Money conversations can be very tough especially when money is tight in your home. But your relationship doesn’t need to suffer. Here’s the reality, you have to talk about money and we have to learn how to talk about money without arguing.
Here are 3 tried-and-true adverbs that can guide you through the conversation
Talk about money ACCURATELY: You don’t want to quote figures that aren’t based in reality. For example, if your spouse is a spender, you don’t want to say, “Stop spending the HUNDREDS of dollars you’re spending!” especially if they’re only spending 10 dollars!
Here’s what you can do: Sit down and accurately calculate expenses, so that when you talk with your spouse about money you are using “real numbers” that you can actually show them (not in an accusatory way, but in a “let’s work on this together: way).
Money talks should always be accurate. No more “rounding” or “exaggerating.” Get in the habit of getting your money facts straight first before you start the conversation with your spouse.
Talk about money SOFTLY: Do not yell and scream. I remember growing up and my Dad and Mom could never talk about money without a fight ensuing.
Do not raise your voice. Do not say nasty things. Do not sulk, pout, curse or in any way talk harshly. Money conversations should be level headed, and calm.
Remember that your spouse is not the enemy. Money is not the enemy. The goal in money conversations should always be trying to understand what’s being said and resolving any issues that may arise by saving the relationship. Be conscious to lower your voice, approach your spouse gently and softly with the goal of resolving, understanding, planning and moving forward.
Talk about money THOUGHTFULLY: Think before you speak. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to have this conversation with my spouse?” Do you want to know information? Do you want to bring something to their attention? Do you want to suggest a different direction in spending?
Have a definitive reason for having the money conversation and then think through what your reason is and approach your spouse thoughtfully. I had the terrible tendency to panic about money and so I never thought before I talked with my husband. Things got a lot better when I thought through what I really wanted to convey and then said those things accurately and softly.
Conclusion: In order to improve they way you talk with your partner about money just remember three things: (Be) Accurate, (Watch your) Tone and Think (Before you speak)…A.T.T. for short, and hopefully you will have incredible money conversations with your spouse!
About the author: Jennifer Keitt is author of the book Shake Up Your Life: 30 Steps to Powerful Brilliant Living. She has earned honors for her contributions to women globally as host and executive producer of The Jennifer Keitt Show and the Today’s Black Woman Radio Show. In addition, Jennifer is a regular television contributor on HLN’s Dr. Drew On Call and is founder of the non-profit Keitt Institute. Visit JenniferKeitt.com for more information.