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Talking to Your Spouse About Money

Couples' Financial Conversation Starters

Whether they've been battle royales or stern disagreements, arguing about money with your significant other is something most of you have been through. Frustration between couples built on financial issues is particularly common during the recession, when many folks are unemployed and bills need to be paid.

The editors of Money magazine want to help you find peace with your money, and one of the topics they address is how spouses can avoid arguing about money these days. They advise once-a-week meetings dedicated to talking about money, focusing on common goals instead of differences and playing the blame game.

To kick-start the meetings, Money created a list of conversation starters and the editors encourage you to separately write down responses and discuss them at your first meeting. To see their talking points,



  • "What is my biggest money worry nowadays?"
  • "What are my top three savings priorities, in order of importance?"
  • "What am I pleased with about our financial life?"
  • "Is there anything I want to understand better about our finances or wish that we could investigate together?"
  • "If we had to cut back on spending, what three areas would I choose? What three would I avoid cutting?"
  • "Are there any important money tasks I think we have been procrastinating on?"

Would you use these conversation starters with your significant other, or have you already covered these bases?

Image Source: Getty
chakra_healer chakra_healer 8 years
My husband and I do not discuss financial stuff, and we're fortunate that we do not have to as well. If I can stress anything - it is that you keep your assets separate and pay in separately on any joint assets. For example, my husband and I both have our own savings, retirement plan, my husband will have two, one civil and one military, I have a 100% one through a state school where I worked (and graduated from) for 10 years, even though I was vested after 5, through grad school. Our apartment is paid for and we agree that there is no need to invest in any more real estate unless we buy outright. My husband has no debt, not even a car payment. I paid off all CC debt and just have school loans to finish paying off, although some are being forgiven due to my line of work. The only joint bills we have are HOA fees (covers utilities like gas and water), home insurance, food, electric, and cable/cable internet - basically $800-1000 per month. That was our agreement when we were just living together and it works now. If we have a child (yes, just one), we would have to adjust the amounts, but, like many people, we will always be a two income household, so the biggest issue is communication about how we will cover joint expenses, not so much weekly meetings accessing our financial status. But, again, we are both very frugal.
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