Healthy relationships require a healthy level of communication.
Whose turn is it to do the dishes? Who's getting to the grocery store after work? Whose turn is it to order pizza because they forgot about getting said groceries?
That level of commitment also spills over when it comes to talking about finances. It's not the most romantic topic, but it's crucial for any relationship's long-term survival, since money is the biggest stressor on a relationship.
That's according to U.K. couples counselling centres Relate, Relationship Scotland and Marriage Care, which polled 5,000 people and found 26 per cent of respondents selected those dollar bills as what places the biggest strain on a partnership.
So what's the best way to broach the subject with your beloved?
Do your homework
The folks at Nasdaq suggest before you even sit down with your partner, understand where they're coming from financially. Were they raised to know that money doesn't grow on trees or were they given a healthy allowance that let them buy whatever they wanted? Getting this background can help understand how they view money.
Nothing kills a conversation faster than judgement and lecturing. Money is a sensitive subject and opening up about your spending habits can leave you feeling vulnerable.
Instead, financial advisor Ted Jenkins recommends addressing your partner's strengths with finances and asking them to do the same for you. Getting them to say "I really admire the way you ____." with a money-related task gets both parties feeling good about themselves and each other.
Find common ground
Your spending habits may not match up but that doesn't mean your saving goals won't. Setting a specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and timely goal can put the two of you on the same page. Choosing something that you both want — that vacation to Cancun or a new car — gives you both an incentive to squirrel away that money.
Do something romantic afterwards
Phew. The two of you did it. You had the talk. Now go reward yourselves with something fun to take the edge off. As the Simple Dollar recommends, doing something romantic after talking finances, like taking a stroll to where you had your first date, can help solidify the new bonds you made in your relationship.
And for more tips on how to talk about money in a relationship, especially one where there's an income gap between partners, check out the video above.
More financial advice from Wiser Wallet:
With Files From Chloe Tejada
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