Most of us were raised with the notion that talking about money, even with your significant other, is vulgar. There are instances when this may be true, but when it comes to your future relationship as a couple, as husband and wife, it’s a must.
“Money shows up in our lives every step of the way as something that appears, on the surface, like a problem to be solved,” says financial therapist Amanda Clayman in an article on NPR.org. That's a mistake, she continues, because “it reveals something deeper about something in our life that needs to change, grow or shift.”
Couples talking about money
In a 2018 article, Marketwatch discussed how “financial disagreements predicted divorce more strongly than other common problem areas like disagreements over household tasks or spending time together.” It also highlighted data released by financial firm TD Ameritrade, which found that “41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.”
Relationships are hard enough but while money can be a deeply uncomfortable topic to discuss with your significant other (especially if both parties are coming from drastically different socio-economic backgrounds) it’s a necessary one. This is especially true if you are looking to build a life with this person.
Two important topics to discuss
There are many ways to go about broaching the topic with your partner, and only you can decide on the best approach. However, once the conversation has begun it is important to touch on two main areas.
First, discuss where you stand. How does your monthly budget look like? What are your priorities? Are you expected to help your siblings’ educational expenses? Are you responsible for the medical bills of relatives?
Are you planning to switch jobs or career tracks, which may mean not having a regular income for a certain period of time? What sort of vacations and activities can you plan that will not put an unnecessary strain on the finances of one partner? Having a clear understanding of where each one stands is so important.
Second, discuss where you both see yourself in the future. Are you saving to move to another country? Would you like to study to work in another field? Will you oversee your family’s expenses as your parents retire? Is he or she the type to save money or spend it all now—or are you that type?
You also need to talk about investment and insurance plans. For instance, you may both be in the pink of health now, but are you predisposed to certain diseases? It’s important as a couple to decide as a couple. You can start with FWD Life Insurance’s KanMend which protects you from 42 critical illnesses for only PHP 1,799.
Meanwhile, FWD Vibrant gives you complete health protection from screening to treatment to recovery. It provides cash for your health screening and medication and it gives you up to 6x claims for major critical illness treatment. So both of you can stay happy, healthy and vibrant.
Do you already have individual investments or are you going to start together? FWD Manifest and Set for Life are good plans that give you life protection and grows your money at the same time.
It may be intimidating to touch on these subjects. Maybe you think it is too personal, it feels too heavy, or perhaps both of you don’t know what you want but having a vague idea of short-term goals and getting the conversation going is a big help.
In many ways, being able to sort out your plans together to achieve a healthy financial future could be another important relationship milestone to look forward to which can also serve as an opportunity to discuss your respective priorities and aspirations.
These are important discussions we should be having, with ourselves and with our partners, because minor miscommunication can so easily develop into deep wounds. The more we normalize such authentic conversations with our loved ones the more we can improve the overall quality of our life and relationships.
Do that money talk and get started on your financial wellbeing and life as a couple. Consult an FWD financial advisor by clicking here.