By Deborah Fowles
Volunteer your own feelings about a financial issue and it may encourage your partner to do the same. If your relationship is the first priority, you’ll both have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money. Discuss how your parents dealt with money, what it meant to you when you were growing up, and how you dealt with it in past relationships.
Know Where You Stand
Be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you’ve always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be “taken care of” financially. If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if his or her spending habits are not good. You have to be honest with yourself about these feelings in order to be honest with your partner.
Bring in a Third Party
If you can’t seem to talk about finances, seek out a counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. This could be a financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor.
Do’s and Don’ts for Couples
Chatzky also offers these do’s and don’ts for merging your finances:
- Track Your SpendingKnowing where your money is going is the first key to financial security, and keeping a budget, which includes tracking your spending, is the only way to really know where your money is going. For more information on budgets that work, see Budgeting 101.
- Agree to DisagreeCome up with spending and savings goals and guidelines, then let your partner manage his or her own spending money. For more information on setting spending and savings goals, see The Secret to Saving Money, and Financial Goals.CLICK HERE to read more.