8 Tips for Talking About Money With Your Spouse

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Money can be a difficult topic in marriage, especially when a couple is first starting out. Here are eight quick tips for learning how to communicate with your spouse around the topic of money.

Tip 1: Speak From a Position of Openness and Vulnerability 

If you and your spouse tend to bicker about money, this is what I suggest: the next time you need to have a conversation about finances, sit in a chair with your palms up.

That might sound overly simple or even cheesy to you, but this position of openness and vulnerability can help reduce hostility in a conversation.

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Tip 2: Have a “Pause” Signal for When Things Get Heated

In advance, decide on a signal you and your spouse can use whenever a money conversation starts getting too intense.

When my wife and I were learning how to talk about money, we used the timeout signal. (For those of you unfamiliar with American football, this is a “T” formed with the hands). If I could feel myself getting tense, or I could tell she was getting that way, I would signal for a timeout—a temporary break from the conversation.

We agreed this signal wasn’t an act of hostility, and it helped us converse with each other without hitting that “point of no return,” so to speak.

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Tip 3: Deal With Grief Around Money

Some financial situations are so bad that it’s possible for one or both members of a couple to experience some PTSD.

If you’ve had significant money trouble, allow yourself to recognize the seriousness of what happened and go through a grief process. Depending on the situation, you may want to pick up a simple grief book or speak with a professional.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge you’ve been through a storm and now need to process. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to deal with the grief left over from serious financial struggles.

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Tip 4: Clean Up Your Thinking Around Money

A person’s skill with money will always default to their beliefs about money. In other words, no matter how much skill training they go through, they will always come back to what they really believe.

Do you have ideas about money that need to be cleaned up? Go fix your “financial beliefs” that aren’t true according to the Bible.

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Tip 5: Listen to Your Words Because They’re Clues

This is the idea of the victim, the villain, and the hero and how these mindsets work with money.

When you listen to the words you’re saying—as well as what your spouse is saying—you can start to sense the money mindset in operation.

The victim sounds like this: “Things always happen to me!” The victim is very quick to excuse and blame.

The villain sounds like this: “How dare this person do this to me! I’m going to get even!” The villain is just a powerful victim.

The hero is the mindset we want to understand and train ourselves in. It’s at the core of the Prosperous Soul content.

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Tip 6: Make Difficult Decisions From a Place of Identity, Purpose, and Vision

Good sailors aren’t made on flat seas—they’re made in fierce storms.

When the waves are rough, sometimes we need to take drastic measures and find the courage to throw something overboard. Something we love and thought was a good idea.

Oh, that can make a person feel like a failure! But it is better to get rid of this thing than to lose your marriage, watch the ship go down, etc.

If you need to make a difficult decision, remember that life is better pulled than pushed. Instead of living reactively and being driven by financial needs, you can learn how to “pull” your life and finances from the more important forces of identity, purpose, and vision. 

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Tip 7: Share What You’re Thinking With Your Spouse

Recently my wife and I traveled to Estonia to do ministry, and I asked her, “What would you say about communication for a couple?” 

“I talk to you a lot inside my head,” she said. She sifts through a lot of information up there and later realizes I have no idea what she’s talking about—because we didn’t actually talk.

This kind of mental discussion can happen with either spouse. So make sure you speak out loud and articulate to your spouse what you’re thinking.

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Tip 8: Get on the Same Page With Your Spouse

These simple steps will help you and your spouse get on the same page with your finances:

  1. Articulate your ideas. What are the two of you hoping your finances will look like one day?

  2. Come to an agreement about where you are going. Understand each other’s needs and concerns, and build a plan to move forward.

  3. Activate your plan.

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You Can Do This

Where money’s concerned, nothing is beyond you. You are smart. You are capable. You are very skilled—you just need some basic tools to come together for you. Have hope, grip your spouse’s hand tightly, and keep moving forward.

May God bless you, your spouse, and your Prosperous Home.

 

Click here to watch Stephen’s Facebook Live about these eight money communication tips.

Lauren Stinton