emotions and provide each other with emotional support.

3. Improve your financial fitness

Talking about money can also help couples improve their financial situation. That same Australian survey found that people who talk openly about their finances are more likely to actively manage them. Discussing money issues, goals and strategies may make you more confident, and thus more likely to take a hands on approach with the finances.

This attitude could make a big difference to your future. Knowing your budget inside and out could help you save for big purchases faster, invest more wisely, or put a financial protection plan in place for your family. It could also put you in a better financial position when purchasing a new house, paying for your child’s education or having a comfortable retirement.

4. Make sure you’re on the same page

Compromise is a big part of a healthy relationship, and money matters are no exception. By discussing your individual or shared finances, you can identify potential conflicts and work out how you’ll handle them together.

Start by bonding over your shared money goals. Are you saving for a future event, such as a wedding, house, travel or starting a family? Do you want to payoff existing debts by a certain date? Having shared goals gives you something to work towards, and could make it easier to create a strategy for accomplishing them. It also holds you both more accountable to each other, as you work together to build your dreams.

Talking about money can be tough, but avoiding it could hurt your romantic relationships in the long run. Financial disagreements are normal, and knowing how to work through them together could strengthen your bond and your bank account. 


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