Surprising Ways Spouses and Partners See Money Differently

Julia Carlson |

February is the month for celebrating Valentine’s Day, love, and relationships.  What could possibly disrupt our feelings of love? Money is often a trigger of conflict in relationships. Some of us did not grow up learning about money. Often, this leads to widely differing opinions about saving, spending, and planning. Therefore, learning how to communicate about money is critical to a healthy relationship.

Everyone views money differently and it is largely because we each process problems and opportunities from different vantage points – this is a good thing! One partner may feel like they can take more risks with their investments and may not like to save for emergencies. The other partner may see money as more of a security issue and tend to be conservative in their investments. Relationship problems occur when one person ignores the input of the other or one person doesn’t want to participate in financial dealings altogether.

Marriage is a partnership. Both parties need to be involved in the finances to prepare a plan that has the potential to be stronger and more effective than one that either person could achieve individually. Conversations about money must start way before problems occur. When your checking account is overdrawn, or when you have a financial emergency, that is not the best time to start these conversations.

Instead, it may help to be proactive by scheduling a financial date with your partner. You can start by reviewing both of your money stories. A money story is the past experiences you’ve had with money and how these experiences have shaped you, whether good or bad. Our current behaviors, fears and goals stem from this money mindset.

Don’t go it alone if you need help. In our industry, we find ourselves not only giving financial and investment advice, but also helping to facilitate essential conversations between partners. A qualified financial advisor or coach can help if there is an impasse in moving forward. A third-party can help ask the right questions and create momentum on the journey towards your financial goals.

Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision. 

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