The “Money Talk” is the Most Important Conversation to Have With a Prospective Partner
If you and your partner are always jawing at each other over money, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.
Former family therapist Kathy Caprino writes over at Forbes that many couples form a spender-saver dynamic because people tend to marry their opposites. Thus, a lot of relationships feature two individuals with widely contrasting financial values and tendencies. As money is a major marriage maker/breaker, it’s imperative that both sides are on the same page from day one. You don’t want to wake up after your honeymoon to find that you’re married to someone who feels differently about saving on the electricity bill or paying for the kids’ college.
Caprino asked financial expert and best-selling author David Bach about what advice he’d give to couples who feud over money. Unsurprisingly, communication is the key. Couples need to sit down — ideally before tying the knot — and share their values with each other. They need to assess what their shared goals are and iron out differences in opinion. Overall, there needs to be an honest, united front supporting a family’s future financial plan.
Bach also notes that couples need to share the burden of money management. One partner can’t be the de facto household accountant whose head rolls if something goes wrong. Plus, you should never let someone else — even your spouse — take over complete control of your finances. It’s important that all four eyes in a relationship scan every bill and authorize every payment. Couples who already don’t work well together run the risk of making things worse by just punting finances back and forth. Again, it’s beyond important that honest lines of communication always remain open.
If you’re thinking about making a special someone the special someone in your life, be sure to sit them down and have the money talk. Don’t become discouraged if it’s revealed that your prospective partner isn’t as much a saver as you. But if irreconcilable differences of opinion pop up or the aforementioned united front seems beyond reach, it’s probably a good idea to seek counseling or, sadly, go your separate ways.
Read more at Forbes
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