How to talk about money with your partner

The contents provided on this page are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. Consider your personal circumstances and objectives before making any financial decisions.

Discussing money in relationships can be challenging, but it's a necessary part of building a strong partnership. In a 2023 survey conducted by on money and relationships, 45% of survey respondents admitted financial stress had negatively impacted their relationship.

In this article, we'll share practical tips and communication strategies that you could use to help you and your partner navigate conversations about money and finances easier.  

Why talking about money matters in a relationship

Talking about money can be a sensitive topic with anyone, let alone your partner. Since we each come from various walks of life, as individuals we develop different relationships with money. This can often mean differences in your approaches to financial habits such as budgeting, saving and spending.

When you talk to your partner about money, it can end up being a good thing for your relationship. In fact, 65% of Australians agree that talking about money with your partner can promote a healthy relationship.

Navigating the awkwardness to share your views and your financial goals as both an individual and a couple can help to promote mutual understanding, respect and empathy. Talking about money with your partner can turn the subject from a source of stress into a way to strengthen your relationship.

How to start a conversation about money with your partner

1. Choose the right time and setting

Pick a calm, neutral setting where both partners feel comfortable, and choose a time when you're both relaxed and open to discussion.

2. Express your intentions

Clarify that the goal is to strengthen your financial partnership and work towards shared goals.

3. Frame it as a team effort

Emphasise that you're in this together and that open communication is key for a successful financial journey as a couple.

4. Tackle fear and anxiety

Acknowledge any fears or anxieties about discussing finances and reassure your partner that the goal is understanding, not judgement.

5. Create a safe space

Foster an environment of trust where both partners feel comfortable expressing their views without fear of criticism.

6. Start small 

Begin with lighter financial topics before delving into more complex issues. This allows both partners to ease into the conversation.

Understanding your finances can help you and your partner discuss your priorities and set clear financial goals. See where your finances are at with the free spending insights and budgeting tool in the Beforepay app.

Get on top of your finances with Beforepay

Tips for communicating with your partner

Active listening 

Practise active listening by fully focusing on what your partner is saying without interrupting. It promotes understanding and prevents misunderstandings.

Use "I" statements

Frame your concerns or perspectives using "I" statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, "I feel we could improve our savings" instead of "You're not saving enough."

Set common goals

Establish shared financial goals to create a sense of unity and purpose in your financial journey.

Full disclosure

Be open about your financial history, including debts, spending habits, and financial goals. Transparency builds trust. 

Regular check-ins

Schedule regular financial check-ins to ensure both partners are on the same page and to address any changes or concerns quickly.

Stay calm

If conflicts arise, stay calm and focused on finding solutions rather than placing blame.

Seek professional help if needed 

Talking about money doesn't have to be daunting. By using some of these tips and communication strategies, you could turn financial discussions into a strength rather than a source of stress.

If you and your partner are still finding it difficult to talk about money in your relationship you could consider finding a financial advisor or counsellor who might be able to offer you some guidance. Remember, it's a journey you're navigating together.

If you’re ever experiencing unexpected bills that may be causing you and your partner stress, consider cashing out with  Beforepay as your safety net to help you get back on track.

For more relationship and financial insights, check out our blog on the pros and cons of having a joint bank account.

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