When my wife and I joined households 11 years ago, we combined our kitchen stuff, our furniture, our linens and just about everything else. The one thing we didn’t combine? Our money.
When it comes to money, she does her thing and I do mine. About the only time our money meets is on our joint tax return.
This is the system that works for us, although it likely wouldn’t work for everyone. That’s the thing with money and relationships: There’s no right answer. Anyone who tells you there’s only one correct way to mix money and marriage — and there are plenty of “experts” who do — is just plain wrong.
The one thing that’s universally true is that money secrets are bad. My wife and I don’t combine our money, but we do discuss it. Often.
Whether you’ve been together for 30 months or 30 years, avoiding talking money puts your relationship at risk. This is especially true if finances are tight, or if you combine your finances and have different money “personalities” — such as a spender or borrower in a relationship with a saver or investor.
To nobody’s surprise, money is routinely cited in surveys as a major source of stress.
So when, and exactly how, can we discuss money with our significant others without causing friction? How do we get on the same page and stay there? Or are differences about money just something couples have to learn to live with?
In this week’s “Money!” podcast, we’re going to find answers to these questions, as well as many more. Our guest is best-selling author and award-winning speaker Tarra Jackson, also known as Madam Money.
Sit back, relax and listen to this week’s “Money!” podcast:
Not familiar with podcasts?
A podcast is basically a radio show you can listen to anytime, either by downloading it to your smartphone or other device, or by listening online.
They’re totally free. They can be any length (ours are typically about a half-hour), feature any number of people and cover any topic you can possibly think of. You can listen at home, in the car, while jogging or, if you’re like me, when riding your bike.
If you haven’t listened to a podcast yet, give it a try, then subscribe to ours. You’ll be glad you did!
Want more information? Check out these resources:
- MadamMoney.com (Tarra’s website)
- “10 Things You Should Know about Joining Finances in Marriage“
- “8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple“
- “6 Ways to Get Your Spouse to Save More Money“
- “Living Together but Not Married? 5 Important Things to Know“
- Business Insider: “8 ways to talk to your partner about money“
- Money Under 30: “How To Have ‘The Talk’: 6 Tips For Couples Discussing Finances“
- Mint Life: “How to Talk Money in a Relationship: Dos and Don’ts“
- NBC News: “The 3 money conversations you and your partner need to have“
- Subscribe to the Money Talks News newsletter
- Take our The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need course
- Take our Money Made Simple course
I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and I have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.