It’s the season of love and we know most of us are already gearing towards the 14th.
So in line with this, we will be discussing how to talk about money with your partner, and how to achieve your financial goals as a couple.
For those who aren’t married yet, please marry someone who is on the same page as you financially even if you’re not exactly the same level. So if you’re a saver, marry someone who may be a bit less of a saver or a bit more but don’t marry someone who is a complete spender. Money is behavioural, and one of the biggest contributors to your level of success includes who you marry.
For those in relationships or marriages already, you are with the right person don’t worry. What you need is how can you get your partner to buy in and also how do you discuss money without it turning into arguments.
Here’s How You Can Go About It
- Make your goal clear and share it with them, include them in it. If you have a goal of 1,000,000 by December 2020 carry your partner along (but please don’t give them the money to keep), just make your goals explicit. Sometimes they will support it and join you, with some encouragement, sometimes they will dismiss it and oppose it. Or sometimes they buy in but then you guys find yourself arguing about money because they want to do x while you believe you guys should do y in order to further your financial goal.
If your partner is pushing hard for something you think isn’t a good idea financially just tell them, it’s okay, you understand and suggest you both revisit the conversation later when you can work through it calmly.
If you’re going to change your partner’s mind about something, leaving the conversation then coming back to it is instantly more helpful than trying to convince them immediately.
- Find simple ways to understand how finances were treated in their family or growing up, don’t ask this when there are financial issues already. Just on normal conversations find out who paid bills, how did they handle investments, what did they learn about different financial issues. This will help you know how to approach issues from a favorable stand point to them.
For instance, when you insist on certain things, your partner may think you’re trying to be controlling because maybe in his or her experience growing up, money was used as a tool for control. You have to address that separately and make them understand why you’re pushing for something. If they don’t get it immediately, tell them you understand and like we said, come back to it later
- Understand your financial compatibility upfront. As you want to make future plans, include money plans. Now if you’re already married and you guys want to do investment and financial growth as a couple, establish from the start which of you is in charge of this aspect of your life. Ideally, the person better at money AND being organized should be the one doing this. That reduces conflict because after all opinions are shared, that person takes the final decision on what is done.
If you constantly don’t make progress on your goals as a couple due to not being on the same page it may be better doing it individually, because financial discipline requires lots of sacrifice, it’s easy for someone to feel like you’re always trying to control what they do. If that’s the case, do it individually and compare notes. That can end up pushing the other person when they see what you’re able to do over time.
- Also, no matter what, always start and end with appreciating your partner for every little thing they do financially. Even if it’s as little as using N10,000 to cook a meal. To you it could be a lot but it could have been N15,000. So always appreciate it!
It helps create more bond and they will look for more ways to be even more supportive because you are always appreciative.
- Finally, try not to talk about money when you both are stressed or emotions are running high. Wait till you both are relaxed and can discuss clearly without tempers or emotions getting in the way.