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One of the most helpful things the two of you can do to strengthen your marriage and finances is to sit down and be open with one another about your money.

Unfortunately, many couples allow their fears about how wrong it could go stop them from doing this.

Taking the Stress Out of Money Talks

This lack of communication can cause huge problems so if you haven't already, take some time this week to discuss this with your husband or wife.

How do you get started? What should you discuss with the first talk?

Here are ideas that I believe can help both of you be productive and reduce money arguments.


Be Upfront with Each Other

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to finances in a marriage. That means sharing all the relevant numbers and information with one another.

Financial infidelity can be emotionally devastating to a marriage.

Though not the most pleasant of activities, both of you will need to review the debts you have on a regular basis.

From college loans to car loans, credit cards and any other debt you have, it’s important that both of you know how much you owe.

This helps you create a realistic budget that will get you out of debt rather than having you two spin your financial wheels.

Create Goals Together

Okay so you know where you’re starting out from, but where are you two heading towards?

When creating financial goals, start off with dreams. After all, money is simply a tool. You can use it to achieve your dreams or you can waste it. What do you two want?

You can start off by creating a list of goals you two wish to achieve in 1, 5, and 10 years.

Think about what you value as individuals and as a couple.

  • Do you want to eventually own a house in the country or do you want a condo in the city?
  • Do you want to not lay roots and travel?
  • Do you like to have some gadgets or do you want to save to go have unique experiences?
  • Does either one of you want to start a business?
  • Do you guys want kids down the road?

Asking these questions can allow you to build something together instead of making it up as you go.

You also learn about each of your money personalities. Use this opportunity as a way to talk about the differences upfront.

Play to Your Financial Strengths

There are many aspects to managing your money: spending, investing, debt reduction, savings, budgeting, and more. Mostly you and your spouse will excel in a couple of those areas.

As a couple, determine what those areas are, assign roles and responsibilities, and encourage your spouse in his or her respective duties.

My husband is great at finding the best deals on electronics. He does the research and stays alert for when the price is lower than expected.

After we discuss the monthly budget, I take care of the execution of it. We review everything on a monthly basis.

Thoughts on Talking About Money

When did the two of you first start talking about money? How did it go? Any advice for the rest of us?

This post was originally published in June 2016. It has been updated in February 2020.

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

5 comments add your comment

  1. Great read!! We have all the same financial goals and talk about our finances regularly (like everyday, haha) but we do still argue over money. Basically, if a big expense needs to be purchased, I get in a bad mood b/c I have a hard time parting with our hard-earned cash. But…we balance each other out. If it weren’t for my husband I would probably live in a tent with millions in the bank LOL

    • “Tent with millions in the bank” I love it 🙂 !
      It’s so good that you two talk with one another regularly about your money. Marriage is the meeting of two minds and hearts, so arguments do come up time to time. Glad you found a system that works.

  2. It all gets down to deliberate, civilized communication. It takes work (at least it does for us.) But otherwise you start working in different directions, and it’s not nearly as effective. Good post!