Feature

Tip of the week: How to talk with a spouse about money

Schedule meetings; Hit the big topics; Set a spending threshold

Schedule meetings. “Set aside a specific time to talk,” ideally once a month. Establish a “no shame, no blame” rule so you can both talk freely without fear of reprisal. Also, write down any decisions you make.

Hit the big topics. Often, “even the most engaged couples” haven’t had a first discussion about every one of life’s big money-related questions. Be sure to compare expectations about each of the following: housing, vacations, savings, retirement, and children’s education. How much to lay out for that last item is one of the most common causes of couples’ disagreements.

Set a spending threshold. To avoid surprising each other with a big expenditure, set a precise ceiling on what each partner can spend without consulting the other.“ It may be as little as $50 or as much as $500”—that’s up to you and your budget.

Source: The New York Times

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