Something to Talk About: Discussing Finances With Your Spouse/Partner

talking-about-financesCreating a budget and taking care of the monthly bills is something that no one likes to do. Unfortunately, in most situations where a couple’s finances have taken a turn for the worse, admittedly only one person in the partnership is responsible for taking care of this monthly chore. Studies show that couples who work together to create a budget and share responsibilities for paying bills, monitoring credit union checking accounts and contributing to savings programs are much more successful than couples who don’t.

Why Budgeting is Important
Even if finances are not an issue for you today, they could be tomorrow. With so much economic uncertainty in the current market, many households are beginning to feel the pinch. Creating a budget helps you see how much money you are spending on non-essential items and can help you adjust your use of utilities and other essentials to decrease spending there as well. Budgeting also allows for the creation of an emergency fund and savings accounts for future household purchases, negating the need to rely on high interest credit cards or get caught off-guard with no way to pay for emergency expenses.

Start a Conversation
Whether you are the one who currently pays the bills or if you are the one who blindly lets your partner take on this task, starting a conversation about your household finances is the first step toward working together for a better tomorrow. It can be very difficult to start a conversation about money. If you are the one who pays the bills and keeps track of your credit union checking accounts, it can seem to your partner as though you are complaining about not getting any support. If you are the one who lets your partner take care of the bills, it might seem as though you are suspicious or doubtful of their ability to continue taking care of the finances.

Tips for Talking About Finances
In order to help you broach this topic with your spouse or partner, we have included some tips that will help you to start talking about finances in a positive and healthy way. You can also speak with your New Bedford credit union about additional savings and investment opportunities that might help you to achieve your goals. The point is to do it together.

Start Slowly – Don’t even attempt to talk about finances if you or your partner are currently upset about a spending problem or expense issue. Anger is never the emotion that you want to lead with in this type of discussion. Take the time to gather information from your credit union checking accounts and organize your monthly bills so you can have a smart conversation about your finances. Once you have (both) cooled down, start slowly by asking why your partner made the choice that they did and then hear them out. The reasons behind the issue might make more sense than it did at first glance.

Focus on Facts – Don’t make accusations or start off a conversation from an emotional point of view. Share the credit union checking account information, monthly bills and then talk about your joint spending habits. This is a great time to suggest that your finances as a couple get monitored more closely to see if there is any way to decrease spending. Talk about savings and investment opportunities and goals, discuss options available at your New Bedford credit union and stay focused on talking about finances in a non-emotional way.

Saving is Important – Remember as you are talking about finances with your spouse or partner that it is not just about monitoring spending and cutting expenses when discussing your household budget. Saving money for future expenses, emergencies and big ticket purchases is also an essential part of creating a healthy financial atmosphere. Discussing how much money is coming into the household is also a great time to talk about the work that you do and weigh whether or not it is worth it to work longer days, but have less time at home – or if it is worth the extra work to be able to save for a future move, big trip or another planned event.

Keep Talking About Finances Every Month
Talking about finances with your spouse or partner is not a one-time event. It is something that the two of you need to work on together. Talking about finances sets the stage for honest discussions and a true partnership with your significant other that will even help to improve your relationship with one another. Speak with your New Bedford credit union representative at St Anne Credit Union to talk about additional savings and investment opportunities that could help boost your savings and help you realize your financial goals.