CFP Board offers tips for talking to your significant other about your finances.
It’s always important to keep open lines of communication with your significant other. Talking about money is no exception, but it can be a sticky subject – and one that can bring up issues related to your own anxiety around your finances.
It’s time to break the cycle of non-communication and have “the money talk.”
In the latest contribution to LetsMakeaPlan.org, CFP Board offers tips on how to start a conversation with your partner about your finances.
- Set up time to talk: Trying to have a meaningful conversation about money amid a heated argument is futile. Instead, set aside a specific time and place to discuss the dreaded topic. You can reduce emotions by setting specific objectives and basic ground rules: No judgments – just open dialogue.
- Share information: During your conversation, you should share information including any outstanding debt, investments, bank and retirement accounts, and any bonds you may have. If you’ve never created a balance sheet or estate plan, now is the perfect time to do so! Create a master list of assets and note who owns each, or whether it’s jointly owned. Also include any account usernames and passwords, broker names and contact information, and other account info to share with your partner.
- Get on the same page: Ensure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to financial priorities – retirement, college planning and cash flow management. Do you want to maintain separate bank accounts and both contribute to a joint account? There is no “right” answer, but agreeing on a path forward can help avoid confusion in the future.
- Divide and conquer: After you have the conversation, divide financial responsibilities that work for each partner’s strength. If one likes to use apps to track spending, they should monitor the day-to-day bills. If the other is more inclined to manage the long-term investments, they should manage those accounts. Make sure that you both understand the game plan and share responsibilities accordingly.
If you are having problems talking to your partner about your finances, you may benefit from working with a CFP® professional, who is committed to objectivity and to what is best for you as a couple. An impartial third party can clarify issues, set common goals that you can pursue together, and find solutions that can work for you both.
ABOUT CFP BOARD
The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 76,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.
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