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Talking About Money in a Relationship

Money can be a sensitive topic in a relationship, and often goes unspoken.
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Money issues in marriages are not uncommon, and, in fact, among divorcees, 21% say that money was the reason for their split. One of the best ways to keep from being a statistic is to actively participate in healthy conversations about your finances with your partner. Regardless of your relationship status, here are some strategies to have the money talk.

Make time for what matters most

Timing is everything when it comes to having a successful financial conversation with your partner. If you're in a new relationship, try to talk about money sooner rather than later. It's essential to determine if you and your partner's financial goals are aligned. If you wait too long to discuss finances, your partner may feel blindsided when you bring up the topic of spending and saving.

Once you're in a more committed relationship, it's wise to regularly talk about your financial goals, especially if you are living together or married. Plan a recurring time once a month that is convenient for both of you. Setting this time aside for your financial discussion can prevent potential money disagreements and make sure that you both remain on the same page.

Set your relationship up for success

Once you find time to talk, the next step is figuring out what you hope to accomplish during these sit-downs. It's best to come prepared with a plan so you're both able to stay on track and make some big decisions. Here are some relationship money topics to consider:

Short and long-term financial goals

Savings and spending strategies, budgeting for vacations and holidays, and retirement planning are essential topics to examine in your relationship.

Whether you're going through a life stage or milestone, now is a great time to create a budget for everyday expenses. Or, maybe you want to budget for buying a house, car, or some other big purchase, and establishing what to save and spend in specific categories can help you ease financial stress and connect over common goals.

Paying the bills

Is there a clear breadwinner in your household? Clarifying who pays the bills can make all the difference. Maybe there are some monthly expenses you could take off your partner's plate and vice versa. Whatever you decide, keeping each other in the know can avoid unwanted surprises and relationship tension.

Family support

If you have children with your partner, you should discuss children’s allowances, upcoming expenses, or college savings. Plus, it’s a good idea to clarify if your children will have access to their own youth account, debit card, or credit card.

In addition, you may need to touch base on how to handle future family issues, like caretaking for an elder, financially supporting family members in distress, or handling an estate.  Regardless of your financial status, here are some strategies to have the money talk in a relationship.

Financial counseling for couples

If you're having financial issues in your marriage or are having arguments about money with your partner, it might be a good idea to bring in a professional. Money issues don't have to tear your relationship apart, but if it's starting to steer in that direction, it's best to act fast. There are several types of programs and organizations available to assist you during such a time.

  • A financial planner or financial advisor can help couples develop a mutually agreed-upon plan to help reduce stress. Andrews Federal partners with GreenPath Financial Wellness to provide free counseling on a wide range of money matters.
  • Marriage counselors can help you understand each other's financial needs better and provide tools for supporting each other.
  • An Andrews Federal Investment Service Financial Professional can help you with financial and retirement planning, including Thrift Savings Plan rollovers. Appointments are complimentary, and there is no obligation. Contact Michael Calandruccio today at 301.702.5457.

Maintaining an open dialogue with your partner about managing your finances can help you connect on a deeper level and grow together as a couple.

For help along your financial journey, feel free to visit one of our convenient locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey or, overseas. You can also follow us on social media @andrewsfederal.

We specialize in serving our members' financial needs, whether you serve in the military or contribute to your community in some other way.