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Couples Have Trouble Discussing Finances

Is Talking About Sex Easier Than Talking About Money?

There are so many marriages that end over finances, which is kind of ironic if you really think about it. Divorce usually leads to even more financial disarray — does that mean love and money aren't meant to co-exist? I'm not exactly sure why money becomes such a strain for some couples, but I have a feeling it's because many don't talk about money matters before they're married and then keep things bottled up after they've said I do.

Personal finance guru Jean Chatzky encourages honest communication, admitting your imperfections, and setting "money dates" that only last for a limited amount of time. Chatzky says. "I'm a big fan of airing the laundry. Fortunately, like we've gotten better at talking about sex, we've gotten better at talking about money." To see what other tips she has for couples just


To keep your marriage in tip-top shape, Chatzky recommends following these steps.

  • Plan. If you share assets, as many couples do, budget together so as to minimize surprises.
  • Prioritize. Make sure you have shared goals for spending and saving.
  • Put it in writing. Whether it's the family budget or a loan between relatives, it's a good idea to lay out the ground rules, such as recording every purchase or outlining a schedule for repayment.
  • Talk about it. Disputes often arise when one person nurses a grudge about money, so don't keep your feelings bottled up. When you do talk, keep comments neutral; starting off by criticizing your partner is sure to lead to an argument.

Do you have any secrets to keeping your coupled finances running smoothly? Share in the comments below!


mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
Perhaps I should be reading Dear. I have a much simpler time talking about money than sex.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Putting things in writing is key no matter if it's family or not, you never know when things can go wrong or people for that matter. Always watch out for your best interest...
indielove indielove 9 years
I'm definitely for talking about finances before taking that big step into marriage. I don't believe in buying a house together or making any other huge, joint financial decisions before marriage.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
great tips. i believe that marriage is about commitment and sharing your lives. and that includes finances! so if you don't have the same views about money...well, chances are problems will start cropping up very soon!
jb3 jb3 9 years
Great tips, Savvy. I personally think it is very important to start these conversations way before you get married. As someone who is engaged I totally appreciate the fact that my fiance and I can talk about money. I can really tell that it has reassured us that we are on the same page and established our ability to talk about this subject into the future. We just need to get over that whole joint account thing :)
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I don't know why couples have such trouble communicating. You can share bodily fluids, but you can't share thoughts and words? My BF and I never have trouble talking about anything, and never have since maybe a year after dating.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I think this is important to start discussing when you get engaged. Jumping into it after the papers have been signed might be a bit too sudden, but if you slowly start going into it once you agree to get married then its a lot easier. The only useful part of the 8 hours of marriage class I payed attention to.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I won't talk money with my bf until we're married. What I make and what I spend is not his business (and vice versa) as long as I can afford half the bills at the end of the month :)
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