Prof. Stacy, The Money Teacher

Love And Money: Having The Money Talk | Prof. Stacy, The Money Teacher

Love and Money: Having The Money Talk

How do you know when is the right time to have the “money talk” in a relationship?

It depends … when do you tell your new partner about your 200-pair shoe collection, your overnight stay in the “drunk tank,” or about your crazy Uncle Sal?

When and how to initiate “The Money Talk”

No, really, talking about money is just another opportunity for deepening trust in a relationship. Because there is not usually an outward indication of someone’s financial condition, the revelations in the “money talk” can be surprising. Even so, a healthy relationship has to be built on trust and honesty in all areas, including money.

So, when do you have the “money talk”? When you are ready to deepen the honesty and trust in a relationship. And you may as well tell them about crazy Uncle Sal at the same time.

So maybe the next question is how to have “the talk.” I would suggest you prepare carefully and get all of your information together: what do you own? What do you owe, and to whom? Give some thought to where you have been, where you are, AND where you want to be financially in the future.

Remember, life is a filmstrip, not a still-photo. While reflecting on our youthful (or not so youthful) financial mistakes is necessary if you are in a future-focused relationship, it is also important to know where your partner wants to go financially. Then, this conversation can just become a part of the foundation for developing a plan for your future financial direction as a couple.

Dos for The Money Talk

Couple havivng the money talk | Prof. Stacy, The Money Teacher

Once you are ready to initiate “the talk”:

DO choose a place where you are both comfortable and a time when you can have an unhurried, uninterrupted, private talk – schedule a “money talk date.”

DO tell your partner what you want to talk about before the “date.” Share that you want to have an open and honest conversation about your (and their) financial circumstances. Surprising someone with a “money talk” is rarely fruitful. (And DO be ready for some financial surprises they may have for YOU!)

DO make sure you have all of your details so you can be honest and thorough. Don’t tell partial truths – you only get one chance to come completely clean without seeming dishonest later.

DO be ready to hear about your partner’s mistakes, which may be financial or something else.

DO remain calm. There is no reason to be defensive; everyone makes mistakes.

DO be prepared that your new partner may react negatively – even very negatively. But realize that how your new partner processes this information can be a clue as to how they might handle other less-than-desirable information in the future.

DO work towards building a unified vision of your financial future as a couple and developing a plan to achieve those financial goals. (Common approaches to pay off debt include the debt snowball and the debt avalanche.)

DO be ready to do hard things. Depending on how big a financial hole you have dug, you may have some HARD work (and long hours at a second – or third – job) ahead of you to get free of the debt. Your partner may want to see you make some progress independently before they are willing to join your team – especially if your financial “mistakes” occurred more recently.

Don’ts For The Money Talk

DON’T be defensive. Everyone has made mistakes. The “right” partner should be more interested in how you plan to move forward than from where you are starting.

DON’T feel like you are the only one who has made financial mistakes – even big ones – many people have. Try to focus not just on where you are financially but also on where you plan to go and how you plan to get there. Finding someone who is willing to work with you as a partner in building your financial future necessitates being willing to share your starting point with that person. Own your mess and the plan to clean it up.

(If possible) DON’T leave the conversation without scheduling your next “money talk date”, maybe with each of you doing some thinking and planning in response to the first conversation and in anticipation of moving forward with a financial plan.

What if the shoe’s on the other foot?

Maybe you have your financial “stuff” together. Maybe your new partner asks to schedule a “money talk date” with you. Show grace. Be patient. Listen. Realize that anyone can overcome past mistakes and chart a new future. Where someone is going is much more important than where they came from. Maybe you have just the skills and habits that your new partner needs!

And maybe BOTH of you have your financial “stuff” together … it is perhaps even more necessary to build shared financial goals. While you may be blessed not to need to share the battle of getting out of debt as a couple, you still want your relationship to have the same unity of purpose that other couples will forge in the crucible of that get-out-of-debt fight and attaining shared financial goals can similarly help a couple achieve that unity of purpose in their financial lives.

Have you been waiting to have “the money talk” with your partner about money? Is this the month when you are going to slay that beast? Let me know in the comments. And if you want some help with that, schedule a complimentary consultation with me to see how I can help you be transparent with your partner about money and, more importantly, to make a plan to work together to achieve your financial goals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin