Talking to your partner about your financial situation as well as your financial goals can be a pretty scary thing — especially if you already get the sense that your financial values don’t match. So if you’ve ever felt that you’ve had to hide certain purchases from your partner, or you feel that you simply cannot trust your partner’s spending habits, don’t worry. Financial incompatibility can be overcome.
Where It’s All Gone Wrong
When couples are going through financial hardship it’s usually because of a breakdown in communication. We’re sure we’re not the first ones to tell you that communication is key in any relationship. If you’re not willing to talk and open up to your partner about your financial worries, then you can’t expect for things to magically work themselves out. Everything in life takes work, and no matter how easy it may feel to be with your partner, you still need to put in the work when it comes to matters that are important to you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that although communication is crucial, it’s really important to communicate in a manner that won’t worsen the situation. Remember to keep an open mind, to be empathetic, and to try to work together rather than attack each other.
Talk About Your Respective Money Situations
One of the very first things you should discuss with your partner is your individual financial situations. After all, if you don’t know where you both stand financially, it would be almost impossible to realistically plan a future together.
When talking about your respective financial situations, you should mention how much you earn, how many expenses you have, how much you try to save, as well as how much debt you have. Although it might seem a little daunting to open up about such a personal topic, it’s extremely necessary in order to be able to reach financial goals together. One good way of starting off the conversation is to remain casual about it. Telling your partner that you have something serious to discuss with them will only serve to put them on edge and make them defensive. In order to make them feel more comfortable, you can even start by opening up about your own situation. Laying everything out in the open will make them more likely to follow your lead. If one of you has a certain amount of debt, you can try to tackle it by budgeting together and working together for the betterment of your financial future.
Talk About Your Financial Goals
After opening up about your respective financial situations, you should next discuss you respective financial goals. This might be tricky in the sense that you might realize that your goals don’t necessarily align. But if that’s the case, better to talk about it sooner rather than later.
After all, if you’ve been setting money aside in order to meet a personal financial goal of yours (such as putting the money towards a down payment for a condo or a house), how can you know for sure that it’s also what your partner wants? This works both ways. Although you might have a very healthy and happy relationship, no one has the same goals — and you should know what each others’ are as soon as you possibly can in order to come up with a plan.
Compromise with Each Other
Perhaps the second most important thing in any relationship (after communication) is compromise. If you want to spend your life with someone, you can’t possibly expect them to drop all of their goals and dreams for their future in order to make yours come true. That only leads to resentment. All relationships need an equal amount of compromise from both parties. In order to do so, you need to rethink your expectations, figure out what’s most important to you, keep all lines of communication open, and be willing to let certain things go and change. Besides, not having your goals align is perfectly normal. And who knows? Maybe both of your compromises will lead to something even better for the both of you!