How to have conversations with your partner about money
Talking to anyone about money can be tricky territory – none of us likes to admit to our lack of savings or reveal how much money we earn for fear of being judged.
Here at SmartPurse, we encourage you to take the leap and get it out in the open! Talk about your money successes and share your worries. But how do we go about having those vital conversations about money?
💸 Break it down. Don’t attempt to have it all out in one discussion. If it is difficult to open up about your finances, give each other five minutes or so to start things off. Don’t go too deep too quickly – talk first about your money successes over the years. Once you get used to talking about that, slowly move to the issues that concern you – about your finances and theirs. Remember to take it slow and agree to have “time outs” if the conversation becomes too much.
💸 If you are struggling or want some advice, agree with your partner to seek help from a finance professional.
💸 If you have healthy finances yourself and you know, or find out, that your partner’s situation is not as good, it’s really important that you don’t judge based on your own position and experience. Your partner might not have had the same upbringing as you or the same opportunities for learning good financial skills. Support for them is essential, but also…
💸 Don’t try to fix everything yourself. If you want to build a solid and stable future together, it’s up to you and your partner to make it happen. You can’t go it alone and expect everything to turn out well for both of you. So…
💸 If your partner is open to it, arrange “money dates”, where you learn how best to spend and save as partners. For an effective way to learn this new skill in easy-to-digest chunks, try SmartPurse’s Money School. You can access the lessons and resources any time, on your own or as a couple and start shaping your financial future together.
The Bank of Mum and Dad – what happens if it hits hard times?
Whether in a relationship or not, you may have had some help from your parents to give you a leg up in life, loans for education or a car, or putting a deposit down on your first home. But the Bank of Mum and Dad is not always as secure as we like to think. What happens if your relationship with your parents suffers or ends?
This all depends on what kind of arrangement you made in the first place. Did you draw up a contract about the life of the loan? Did you formalise an agreement to pay it back in a certain amount of time? It’s important to raise these questions before the money lands in your bank account. The situation can become even more complex (and potentially tricky) if you and your partner have had financial help from your parents but then separate.
It may seem a little over the top to talk about contracts with your parents, but none of us has a crystal ball – we don’t know what is going to happen in the next few months or years so, even with loved ones, make arrangements to draw up what will happen if circumstances change.