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Ask an expert: How to start money conversation

March 28, 2019

LOGAN — Talking with a significant other about money-related decisions can be difficult. Financial experts suggest one reason people may struggle to communicate about money is because most people are unaware 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 a person does not first attempt to understand another’s money values and attitudes.

The way people choose to spend, save, invest and otherwise allocate their money is often a reflection of their knowledge, personal beliefs and values—including how people are raised with regards to money management.

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

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

Once each other’s answers have been discussed, consider setting a goal that will help to achieve a money-related objective.

For example, the decision may be made to save for a major purchase or pay off a debt. Whatever is agreed 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. Those who do might find there is more in common than was believed.