How to have positive money conversations with your partner

When it comes to our romantic relationships, money conversations should start early and happen fairly regularly. For example, on a first date, do you split the check? Do you even discuss who pays, or do you feel there is a general rule around payment etiquette?

Money and finances are a source of conflict for many couples. In fact, in my own research, 75% of married participants indicated that they currently had an ongoing or repeated argument over money occurring in their relationships.

Pooling System

This is where both partners combine all of their monetary assets together into a single pot. Partners are aware of how much money is flowing into the household, and each has a stake in how that money is spent.

Partial Pooling System

Partners may have a central pool of money but also keep some money in separate accounts. This gives the couple the freedom to pay for shared expenses out of the primary account while also having the individual autonomy to spend their own money as they wish.

Independent Management System

In this system, individuals keep their money separate entirely. This requires more purposeful communication about who contributes to which shared expenses.

Housekeeping Allowance System

One partner is responsible for all of a couple’s financial assets. They may provide an “allowance” for their partner to spend as they wish, but most financial decisions are made by the primary partner.

Money pooling & money fights

Couples who pool all of their money together are the least likely to experience conflicts around money. Alternatively, couples who keep their money separate are most likely to experience conflicts about money.

Making decisions about expenditures

The longer you put off conversations about money, the harder the subject may be to broach. If money is something you struggle to talk about, it may be a good idea to go through financial counseling with your partner.

Understanding your partner’s financial background

All couples benefit from honest dialogue about the status of their financial situation. Set aside time once per quarter to review the status of your financial situation. Both partners need to be aware of where money is coming from and going to.