How To Talk About Money Without Getting Upset

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Couple looking at bills
YourTango Experts’ 7 tips for reducing stress and fighting when talking money in a relationship.

Money is one of those super-charged topics that can turn a conversation from lukewarm to boiling in an instant. Money conversations can bring even the level-headed to an emotional breaking point when their anxiety rises to the surface.

Is it our mistaken beliefs about money (that we'd miraculously be happier, better looking, attractive, secure etc. if we had more of it) that has created the place for such a hot button response? It's a good question to ask because our lack of understanding about why we react the way we do is one of the reasons we're plagued with such childlike fears around money. To gain control of your money fears, first you have to understand them.


The first step is to understand your money personalities. If you can understand why you view money the way you do and understand the lenses through which your spouse or partner views money, you will unlock the secret to saving your relationship. The money personalities are as follows: Saver, Spender, Security Seeker, Risk Taker, or Flyer (this is someone who flies by the seat of his/her pants, financially). Opposites Attract When It Comes To Spending Money

You will find that you have a primary money personality plus a secondary money personality. Seventy five percent of us marry our opposite money personality. It is no surprise that we have conflicts about money in our relationships knowing we view money in a totally different way.

Even though we might feel deeply connected to our partner in many ways, we've each had a different journey when it comes to money. All the things that we heard and saw about money growing up had an impact on us and many have become ingrained in a set of beliefs we operate out of now.

This can make what seems like a simple and direct interaction between people who care for each other into a challenging and stressful and sometimes adversarial exchange. The result is anger, frustration and more separation instead of closeness. In order to give us the best chance for a successful outcome, let's take a look at some best practices for these kinds of conversations.

Here are several easy tips to follow:

Tip # 1: Be honest with your partner about how you feel about money. Some people hate money and everything it stands for; while others love to spend; while still others love to save. Talk frankly about the category you fall into.

Tip # 2: Listen to your partner and don't judge. Be curious and find out what is important to your partner and be prepared to compromise. Mind your manners and don't interrupt; try to maintain eye contact and an open body posture.

Tip #3: Remember timing is important. Never greet someone with a question or demand about money as he/she is walking in the door. Set up a time that's convenient for both partners when you need to talk about any big money issues.

Tip #4: Be mindful of yourself and where this topic has a "charge" for you… Breathe.

Tip #5: Decide what your desired objective or outcome is. Ask yourself if you want to be "right" or "effective"?

Article contributed by

Scott And Bethany Palmer The Money Couple

YourTango Expert Partner

The Money Couple, Scott & Bethany Palmer are parents, finance experts, authors, and regulars on national TV and radio. With 40 years of combined financial planning experience they launched The Money Couple to help couples and families improve their relationships with love and money. Scott and Bethany enjoy an active lifestyle living in Colorado with their two sons, Cole and Cade. Pre-order their NEW BOOK, The 5 Money Conversations To Have With Your Kids At Every Age and Every Stage

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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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