Budgeting Financial Planning Family Finances Tips for Talking With Your Partner About Finances By Deborah Fowles Deborah Fowles Deborah Fowles was a financial planning and budgeting expert for The Balance who spent over a decade contributing her expertise. She worked in a variety of fields prior to diving into writing, including pathology and marketing. In addition to publishing two books about personal finance, she wrote poetry, for which she won the Poetry Guild's Award for outstanding poetry composition in 1997. learn about our editorial policies Updated on September 21, 2021 Reviewed by Pamela Rodriguez Reviewed by Pamela Rodriguez Instagram Pamela Rodriguez is a Certified Financial Planner®, Series 7 and 66 license holder, with 10 years of experience in Financial Planning and Retirement Planning. She is the founder and CEO of Fulfilled Finances LLC, the Social Security Presenter for AARP, and the Treasurer for the Financial Planning Association of NorCal. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by Vikki Velasquez Fact checked by Vikki Velasquez Vikki Velasquez is a freelance copyeditor and researcher with a degree in Gender Studies. Previously, she conducted in-depth research on social and economic issues such as housing, education, wealth inequality, and the historical legacy of Richmond VA as well as their intersectionality while working for a community leadership nonprofit. Vikki leverages her nonprofit experience to enhance the quality and accuracy of Dotdash's content. learn about our editorial policies Photo: Zero Creatives/Getty Images Psychologists say that many people will talk about anything, even sex before they talk about their finances. Why is it so difficult for us to talk about money? Perhaps because money symbolizes different things to different people: power, control, security, or love, for instance. It's been estimated that money issues are the driving force in 55.6% of divorces, but you CAN live happily ever after, financially speaking, if you work at not letting financial issues come between you and your partner. In her book Talking Money, Jean Chatzky, columnist for Money magazine and a regular contributor to the Today show, offers practical advice for talking to your spouse or life partner about this emotionally charged issue, including these tips for twosomes: Find a Neutral Time to Talk Don't wait until your partner has charged up a storm on the credit card or another hot financial issue arises to broach the subject. The goal is to have a calm, relaxed discussion when there's no particular money issue at hand. Give a Little to Get a Little Volunteer your own feelings about a financial issue, and it may encourage your partner to do the same. If your relationship is the first priority, you'll both have to be willing to negotiate. Share your feelings, experiences, and hopes about money. Discuss how your parents dealt with money, what it meant to you when you were growing up, and how you dealt with it in past relationships. Know Where You Stand Be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you've always been independent, for example, it may be hard for you to be "taken care of" financially. If you have more assets than your partner, you may feel fear about risking your hard-earned money, or resentment if his or her spending habits are not good. You have to be honest with yourself about these feelings to be honest with your partner. Bring in a Third Party If you can't seem to talk about finances; seek out a counselor to help you sort through your financial issues. It could be a financial counselor or a therapist or marriage counselor. The Dos and Don'ts of Merging Finances With a Partner Chatzky also offers these do's and don'ts for merging your finances: Track your spending. Knowing where your money is going is the first key to financial security, and keeping a budget, which includes tracking your spending, is the only way to know where your money is going. Agree to disagree. Come up with spending and savings goals and guidelines, then let your partner manage his or her own spending money. Designate a bill payer. One of you is likely to be better at the day-to-day management of the household expenses. It's okay to designate this person as the bill payer, but the other person should be involved and should know what needs to be done and how to do it. Keep separate credit cards. Each of you should have at least one credit card in your own name to maintain a separate credit history. If you divorce or your spouse dies, it will be difficult or impossible to get a mortgage, loan, or credit card without it. Having a joint card with both your names on it doesn't work. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. "Reasons for Divorce and Recollections of Premarital Intervention: Implications for Improving Relationship Education."