10 Tips For Talking Money With Your Spouse

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couple paying bills together
A new book from two financial gurus seeks to end money conflicts for married couples.

3) Work toward a stronger Money Relationship every day.
You don't get a strong body by working out once a month. The same goes for your Money Relationship. Your Money Personality is the emotional part of every financial decision you make, whether it's investing in the stock market or buying generic vs. name-brand cereal. Making sense of Money Personalities — yours and your partner's — is the key to building a stronger Money Relationship as a couple. It's also a daily exercise in communication.

4) Understand that finances are emotional.
This may seem redundant, but it's so important: Your budget and Money Relationship are not the same thing. Frankly, the budget part consisting of numbers and decimal points is much easier to make sense of! When discussing money, it's important to acknowledge the emotional reasons for financial decisions. A careless spender or pennypinching partner isn't always rational. They do what they do to meet some need, usually with good intentions.

5) Communicate, communicate, communicate.
"We've never seen a couple break up over their 401k performance," the Palmers write. "What kills relationships is miscommunication and misunderstanding." And finances leave a lot of room for misunderstanding, in addition to being fraught with emotional baggage. When spouses have wildly different Money Personalities, it can be easy for them to just assume the other is miserly or irresponsible. It's important to talk openly and regularly about your Money Relationship —what's working, what's not, and how it can be changed.

6) Ask yourself: What's this money argument really about?
When you fight about money, you're not just arguing over dollars and cents. Deeper relationship issues like trust, respect and connection are at the root. One spouse isn't angry that the other has a $10 per day coffee habit. He or she may be more troubled that the other partner doesn't share the responsibility of cutting back on weekly spending. Figure out what fights are really about and work to address the problem. Keep reading ...

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