Importance of Communication

the importance of communication

Money is often touted as one of the most common causes of arguments in relationships. But that isn’t entirely accurate. It is more the lack of money, the fact that you can’t agree on how the money should be spent, or the fact that you just aren’t communicating enough about money that is causing the strife. Most of us know how important honesty and communication is to the health and wellbeing of a relationship but when it comes to money many of us aren’t sure how to approach the topic. 

This lack of understanding and uncertainty of how to proceed is common but NOT necessary. Here are some great tips for working towards communication with your partner so that you can improve both your relationship and your finances. 

Couple’s Money Tip #1: Don’t be Afraid to Talk about Money

Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject when it comes to your partner. Whether you have debts, bad spending habits or even if you just have no idea what the state of your finances are, now is the time to lay it all out on the table. It will come out eventually and hiding things is never a good thing for relationships. 

Being forthcoming with your partner is so much better than them just finding out about it, or worse you finding yourself in a tight financial situation and struggling. Communication’s benefits don’t stop at getting out the bad stuff – also, talk about your financial goals with each other. 

Money discussions don’t all have to be bad and about debt and spending habits. You can talk about where you see yourself in five or ten years and how you both want to work together to reach those goals. This can be a great time to connect and bond together. 

Couple’s Money Tip #2: Share the Responsibility

Many times when there are arguments about money, it is because one partner feels like they are taking a greater share of financial responsibility. Try taking some time for both of you to understand what bills need to be paid and when they get paid, so that one of you doesn’t feel like they are the only one who takes on this burden. It isn’t always about who brings in the income, but it is about mutual respect in a relationship. Recognizing that everyone brings in value to the household will help you both to feel appreciated and understood. 

If your partner is the only one earning income, discuss how you can help to corporate with the finances. Many couples will have one partner making the money and the other managing the money and monitoring spending and progress towards goals. Or perhaps you can simply learn how your partner is managing the money so that you can step in to help when necessary. 

There is no ONE way to share the responsibility. Start an open discussion with your partner and see where and how you can each help to build a fair and equitable partnership when it comes to money. 

Couple’s Money Tip #3: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Like anything within a relationship, each partner will have strengths and weaknesses. This is a great time to lay everything out on the table and communicate what you think your strengths and weaknesses about money are. Are you amazing at spreadsheets? A great organizer? Or are you an impulse buyer and need to be reigned in from time to time? These are things that you need to let your partner know so that you can work together so your finances are in the best shape. 

You can also help each other work on your money weaknesses so that as time goes on they aren’t going to affect you as much. For example; if you know you have a weakness for buying too many snacks at the grocery store and going way over your grocery budget, maybe consider sending your partner to the store instead. If your partner spends too much on Amazon late at night, encourage them to remove the app from their phone to make it that much easier for them to limit their shopping. 

Your weaknesses shouldn’t be seen as flaws, they are not. We all have spending triggers. Being honest about these can only help the other to understand your feelings, compulsions and bad habits. 

Couple’s Money Tip #4: Celebrate Your Financial Success 

Once you have worked together on your finances, celebrate together! You have worked hard and you deserve it. Take some time to connect with each other. You don’t have to do anything lavish, but small victories deserve to be celebrated. It will keep you motivated in the long run to keep working toward your long term financial goals. 

If you stayed on budget this money with groceries, celebrate with a $15 bottle of wine. If you finally paid off that credit card, treat yourself to a movie. You deserve it. Unlike other goals in life there is no finish line when it comes to financial security. So set small, attainable goals and celebrate when you reach those. That will increase your chances of staying the course both as a couple and mutual money managers. 

Financial stress can greatly impact your relationship. It can take some work, but with some open communication, your financial stresses can be lessened and you can get back to working better together as a couple. And you don’t have to go it alone. There are several great couple’s financial tools on the market. Apps like Zeta can help couples to master their money – together. 

 

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