Approach this touchy subject without causing a fight.
Money is always a sensitive topic and always difficult to approach, whether you’re asking your boss for a raise, negotiating a deal, splitting the bill, etc.. What’s interesting, though, is that even in your closest relationship—the one with your partner or spouse—money issues make for an uncomfortable discussion.
These conversations about money are not only inevitable in a relationship, but they're also really important. It's important that married couples (or those who live together) are upfront about their financial goals and expectations, and they should work out how they're going to manage their finances—setting a budget, deciding who pays for what, etc.. Doing this from the outset is key to minimizing conflict over money issues at a later stage. Nothing kills romance more than arguments over a credit card bill or a telephone account.
However, as most of us don’t anticipate that something like money would get in the way of our ‘happily ever after’, here are five tips on how to talk to your partner whenever money issues arise:
1. Wait For The Right Moment
When he’s watching the football or has just come home from a stressful day at work, it's definitely not the time to approach this. How about making him his favorite dinner or letting him relax before raising the topic?
2. Be Prepared
If there’s a specific financial area that’s concerning you, come prepared so that you can show him what you’re referring to, such as the high credit-card bill, a statement from a bad investment, etc..
3. Don’t Accuse
No two people are the same, and this extends to financial values as well. Perhaps you're a conservative spender, but your partner likes to spend more freely. He's coming from a different place than you are on this issue, so accusations and finger-pointing will simply push him away and make him feel defensive.
Try explaining the issue from your point of view in a non-accusatory way and offer a solution to the issue. For example, if he's passionate about cars and owns an expensive car which is putting financial strain on you as a couple, explain to him the daily stress that this places on you. Calmly suggest that perhaps he needs to downgrade to a slightly less expensive model unless he has a plan to earn supplementary income to support this lifestyle.
4. Don’t Get Defensive
Do you have a financial mistake that you’d like to share with your guy? Whether you’ve recently checked your bank statement and noticed that you’ve been overspending on your budget or have been on a wild spending spree and are now concerned about the consequences (it happens to the best of us), own up to it. Take responsibility and let him know you want to look for a solution together.
5. Remember: You’re In This Together
Whether your money issue is a mild hiccup or has long-term consequences, remember that you are in this together and need to support each other through a tough financial time. If any issues arise, discussing the problem/concern as equals and looking for a real solution is the best way to deal with it.
This article was originally published at Glamor.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.