Can You Talk Money with Your Spouse?
The topic of money is often an emotionally laden topic--one that we avoid. We all have our own money history and money story. Many of our beliefs come from our parents; others from friends or society. Some of us think as money as freedom; if we can spend what we want when we want, we are really free. Others think of money as security; something to be saved at all costs, worth sacrificing present happiness to ensure having in the future. When two people with differing money philosophies form a union, conflict can result.
Avoiding conversations about money can lead to misunderstanding, secrecy and financial infidelity. Having conversations about money can reveal much about the person with whom we intend to spend (pun intended) our lives with. So, when is a good time to talk about money and our philosophies about money?
Ideally, it's best to know your intended's philosophy before committing to a lifetime together. Engaging in premarital counseling, Collaborative Marriage Planning, or utilizing the Collaborative Law process for a pre-nuptial agreement are all ways people can have productive, informational discussions about money before marriage or commitment. If you are already married, have the conversation anyway. If at all possible, don't wait until you are getting a divorce.