Articles & Tools

Talk to your spouse about money and get away with it

Money is a sensitive subject in relationships. How is it recommended to have an effective financial dialogue with your spouse? We have compiled 10 tips for conducting a couples discussion on the subject of building the budget and managing it effectively and successfully.

Let’s agree on this at the outset: it’s not simple. Budget management is a task that requires effort. Certainly when the decision to manage a budget comes due to economic deterioration or going into large debts. The difficulty entails challenging coping not only with economic habits but also with regard to relationships within the family.

In the process of building the budget, you will have to face a difficult emotional reality – giving up the current reality in favor of another reality, which is uncertain and unknown. This emotional reality affects both partners and it should be remembered that your experience of giving up is not the same as your partner’s. Many times, each spouse needs a different amount of time to digest the process and make the decisions required for the financial rehabilitation of the home.

In order for the marital or family discussion in building and managing the budget to be effective, fruitful and successful, we recommend:

  1. Have an open and enabling dialoguethat discusses all aspects of your financial situation. Hold the discussion with full listeningto the couple and make room for the unique needs of each member of the household.
  2. Define common goals and dreams, goals that you want to achieve through responsible, orderly and organized financial conduct.
  3. Take responsibility each for himself and not for his partner’s “waste.” Do your best to act wisely where you tend to spend.
  4. Consider managing onebank account, jointly

    – when the bank account is shared, the couple must show responsibility and monitor every shekel, where it comes from and where it goes out. Such joint conduct allows for greater transparency in the management of home finances, which requires mutual trust that builds not only the economic strength of the family but also the couple’s success, consolidating accounts is not only important for controlling their management, but also more profitable and can save quite a bit of wasted money. It is common knowledge that most of us pay a commission for each banking transaction and management fees on the account. But one account is worth half the fee and management fee. These sums seem small, but over the years reach a great deal of money that can be saved. Another advantage is the bargaining power vis-à-vis the bank and its attitude towards you. When you consolidate accounts, you increase your income and are entitled to a wide range of enhanced benefits and conditions. One last advantage? When one spouse is overdrafted and the other is not, and in our experience this situation can last for many years, the family pays unnecessary interest on the overdraft. When the account is shared, it’s less likely.

  5. Make sure you haven’t been too strict or easy on yourself in making decisions. Too much exacerbation or unrealistic easing can lead to disappointment down the road. Therefore, in any decision to reduce expenses or increase income, try to think about the practical ways you can take to implement the decision.
  6. A defined division of tasks between the couple may help to go through the process jointly. Information and decision-making are shared by both partners, but tasks can be divided between both partners according to their relative advantages.
  7. Balance the need to build a balanced budget with the amount of time it takes each household member to experience and process the process. That way, you can all go through the process consensually, even happily. Therefore, even if the goals you want to reach require you to progress gradually – do not be afraid. This is logical and acceptable. Keep being determined and you will certainly succeed.
  8. Sometimes there is no escape and it is recommended to combine couples therapy to improve communication and cope with the financial situation
  9. You have children in common, make joint decisions about the priorities in allocating the money for education, extracurricular activities, entertainment, pocket money and pampering for children. Each family has its own priorities, when you determine yours you can focus your efforts and make financial decisions accordingly.
  10. Learn and acquire tools that will help you build a balanced family budget, create stable economic foundations and prevent future crises. Paamonim offers a course on wise financial conduct for young couples.

* This article is not a substitute for couples counseling in cases where required

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