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Money Can Be the Difficult Subject for Couples

Navigating Finances - Isakov Planning Group

Imagine this scenario: You and your spouse are planning a vacation, but you are disagreeing about how much you can spend. Your wife or husband believes that you two can afford a 2-week, first-class tour of Europe, but you are thinking more of a 4-day cruise around the Caribbean, because of that new bedroom set you ordered last week. This type of disagreement (which could become heated) is surprisingly common. It arises because couples don’t spend enough time talking about money. Did your significant other spend money on an expensive dinner at an upscale restaurant, or costly tickets to concerts or sporting events? This can be the subject of simple disputes, which can lead to serious discord over your family’s financial situation. It can also be the start of a rift that may break up the relationship.

Bringing up questionable financial decisions can be a touchy and difficult subject. Rather than putting your partner on the spot with an interrogation about one expensive purchase, there is a better way to start the conversation. It may be part of a more casual talk about overall budgeting of your savings and expenses. Another way is to express your own discomfort with the topic, putting everything on the table, by saying, “I’m really anxious about bringing up the topic, but I’m worried about the upcoming bills we’re expecting. How will we pay them?”

It doesn’t hurt to start the conversation by saying something to the effect of “I appreciate what you are doing with _____, and I’m grateful for the effort!” before following up with “I’m worried that my income is paying the larger share of our expenses.”

Part of how people think about money is derived from the way they were raised. Other factors include the obvious—a person’s present financial support or obligations (children to support, student debt, employment status, amount of existing debt). The important thing is to consider these factors together and create a plan of action to tackle them together. And then to have conversations on a regular basis to both discuss changes to your current finances or to your obligations and how to address them.

At Isakov Planning Group, we help couples start this most difficult conversation, by having both partners understand their budgets, and by helping to come to an agreement on how to resolve financial problems. Starting a dialogue today will help avoid awkward and potentially serious difficulties tomorrow.

Office Locations

671 2nd Street Pike
Southampton, PA 18966

1346 How Ln
North Brunswick, NJ 08901

500 7th Avenue, 8th floor
New York, NY 10018

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Isakov Planning Group brings industry leading resources and expertise to help our clients pursue and achieve their financial goals.