Communication is important in all aspects of a relationship, and money is not an exception. Knowing where each of you stand with your finances will help strengthen your relationship. Here are 6 topics about money that you and your spouse should discuss together to make sure you are both on the same page about your finances and values about money.
1. What was money like growing up?
Talk about what money was like in your house when you were young. How much money did your family have? Were there negative or positive emotions associated with money and why?
Knowing how your spouse grew up with money can help you understand their current views about money.
2. What is your greatest financial fear?
Discuss what worries you have about money. What is the worst case scenario in your perspective? Are there past experiences that developed this fear?
Having an insight on your spouse’s fears about money will connect the two of you and accept the way each of you feels about certain aspects of your budget.
3. What would we do if we had no payments?
If you had no debt to pay off (car, mortgage, student loan payments) and all the money you were earning was yours to keep, what would you like to do with your money?
Dreaming and visualizing what it would be like to have monetary freedom can be fun, but can also help to show each other what your ultimate goals are.
4. What will budgeting look like in our house?
If you do not have a budget yet, what would you like it to be like? What will be included in your budget? Would you like to save for vacations or use extra money for fun things now, or both? Do you want to work together on the budget? How frequently do you want to check in with the budget?
If you already have a budget, discuss what you like and dislike about your current budgeting process. Are there any improvements that can be made to the budget?
Knowing how you each feel about budgeting ensures that you work as a team and remain on the same page about your finances.
5. What will we do if a family member asks for money?
Make the decision together about whether or not it is acceptable for you to give money to someone in need. In which situations would you both be okay lending out money? Who will you trust and distrust? Try to only point out people on your side of they family. Write it down, so you can refer to your decisions when necessary.
6. What does “financial freedom” mean to you?
Financial freedom has a different meaning to everyone. Find out your spouse’s perspective on the term so that you may better recognize their financial values.