As part of our Two-Cents Tuesday series.
Today’s question comes from Marieanna. She asks :
“As the primary bill-payer in my marriage I’ve struggled over the years to get my husband to sit down with me to look at the money we have coming in and the money going out each month. I’m a natural born money saver and he is a natural born go-with-the-flow-enjoy-life kind of guy. Honestly, if I were to ask my husband how much he thinks our monthly expenses are he would have NO idea. How do I get him to sit down and talk money so we can save for future trips, college, etc. without him feeling lost or overwhelmed?”
Marieanna! This is such a great question as most households tend to have one partner or the other who manage the day to day finances.
First, how do you get a partner who is uninterested to talk money, to care?
Second, once you get them to sit down and care, how do you talk money for the first time without the other person feeling lost or overwhelmed?
So let’s tackle this one at a time!
First, how do you get them to care?
I loved Marieanna how you recognize you are a natural born saver. That means you’re probably really conscious of where your money is going, how you’re spending and have more of a “penny-pincher” mindset. While this is good for holding on to your money, savers can have a hard time spending that money – even if they can afford it for things they need or want!
If you’re curious to know your money mindset, take the money mindset quiz to learn your personality when it comes to money and what that means at home, in business, and interacting with others who may not have the same mindset!
I see it quite often that one partner tends to manage the home finances over the other.
For my husband and I, I am the day-to-day money manager. So years ago, we established what we call a “money date” in our marriage. Once a month, quarterly or at a minimum once a year I recommend sitting down with your partner and talking through :
Your money goals
Your current spending habits
1-3 money goals you’d like to implement that money, quarter or year!
This is a strategic process especially for those who’s partners may not be that interested! Here are three tips for talking money with your spouse :
Talking about money can come with a lot of emotions and sometimes baggage. There can be feelings of guilt, shame, and fear. This can cause a lot of different reactions including anger, frustration, tears, or complete avoidance. So I find starting with dreaming together is a really helpful place to start dipping your toe into the conversation.Where would you like to see your money go?
Do you have a dream vacation or a home renovation project?
A couple helpful hints here though :
– For some people “dreaming” comes much easier than for others. Give this time. It can take practice to dream especially if you’re used to just scraping by each month!
– Never ever ever laugh or judge the other person’s dreams! This is the fastest way to shut down the money conversation. Listen, ask questions, be curious!
“Wow, I didn’t realize travel was such a dream for you! Where would you love to go?”
– One last hint here, block time for this. A “let’s go get coffee and talk for an hour” is much easier than an indefinite amount of time talking about something your partner may not really want to talk about! Break it into chunks!
Once you’ve dreamed, broken the ice, THEN approach your current spending habits. If you’re someone who knows your bills each month go in with this ready to present.
And then ask “is there any spending you’d like to see change in order to put more money towards our big dreams?”
Let the other person weigh in, give them space to talk it out, this will build confidence and let them know you value their input!
Working together as a team is the fastest way to find excitement and enjoyment in your finances. Make a pack to decrease eating out to three times a week (instead of every night!) for instance and instead put that extra $100/week towards the outdoor grill you’ve been wanting.
Make small goals together that you can achieve in a month.
As you continue to build confidence together you’ll see that snowball effect. What habits can you change to achieve the things you really want to see change?!
Get my complete personal money management system : Blueprint at Home.
I’d love to hear how these three steps help you have deeper conversations about money with your spouse and start working towards some big goals together!
*Photo cred : Kim Kedinger Photography