Talking About Money Matters

   By drodriguez  Feb 05, 2009

If it was difficult to talk with your loved one about money issues before the problems with the economy, it is likely that it may be even more difficult now.  With more people losing jobs and having such a hard time finding new work emotions will run high.  A recent article released by Candice Choi of the Associated Press urges coupes to talk about their finances while giving some good advice on how and what we should be talking about. 

A personal finance correspondent for CNBC, Sharon Epperson, advises couples not to point fingers when talking about money.  It’s more constructive to come up with a plan rather than waste time placing blame on a person.  If you and your spouse hit a brick wall seeking a third party may be the best option for you.

Epperson reports to the Associated Press, “You might know what the counselor is going to say.  But it’s your spouse that needs to hear it.”  Most people facing financial troubles may discount the idea of speaking to a therapist because they think it will just be one more bill to have to figure in to the budget.  But this is not so.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) offers free or inexpensive assistance with more than 900 locations across the country.  Some of the agencies charge a $15 one-time fee that can be waived for those who can’t afford to pay while other NFCC agencies offer free consultations.  Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the NFCC, explained, “Seeing a counselor about money matters doesn’t mean you and your partner aren’t compatible.  It’s simply a way to avoid the resentment the topic often breeds.”

If you don’t know where to begin when discussing financial issues as a couple, the article offers a few talking points that are of importance:
?    How to divide bills, especially if salaries differ greatly;
?    How much of your earnings to spend, save, and invest;
?    How much to save in retirement accounts;
?    Whether to have separate or joint bank accounts; and
?    Your confidence about job security and how things will work

What do you think of the importance of discussing finances with your spouse?

Would you ever consider talking about finances with a third party?

Make a Comment

linda_answer by linda_answer | SAINT LOUIS, MO
Mar 24, 2009

My hubby lost his job over a year ago. After the shock wore off, we sat down and discussed things we could cut down on or completely cut out. We did not argue although we talk to each other openly about everything anyway, no matter the subject. We have always made communication our number one goal. That is the key to a happy marriage. We have been together since high school and just celebrated our 31st anniversary. We have had money problems on and off in our marriage, and if anything, it brought us even closer together. "What don't kill you only makes you stronger."

jh0816 by jh0816 | DULUTH, GA
Mar 04, 2009

this is true, my husband and i were arguing about money, then decided to work on it together - we now do focus groups in the evenings, mystery shopping and creative things like that (that also seem like dates!) to make some extra money!

devincoats by devincoats | Sadieville, KY
Feb 24, 2009

My guess is, if you and your spouse are having a hard time talking about money, then you are probably not talking about other things either. Communication is the key in having a wonderful, fruitful marriage. If it is difficult, no matter what the topic, counseling may need to be considered. Although it may be costly (financially), it is not as expensive, or detrimental as divorce!

y42796 by y42796 | Auburn, WA
Feb 20, 2009

Talking about money is so important! I really like the idea of talking to a financial planner so that both people are on the same page. Otherwise too many things can go wrong. Personally with two salaries, I really like the idea of the percentage plan for expenses. The person making 70% of the income pays 70% of the bill. Both people having similar goals also helps to make sticking to a plan alot easier. Without common goals there is little incentive to save.

oatw13 by oatw13 | Parker, CO
Feb 20, 2009

It is important for everyone to know exactly the state of their finances. It should not be the "elephant in the room" that no one wants to talk about. You should be an active participant in your financial situation. It is especially important for couples to know and understand each other's financial personality so they can learn to work towards common financial goals. It is ok to talk to a 3rd party and it can often be beneficial as a 3rd party will see things that you are too close to see for yourself.

rosebudchela by rosebudchela | chicago, IL
Feb 17, 2009

It is very important to discuss money as a couple. If you are married by law each person in the marrage is responsible for each other bills. When you decide to get married you should be aware of how the person take care of his or her money. That will give you a hint of what your problems in the future may be.

bkilgore by bkilgore | Williamsburg, VA
Feb 13, 2009

I think every couple should have a third party financial advisor. My husband has a degree in finance, but we still decided to get a financial advisor, it's great because he and my husband can talk "finance" talk, but then he can also explain to me what we are doing. It really takes the pressure off of just one of us to manage things. We really like feeling that we have someone to go to with questions about financial issues and that our money is being invested wisely.

ticklemeusilly by ticklemeusilly | Louisville, KY
Feb 12, 2009

I agree, it is very important to discuss money with your spouse. We have been trying especially now to keep it simple, and we really don't notice it so much, it is kind of nice really, cook at home more, cozy, and home movie night, instead of going out, game nights at home with the kids instead of taking them out to entertain them, really so much more entertaining for all of us and so much better for our bank account.

bbred57 by bbred57 | Springfield, MN
Feb 08, 2009

We have been together for 34 years, twenty of them married, and we have always discussed our financial matters and how to handle our money. Everything has always been in joint accounts and both of us know exactly what we have in bills, savings and checking. If you do not keep each other informed and something happens to one or the other spouse, then someone may be left in the dark as to where they are financially or how to take care of themselves. As far as talking to a third party, we would not because we have always been very money wise and have taught ourselves that you have to depend on ourselves. So we have made sure that we have money in the bank and for our future in case something happens. We grew up paycheck to paycheck and now that we can afford things we found that we really do not need those things.

jmsargent by jmsargent | Honey Brook, PA
Feb 07, 2009

I have been married for 10 years. Discussing money is of the utmost importance for a married couple. If you can't be honest about money with each other, there is no trust.

momofaprinceandprincess by momofaprinceandprincess | Breckenridge, MN
Feb 05, 2009

We wouldn't be able to talk to a 3rd party. I dont think my husband would go for it. But I do agree with you aguafria, I bet it is a top reason for divorce, that wouldn't shock me at all. I think it's sad but true :(

aguafria by aguafria | PHOENIX, AZ
Feb 05, 2009

Money is probably the close to the # 1 reason why people divorce. You would be crazy NOT to talk about money with your spouse. If we needed to talk to a 3rd party, we both would have no problem with that.

tigpooh1516 by tigpooh1516 | GREENWOOD, IN
Feb 05, 2009

I think it is very of the biggest keys to a happy marriage! You need that open communication to understand what you both want and you need to be sure you are on the same page. You also need to make sure you both know the workings of your finances in case something should ever happen to either of you. You need to be working together to find ways to get yourselves out of debt. If I felt it was necessary I would consider a consult with a financial advisor.

barbiemom by barbiemom | dothan, AL
Feb 05, 2009


am_i_lost by am_i_lost | Centralia, IL
Feb 05, 2009

I think it is very important to discuss finances with your spouse. Just last week my husband came to me and said; 'We need to find ways to cut some sorners on spending." My response was that there really isn't anything else that I can cut back on. I am in charge of the joint account checking and he has his own checking account. I send off all of the bills, get the groceries but I never spend on myself or just blow money. I quit smoking over a year & a half ago. So, it's not me it's him that needs to stop with his $100 with drawals, and always making trips to Walmart or Tractor Supply. He was sorry he brought it up once he realized that he was the only one wasting money.