Love and Money Part 1: Discuss money issues with your partner

When it comes to love and marriage one of the biggest conflicts in a relationship is over money. Recently, I had the chance to discuss money values and how they affect our relationships with Christine Chen, host of “About the Money” on Seattle PBS affiliate KCTS. Watch the video…

Tips for talking about money issues with your partner:

If you are heading into a new relationship, come clean about your finances. Talk about your credit history, your debt and your earning potential with your partner as soon as you feel you have crossed into the “long-term relationship” stage.

Learn your money personality and talk with your spouse about how you feel about money. Understand your strengths and weaknesses as well as your partners. A good tool is Dr. Kathleen Gurney’s Moneymax questionnaire that assigns you a money personality based on your responses. It is free and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Visit the Moneymax Questionnaire.

If you have very different values about money learn to manage the conflict and communicate often. Create an “ours” budget for the family to cover expenses. Then create a “don’t ask fund” for each partner that has a discretionary amount to spend on whatever they want. One might shop until it is gone. The other could save every dime if he wanted. The point is that you have some independence to spend or save money guilt-free.

Remember, money values are passed down from our parents, relatives and friends. How we feel about money is the results of how we were brought up and has a big impact on our lives as adults. Money can equal love, power, self esteem, happiness, security depending on how you were raised.

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