Financial therapists say there are four ways to begin a conversation about money with your spouse

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  • Nearly 80 percent of Americans haven’t discussed money with a friend, relative, or romantic partner in more than a year.
  • For Megan McCoy, a financial therapist, it’s time for couples to practice good money dialogues.
  • Allow yourself some time to daydream about getting you started. If you win the jackpot, ask your spouse what they would do every day.

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Differences in wealth often precipitate a divorce.

It’s never too late to start good talks with your spouse about money, even if it isn’t the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Most people haven’t spoken to friends or family members about money in more than one year, according to financial therapist Megan McCoy and her colleagues in a 2020 research. “When discussing money, it’s not about who’s right or wrong. It’s simply that people aren’t used to talking about money and don’t know how to do it well, “McCoy chimes to round out the statement.

Even if you’ve been married for many years, these four guidelines may help you start healthy money talk with your significant other at any stage of your relationship.

It’s time for a brainstorming session with your employees.

McCoy urges couples to stop concentrating on what they lack and start thinking about the future together regarding finances.

In the words of McCoy: “The question, “What would you do every day if you won the lottery?” is one of my go-to conversation starters. Try outlining the day-to-day activities you’d be involved in.” If you’re looking for a fun method to learn more about your partner’s aspirations and interests without getting into a disagreement about your present financial situation, this game could be what you need.

“Dreaming about money might bring you closer together,” says McCoy.

Make no apologies for your diverse financial methods.

It’s common for large spenders to question why they married someone different from them. According to McCoy, it’s not always a sign that you and your spouse have distinct fundamental beliefs if you have extra spending and saving habits.

There’s no difference in values here, only a difference in pain tolerance,” says McCoy. A 2003 research by David J. Mumford and Gerald R. Weeks examined the differences in pain receptors between persons who like spending money and those who prefer to preserve it. According to the research, spending a large amount of money all at once causes huge savers to suffer both physically and mentally.

McCoy believes that the differences in money habits might even assist each individual in the partnership to manage their finances over the long term better.

Get to know each other’s extended families.

McCoy says that what your parents or partner’s parents did wrong in your youth might influence many financial choices you make now. She concludes, “Many times, it is reassuring to find out if your spouse comes from a tightfisted family. Your parents were a complete disaster,’ I now understand.”

When you learn about each other’s backgrounds, you may put less emphasis on assigning blame and more on forging a new relationship.

McCoy provides a list of questions to ask each other about their families:

  • How did your parents manage their finances?
  • What aspects of your parents’ lives do you like and desire to incorporate into your relationship?
  • Have your parents taught you any money habits that you’d want to pass on to your children if you’re planning to have them?

Role-playing

Instead of condemning your spouse for squandering their whole month’s fun spending budget in one week, put yourself in their shoes and see if you can better see their point of view.

McCoy mentions the actor-observer bias’s psychological concept to explain why role acting is crucial. To fall victim to this phenomenon known as the actor-observer bias, one must assume that the behaviors they see others do reflect their character rather than a product of their environment.

McCoy states, “You may have made 20 sacrifices this week that your spouse doesn’t even know about, such as spending money on yourself. The things I really wanted to accomplish but didn’t get around to doing. Because of this, when my boyfriend purchases anything, I’m more likely than not to think of him as a “materialist.” ‘He’s constantly spending money,’ he said.”

To have healthy and secure money talks, it may be necessary to put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

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