Are you on the same page as your husband when it comes to money? Or do you just avoid having that conversation until it explodes in financial disaster or relationship meltdown?
My man and I are polar opposites. He’s the saver, I’m the spender. He prefers to plan, I splash out on impulse.
Finding a middle ground is challenging (to say the least) and makes money a really hot topic for us.
The thing is, money’s about SO much more than its paper value. It’s a loaded subject. It’s about control, power, status, personal worth and dependence vs. independence.
So what’s the way forward?
Timing is everything
Pick your time wisely. Don’t spring a big money talk on him when he’s watching the match. Avoid late evening when you’re likely to be tired and edgy. Agree a time that suits you both, then schedule two dates – one for the money talk and one to do something fun together.
Agree some money goals
Not only the big ones like kids’ education or retirement planning, but also the smaller ones – having family fun, eating out, new clothes, holidays. Find a way to balance them so you get the best of both worlds – having fun now and planning for the future.
Have an agenda
Be clear about what you want to achieve. Do you need to cut back? Or plan a big spend? See how it all fits in with your big picture money goals.
Set money rules you can both live with
You have to work out what suits you both. You might agree to consult on the big purchases (agree an amount). Or maybe you’ll decide to put 10% of your income into an emergency fund and 10% into a fun fund.
Agree that if it’s getting heated you’ll take time out and come back to it when you’ve cooled down a bit. Be gentle with each other. (This can be really tough but do your best – you’re on the same team remember?)
See each other’s spending style strengths
Knowing your spending style helps prevent conflict and shows there are advantages to different money approaches. My guy’s savings habit made our family trip to the Bahamas possible. But it was my tendency to splash out that gave us the limo trip to the airport that the kids still talk about today.
How about setting yourself a goal to Be A Financial Team in 2014? Take a look at our Goal Setting for Mothers blog series. We’ll help you set goals that’ll make a real difference to your happiness.
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How do you and your man discuss money? Are you a financial team? Leave us a comment below and let us know how it’s going.