Money Management Tips for Committed Couples

Join our weekly #CreditChat on Periscope, YouTube Live, Twitter, and Snapchat every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.  As you know, money discussions between partners can easily turn into arguments.  That’s why this week talked about ways that couples can effectively manage and (talk about) their money.

The panel included: John Schneider & David Auten: Founders of DebtFreeGuys.com and the Queer Money podcast; Shannon McNay: Director of Content at MyBankTracker; Rod Griffin: Director of Public Education at Experian and Mike Delgado: Director of Social Media at Experian.

We also featured financial tips all week on Snapchat.

5 Important Financial Topics to Discuss With Your Significant Other

Money is one of the leading causes of stress in relationships. One way to avoid financial turmoil is to have an honest conversation about your financial situations (for better or worse).  Remember, money has long been considered a taboo topic to discuss, so if your partner is not jumping at the opportunity to have this conversation, it may take some patience and understanding to make them feel comfortable about it. Be sure to create a safe environment for the conversation and keep an open mind. If you’re ready to have this important conversation with your significant other, here are some topics you should discuss.

1.  Debts and Expenses

When combining finances, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your financial obligations. Each person should approach this topic openly and honestly. Remember that you are not responsible for your significant other’s debt, but you can create a real plan of action when everything is out in the open.

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2. Savings Goals

Are you saving money? What financial goals are you saving for? What is your attitude toward saving? Do you automate your savings or do you prefer to transfer the money yourself? These are all important topics to discuss when talking about savings. Discussing your savings goals will also give you a better understanding of their priorities and life goals.

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3. Credit

Just like debt, credit can be a tough, but important conversation to have. When discussing the topic of credit, you’ll want to get a good understanding of your partner’s history with credit, attitude toward credit and current credit situation. Credit affects many aspects of our lives, so it’s important to have a clear picture when preparing for major expenses like purchasing a house, a family car, etc.

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4. Views on Shared Spending and Budgeting

When it comes to managing your finances as a couple, it’s important to be on the same page. Will you have a joint account, or will you maintain separate accounts? Will one person be responsible for the bills, or will you divide and conquer? Will you have a monthly shared budget? Is there going to be a limit on the amount you or your significant other can spend on an item before consulting with each other? These questions will help you to have a clear understanding of each other’s financial role in the relationship.

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5. Retirement Planning

If you plan on sharing the rest of your life with your significant other, you will not want to leave retirement planning out of this discussion. Talk about your plans for retirement, and how you are saving and investing for retirement.

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Questions We Discussed:

  • Q1: Why is it important for couples in serious relationships to talk about money?
  • Q2: When is it a good idea to start talking about money?
  • Q3: What money topics should couples cover?
  • Q4: How can couples who have different views on money management find a middle ground?
  • Q5: What are some best practices for couples considering combining their finances?
  • Q6: What are some red flags to look for when talking about money with a significant other?
  • Q7: What can you do if your partner refuses to talk about money or the state of their finances?
  • Q8: What practices can couples set in place to ensure that they are staying focused on their goals?
  • Q9: What money secrets should couples never keep from each other?
  • Q10: What is your #1 money tip for couples?

View the Entire Discussion Via Storify:

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