How to Talk about Money

Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Posted by Pearl

Money is one of those issues that's difficult to talk about, especially among couples who do not communicate well from the very beginning. Particularly couples who were raised with definite roles in mind.

Men are expected to be always stable, very reliable, the protector of the family. With such high expectations, this may be a source of conflict if financial difficulties arise.

What's important is not how couples disagree over money, but how they work things out. When a couple nurtures good communication habits on a day to day basis, they'll find it easier to stay together and face difficulties when they arrive. Where money talk is concerned, most couples need work.

Open communication channels --- constantly. Communication certainly begins way, way before. A husband and wife should be able to talk to each other about personal difficulties from the beginning. But it's not too late to develop this habit. The best thing a couple can do is talk to each other every day about tings that affected them that day. That way, when adversity arrives, it's simply natural for husband and wife to deal with this as a team effort.

Each spouse should have his and her own money space. Each should have a monthly allowance from a joint account that is unquestionable by the other. The amount doesn't have to be equal, but the golden rule is one can't tell the other what to do with other's money, and vice versa.

Store financial records in one safe place. This gives both partners equal access to financial information when they need it. Better yet, this discourages either partner from feeling that the other is "hiding" something important.

Get to the root of what you are fighting about. Most of the time, it won't be about money. Psychologically, cases like this are often a manifestation of a deeper need. Insecurity, helplessness, anger --- money is often just a front for other irritants.

Stick to the plan. Don't make plans and change your mind midway. don't break any agreements made beforehand; live with the decision.


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