How to Have the Money Talk in your Relationship

It’s one of the hardest conversations to have with a partner, but can make your relationship so much stronger, healthier and wealthier!

We love love here at NoteCube. We have been lucky enough to see and hear about beautiful relationships that are formed because of it - only made stronger with a special box of messages, of course. Celebrating the good times and nurturing that love is why we do what we do. However, while we certainly get to witness the joys of relationships, we are no strangers to the difficulties that a couple can face.

One tricky topic that is often discussed while printing and packing all of the NoteCubes is money - and how we manage it with our partners. We’re a pretty mixed bunch - some partners are very open about money, while others are far more guarded; one half of a couple is an impulsive spender, while the other half is very careful with money. And don’t even get us started on joint accounts and how we use them. Due to the sensitivity and different behaviours around money, when it comes to talking about it in a relationship, bringing up the subject is often the first hurdle.

“I advise having a vulnerable and honest conversation,” says Melanie Rousseau, founder of Money Mama. “Explain ‘I’m stressing about money and I think we can improve on how we manage our money. How do you feel about it?’ There’s no need to argue - just come from a place of vulnerability and be honest.”

Including someone in your financial plan can add stress, but it should also be considered an advantage as you can support each other - it’s a partnership, after all. If your ideas align, you can decide what you want to build together, create a ‘Money Plan’ and put it into action. If they don’t align, it’s likely it will have a negative impact on the relationship, if not now, then sometime in the future. Unfortunately, arguments and stress over money can overshadow all of the good that the relationship was based on to begin with.

“If I meet with a couple, it’s to get them on the same alignment,” says Mel. “I bring them back to when they first met and what they appreciated about one another, because as the relationship goes on, we become more nit-picky.”

Should you find that your partner isn’t open to aligning their behaviour and habits with money to your own, it may require a confidential, one-on-one discussion with a third-party, such as a financial advisor or relationship counsellor. This can help break down the barriers and change their mindset.

The last resort is taking a step back - even pulling the joint account if you have one. This is because, while you can give them a choice to join you on your journey, you can only be in control of yourself. This doesn’t mean that your money can’t be adjoined again in the future. If your partner witnesses the change in your habits and the positive results it’s having, it’s likely to motivate them to do the same.

3 Steps to Talking About Money in Your Relationship

1. Find a common ground without judgement. With the stress and division that money can bring, it’s important to be in the right headspace when preparing to talk about it. Remind yourselves what drew you both to each other in the first place and what you have in common.

2. Make it fun! Let them know that you’re in this together - it’s all about that partnership. For example: dedicate time each week to have a Money Date with each other and do something enjoyable while you talk.

3. Create your plan. Go for it. It doesn’t matter if you fall - the important thing is you get back up again with support from each other.

Do you or a loved one need help with managing money? Check out the brand new Money Edition from the NoteCube Inspire Series, in partnership with Money Mama!