Today I’m diving into the details of something many of us find difficult-talking to your partner or spouse about money matters.
If you have a spouse or partner, it’s very important to communicate with that person about your financial situation.
Even the strongest couples can have miscommunication regarding money issues. In most couples, there is a delegation of financial responsibilities—one of the two is usually more focused on the household finances, and that’s fine as long as both parties are aware of big picture goals, and the basic structure of their financial situation.
It’s important that both partners “know where they’re at” financially. If you don’t already do so, I recommend that you “check-in” with your partner at least two times per year to discuss your goals, review your net-worth statement, savings and spending, as well as other financial issues such as estate planning and your investment allocations.
Another area worthy of focus when it comes to being on the same page as your partner when it comes to money is to prepare for the unexpected.
If something unforeseen should happen to the partner who takes most responsibility for the finances, would the other person know the location of key documents, have the right contact information, the account passwords, and a basic idea of what they have?
If you’re not sure of these answers, or if you think your partner wouldn’t be, consider setting up a series of meetings to begin clarifying them. I use a financial location spreadsheet with my clients, so that both partners know where to find important financial information in the case of an emergency. If you would like a copy of it, reach out to me and I’m happy to share it with you.
I also suggest talking about money with your spouse or partner in a more relaxed setting as well. Make a date out of it, and discuss your individual and shared financial goals and dreams.
Even consider creating a financial vision board together if you think your spouse would be up for that. As a couple, this can be a fun way to make sure you’re on the same page. As couples get busy with their lives, it’s easy to focus only on day-to-day responsibilities, and creating a vision board together can help you establish a shared vision for the future.
If you and your partner have difficulty when it comes to discussing finances, know that you aren’t alone. Having an impartial third party to help in that department can help. Reach out to me if you think you and your spouse could benefit from a meeting with a financial professional to help get you started.
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