Ask an Expert: How to Start the Money Conversation

    Ask an Expert: How to Start the Money Conversation

    Money ConversationTalking with a significant other about money-related decisions can be difficult. Financial experts suggest one reason we may struggle to communicate about money is that we are unaware ourselves of the underlying values and beliefs that inadvertently guide financial decisions.

    Communicating about value-driven money decisions can often lead to contention or misunderstanding when we do not first attempt to understand each other’s money values and attitudes. The way we choose to spend, save, invest and otherwise allocate our money is often a reflection of our knowledge, personal beliefs and values—including how we were raised with regards to money management.

    To start the money conversation, try answering the following questions for yourself and ask your significant other to do the same. Once you have your answers, have a conversation and share with the intent to listen and understand each other’s perspective.

    - What are your first money memories?

    - How did your family handle money when you were growing up? How does that affect the way you handle money now?

    - What was the first big purchase you made entirely on your own? How old were you?

    - How would you choose to spend $1,000?

    - If you could change one thing about your current financial situation, what would it be?

     

    Talking through questions like these may provide valuable insights to help you understand your own money values as well as those of your loved one. Focus on listening to each other and being honest when communicating. Do not hold anything back, even if you think it may be different from how the other person thinks and feels about money.

    Once you have discussed each other’s answers, consider setting a goal that will help you achieve a money-related objective. For example, you may decide to save for a major purchase or pay off a debt. Whatever you agree on, do it together and decide what each person will sacrifice in order to accomplish the goal.

    Having different money values can be a great strength in a relationship. Take time to discuss and focus on the positive aspects together. You might find you have more in common than you think.

     

    By: Amanda Christensen, Utah State University Extension Associate Professor
    Published on: Feb 21, 2017

    Related Articles

    Ask an Expert: Graduation Gift Ideas and Ways to Say Thank You

    Ask an Expert: Graduation Gift Ideas and Ways to Say Thank You

    It's graduation time, and announcements will soon be arriving in mailboxes. Graduation often brings the question of what you can do for or give to graduates to help them take steps toward their future.

    Read More
    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Planning Menus around Farmers Market Selections

    Ask an Expert: Six Tips for Planning Menus around Farmers Market Selections

    Farmers markets are known for offering an ever-changing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although variety is a benefit of shopping at local farmers markets, it can be difficult and overwhelming to come up with a menu for the week without knowing what will be available at the market.

    Read More
    Pet Safety for Fireworks Season

    Pet Safety for Fireworks Season

    No Fourth of July would be complete without fireworks displays. But pets often don’t find the noise, blasts and flashing lights associated with fireworks fun or entertaining. With fireworks going off in Utah throughout the month of July, pets are bound to get stressed and anxious.

    Read More