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Money in Relationships: How To Talk About Money In Relationships

by Geo Flores 5 months ago in advice · updated 5 months ago
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Communication is key

Having an honest conversation about money is an important part of any romantic relationship. Because, as much as we all hate to admit it, money and relationships can be difficult topics to navigate. Studies show that financial stress is one of the biggest triggers of stress in relationships: in fact, couples who argue about finances early on in their relationship are 30% more likely to get divorced than couples who don't. However, there are ways to build good practices when it comes to discussing money with your partner.

In this article, I'll share some tips for talking about finances with your significant other—and why you should do so—so you can get through potentially difficult discussions and emerge stronger than ever.

Money is the second leading cause of divorce, after infidelity.

By Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

Money is a major cause of stress in relationships. It is the number one cause of stress in relationships, and it’s important to talk about it as soon as possible. Money is not just about finances; it also represents control and independence, which are all very important parts of our lives. So if you want your relationship to work out, you need to talk about money early on.

The good news is that there are some steps you can take right now so that this doesn’t happen again:

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Be honest about your financial situation.
  • Be honest about your financial goals.
  • Be honest about your financial values.
  • If you feel that the other person is spending more than they can afford on their credit card, tell them so.
  • It is important to be open and empathetic when communicating with each other regarding finances, especially in relationships where one person is spending more than the other or has an addiction to shopping or gambling.

    Bring up money topics right away.

    By Letícia Pelissari on Unsplash

    You may be thinking, “Why do I need to talk about money? My partner and I are in a relationship—not a business partnership.” But the sooner you get on the same page about your financial situation and goals, the better off you'll be.

    Your partner's financial situation is just as important as your own—if not more so because they're sharing their money with you. And while it's easy to fall into a pattern of paying household bills together, there are many other money-related topics worth discussing early in your relationship:

    • Income
    • Goals (both short-term and long-term)
    • Fears or trauma around money (compulsive spending, lack of savings, generational spending patterns)
    • Dreams around saving/spending
    • Understanding each other's money dial

    Make time to do and understand finances together.

    By krakenimages on Unsplash

    It is important that both partners understand and are involved in the financial situation. It is also important to communicate about financial decisions. If you do not know anything about money, it is best to find a partner who will be supportive and non-judgmental of your financial situation, rather than someone who expects you to be an expert just because they are financially savvy.

    Your partner should support your financial decisions, even if they disagree.

    By Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

    When it comes to money in your relationship, you should be able to count on your partner's support. This doesn't mean that they'll agree with every decision you make about money (or anything else for that matter), but as long as their intentions are good and they're willing to work with you, then that's all that matters.

    A supportive partner will help you reach your goals and keep things moving forward when things get tough. They won't use their disagreements over finances as an excuse not to grow together or bring up old issues for the sake of arguing about them again; instead, they'll try their best not only to understand where both sides are coming from but also find ways those two perspectives can work together.

    A non-supportive partner might try talking down on what works best financially according to someone else's advice or even try dissuading someone from doing something because it doesn't make sense within the context of their personal situation at the moment (even if there are clear benefits). They might also go out of their way just so they can prove themselves right—even if this means making decisions based solely on emotion rather than logic!

    Talk about money early and often in relationships.

    By Christina @ on Unsplash

    Money has long been considered a major cause of stress in relationships. According to the American Psychological Association:

    "Money problems are one of the top three reasons couples argue and divorce."

    "A lack of communication about finances is one reason for financial problems in relationships."

    The best way to avoid a major fight over money is by talking about it early and often. If your partner asks you how much something costs, tell them—and don't be afraid to ask them how much they think an item would cost if they're curious too! This can help prevent any surprises later down the road when it comes time to actually pay for things like dinner or drinks out with friends.

    It's also important that both partners support each other's financial decisions, even if they disagree with them initially; this will help ensure that any disagreements are constructive rather than destructive arguments later on down the line which could potentially lead to breaking up over something like buying new furniture without consulting each other first (or worse yet: choosing different colors).

    The key takeaway is that money can be a major source of stress in relationships, but it doesn’t have to be. The problem is people don’t talk about money enough—or if they do, it’s often not early enough or thoroughly enough in their relationships. But by following the tips we discussed above—being honest about your finances and financial goals, talking about money openly and honestly with each other and working on your finances together—you can avoid many of the common issues and conversations that plague couples around the world.


    Jimenez Law Firm. (2018, August 18). How Finances Affect Divorce Rates in America. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from

    Furnham, A., Okamura, R. Your Money or Your Life: Behavioral and Emotional Predictors of Money Pathology. Human Relations 52, 1157–1177 (1999).


    About the author

    Geo Flores

    I’m Geo, a writer, illustrator, and graduate student of Family Therapy. I believe in the importance of sharing information and knowledge so I write about mental health, spirituality, and psychology to inform people about these topics.

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