Money / Financial Planning
Studies show that financial stability is one of the most important traits in a partner. However, the pandemic has increased the financial stress on relationships over the past two years. The recent love and money report, published by digital wealth advisor Personal Capital, found that 57% of adults in the United States say the pandemic has increased financial stress in their relationship. The pandemic seems to have put the most pressure on the younger generations. Of those who would have experienced increased financial stress, 65% were Millennial or Gen Z couples.
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Yet despite the stress caused by a struggling economy, 39% of adults surveyed said they avoid talking about money with their romantic partner. Krista Aliga, Financial Advisor at Personal Capital, offered some great tips for talking money with your partner.
Keep the money light
While finances are obviously a big deal, Aliga recommends keeping all money-related conversations casual. “I know that sounds counterintuitive because money can get very emotional,” she said. “I think it’s important to be light and relaxed. You don’t have to dive into every bill. Just start creating a non-judgmental space to have deeper conversations.
Focus on financial goals
In these early conversations, Aliga suggests focusing on the big picture, including long-term and short-term goals. “It will allow the conversation to be more of a visualization for each couple, allowing them to focus on what they want to do with their money,” she told GOBankingRates.
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If something bothers you, talk about it
The Love & Money survey showed that honesty and fairness are the most important traits in a partner. And that includes being fair and honest about money. “About a third of respondents said it was a dealbreaker if a partner never or rarely paid for items,” Aliga said. “It all comes down to being open, honest and transparent with your partner.”
If you feel like you’re doing more than your fair share in a relationship — and it’s causing undue stress — talk about it. You may find that your partner has debts they don’t want to talk about. “Breaking down barriers and creating a non-judgmental space to have these conversations will not only strengthen the relationship, but it could also help you support your partner,” Aliga remarked.
Once you find the root of the problem, you can fix it by thinking of ways to cut expenses — like finding cheap or free party ideas, she explained.
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have a plan
Once you’ve opened the door to discussions about finances, you want to keep the momentum going. “Focus on the purpose of your conversations about money and know how often you should talk,” says Aliga.
Couples who are just starting to discuss money might want to have a once-a-week check-in that over time could turn into a monthly chat to discuss their budget, goals, and progress. .
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