3 Things to Consider When Talking to Your Spouse About Money
February 14, 2022
February is the month of love. The stores are filled with red and pink balloons, stuff animals and various treats and gifts for the special day. But if you are on a debt free journey you are probably torn with the thought of, should we celebrate the holiday or stay the course and put the money towards paying off debt? Or maybe you want to buy a gift but you do not have the money and do not want to add another purchase to the already high credit card debt you have.
If you make the decision to forgo celebrating Valentine’s Day with a purchase. You may feel frustrated when your significant other shows up with something and that you are both not on the same page. I had these same feelings as I went through my debt free journey. And while a box of chocolate, jewelry, a getaway, flowers is nice, peace of mind would be a better gift.
It is important that you and your partner are working towards the same goals and are in communication every step of the way. I know this can be challenging but here are somethings to remember when talking to your spouse about money.
It is not what you say, but how you say it:
I know this sounds cliché but it is so true. You cannot approach your spouse with fingers pointed or making the other person feel that they are the ones to blame for the financial situation you find yourselves in. Because the reality is that you both contributed to the situation. One person sat by and let the other do whatever they wanted instead of dealing with problem head on or both of you were operating without taking into consideration the impact.
You have to approach your partner with the view you want them to see. Explain, that I want our family to be financial stable. I want to be able to bring the kids to the theme park without worrying if I have the money to do so. I am stressed out, I am not sleeping well, how can we turn this around together for our family?
You have to work together:
When it comes to money you have to understand that you are both coming from different backgrounds in the way you view and experience money. For example, one individual in the relationship may have had food insecurity or did not have a steady place to live due to their family financial situation and as a result they hold on to money tightly because the fear to be in that situation again or they overspend because they feel they have the money and can get what they want when they want. For the other individual in the relationship money might not have been an issue for their family and therefore having a problem processing how to be without it.
You have to have conversations with your spouse to get an understanding of why they respond to money the way they do. When you get that understanding then you can move forward and it allows you to start having meaningful conversations. Both people in the relationship have to participate or else nothing will get fixed.
It is not about you:
Remember you both have the same goals which is to obtain financial peace and build a legacy for your family. The problem might be that you are on two different paths trying to get there. All you have to do is find a way to get on the same path and work together to reach those goals. Provide a safe space for your spouse to be vulnerable with you without judgement.
And set the expectation ahead to not take it personal, no matter how hard it is to hear what they are saying. Ask questions why do you feel that way, talk through your perception and so on. Because as I said before, you are two different people with your own thoughts and communication styles. This is the person that you love and they love you. Are they really trying to intentionally hurt you? Be honest in your feelings with each other as you go through this debt free journey. It is not easy, but it is worth it.
Being debt free is a joy I want everyone to feel. My husband and I did not get their overnight and we had our challenges, but we worked through them. And remember, the challenges do not stop because you are debt free, they just change.
How do you talk to your spouse about money? Drop a comment.