With the ongoing war in Ukraine, households across Europe could see further increases to their cost of living during 2022. As a result, you may now be keeping a much closer eye on your household’s outgoings and being more diligent when it comes to reducing your energy use around the home.
Hopefully, this will not have resulted in you having heated discussions about finances with the one you love. That said, if you have, you’re not alone.
According to Royal London, in the UK, money is the number one issue that couples argue about, with 62% locking horns about finances. The pension provider also found that a third of couples admitted that they didn’t feel their partner was compatible with them when it came to spending and saving.
So how can you talk about money with the one you love without it turning into an argument? Discover 10 positive ways to help keep conversations harmonious and positive.
1. Make time to have a proper discussion
Take the time to have a proper conversation, as it will ensure everything you want to say is said. This means important topics are not left out, which could help avoid feelings of frustration.
While it may sound a bit formal, making a list or agenda of all the items to be discussed ensures that nothing is forgotten. This could include spending, short-term and long-term goals, debts and lifestyle aims.
2. Understand each other’s financial expectations
Taking the time to establish one another’s financial expectations could prevent resentment building up. If you’re on the same page in terms of lifestyle aspirations, then this is unlikely to be an issue.
If you’re not, explaining what you need from the other in terms of financial support could prevent future arguments, and help ensure a harmonious relationship going forward.
3. Avoid having conversations only when there’s a problem
If you only ever talk about finances when there is an issue, it’s more likely to create arguments. This is because you’ll only be discussing finances when emotions are running high, potentially resulting in rash decisions and comments you later regret.
Talking regularly about finances, whether it’s during the good times or the not so good, means you’re more likely to have constructive discussions. Furthermore, regular meetings could help you see issues in their early stages, allowing you to deal with them before they become a crisis.
4. Use “what if…?”
Framing questions as a “what if…?” means you can ask probing questions without seeming as if you are. An example of this could be: “what if you could choose between a job that meant working longer hours every week for €100,000 a year, or earning €35,000 a year for a shorter working week? Which would you choose and why?”
This question could provide an insight into the other’s view on money, financial security and lifestyle aspirations.
5. Keep talking if your aspirations change
If your circumstances change or you feel you want different things from your finances, don’t suddenly stop talking to your partner or spouse.
Maintain regular conversations so that you can address any differences early on, ensuring it doesn’t become a major problem in the relationship.
6. Share a money goal
A subtle way to bring finances into your conversation is to discuss a money goal you’re working towards. If it’s something you can both benefit from, such as a holiday you’ve promised yourselves, it could be easier to introduce the subject of money into conversations.
Having a goal you’re both invested in is more likely to result in agreement on how to go ahead with your finances, which could help ensure a harmonious relationship. It could also allow you to have a candid conversation without acrimony.
7. Make major decisions together
Taking a decision by yourself, only to find out that your partner doesn’t agree with it, could result in arguments and stress in the relationship.
By making all major decisions jointly, you’re both taking responsibility for the outcome, which significantly reduces the possibility of angry conversations later on.
8. Be open about any debts you have
This could be particularly important if your relationship is at the stage where you’re considering opening a joint bank account or taking out a loan together.
The moment you take a loan or open a current account with an overdraft facility, your partner’s credit rating will affect yours, and vice versa.
This means that if one of you is not being totally honest about debt, it could affect the other’s ability to get a loan in the future, which may put your relationship under pressure.
9. Create a financial strategy
Creating a strategy is the foundation of good financial planning, as it allows you to assess your current situation and identify future aspirations. As a couple, this could help you identify common goals or any financial challenges, for which you can create a plan.
This could help you both feel more confident about your money and allow you to achieve your individual and joint goals.
10. Take turns to speak
When it comes to talking about finances, it’s as important to listen as it is to speak. With this in mind, make sure you give your partner, spouse or civil partner the opportunity to explain their thoughts, concerns and aspirations fully.
This helps avoid misunderstandings and resentment, making for a trouble-free relationship.
Get in touch
Involving a financial planner in conversations about money could help you and the one you love to make better decisions. This is because a planner can help you understand your financial situation as a couple, and how best to achieve your goals and aspirations.
If you and your partner would like to discuss your financial situation, investing or pension planning, please email us at [email protected], we’d be happy to help.
This article is for information only. Please do not take action that is based on anything you read in this article until you have sought professional advice.