Why some people don’t talk about money with their partner

Why some people don't talk about money with their partner

The people stressed by their economic situation They are often reluctant to talk about money with their partner, even though it may be beneficial to their relationship, according to a new study.

The report, created by researchers at Cornell University and Yale University, published this month in The Journal of Consumer Psychology, says that people worried about bills, overwhelmed by excessive spending, and bills or concerned about money management may expect a “money talk” money” lead to an argument, so they avoid bringing up the topic. However, previous studies have shown that Talking about money helps couples spend more responsibly and manage their debts better.

“They anticipate conflict, so they choose not to have these conversations,” said Emily Garbinsky, an associate professor of marketing and management communication at Cornell Business School and one of the study’s authors.

Why do some people find it so hard to talk about money with their partners? Aja Evans, a financial therapist in New York, says people can feel ashamed of having money problems. They may worry that Talking about these things with your partner can harm your relationship..

“It’s a defense mechanism,” he says. “But with financial problems, the more you avoid it, the worse it gets.”

Megan Ford, a professor and financial therapist at the University of Georgia, said people from families with financial difficulties or who did not encourage talking about money may lack good models for having productive conversations about finances.

Talking about money helps couples spend more responsibly. Photo illustration Shutterstock.

“Everyone brings their own financial baggage into the relationship,” she says. “Sometimes it’s one bag. Sometimes it’s three big suitcases.”

But the more they avoid financial conversations, Ford added in an email, the more opportunities they miss to better understand themselves and their partners.

Brad Klontz, a psychologist and financial planner, said couples at some point typically have “the talk” about future plans, including the topic of have children“But I don’t think people have that conversation about money,” he says. He likes to engage patients with questions that can help them pinpoint the source of their attitudes, such as “What are my top three financial goals?” and “What are my most painful and joyful memories about money?”

When it comes to managing money, Opposites tend to attractsays Scott Rick, associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan’s business school and author of Tightwads and Spendthrifts: Navigating the Money Minefield in Real Relationships (Stingy spenders: how to navigate a minefield in real relationships).

A person who tends to stick to a strict budget may fall in love at first with a partner with fewer financial restrictions. “It can be charming at first,” Rick says, “especially for a mean “who is captivated by a carefree spender.”

When it comes to managing money, opposites often attract. Photo illustration Shutterstock.

In the long run, however, what is initially fascinating can become irritating, especially if the couple has children and must budget for their needs as well as their own. But in general, each partner can balance the other’s more extreme tendencies. Rick says that while he is more willing to splurge, his wife is more cautious about spending.

I’m married to a cheapskate“He says, and it works out so well because he and his wife have a give-and-take. “I let her win on material things, and she lets me win on experiences or vacations,” he said. “You don’t want one person winning all the time. You need those different perspectives.”

The report by Garbinsky and colleagues found that the situation for money talk is not hopeless. Encouraging people to view financial conflicts as “resolvable” rather than “perpetual”—that is, based on fundamental differences in their approaches to money management—makes them more likely to talk about it. finance with their partner, according to researchers.

When people see that “financial problems are solvable and that a compromise is possible,” Garbinsky says, “they’re more willing to talk to their partner.”

Encouraging people to view financial conflicts as “solvable” makes them more likely to discuss finances with their partner. Photo illustration Shutterstock.

Here are some questions and answers about relationships and money:

Is it better for couples to have joint or separate bank accounts?

Studies suggest that sharing funds increases satisfaction in relationssays Garbinsky. Sharing an account forces people to talk about money. “It helps couples come to an agreement,” she says.

Rick says a joint account helps the couple think that all their money belongs to them as a unit and not as individuals. Large expenses, such as rent, mortgage or car expensesand the basics, such as public servicesmust be paid from the joint account. “Launder all the money through a joint account,” he says. “It’s all ‘our’ money, for high-level decisions.”

But Rick also suggests that each member of the couple be allocated an amount, kept in a separate account, to cover their expenses. personal expenses and the bills for which they are individually responsible. The amounts do not have to be equal, she says. If one parent is responsible for childcare, music lessons or sports fees for the children, that parent would receive a larger allowance.

Large expenses should be paid from the joint account. Photo illustration Shutterstock.

This way, each partner can spend on a day-to-day basis without feeling like their spouse is scrutinizing every purchase.We need our individual interests and hobbies“, it states.

How can couples start talking about money?

If money conversations scare you, start by practicing making “low-risk” decisions, says Debra Kaplan, a licensed therapist and author of Coupleship Inc.: From Financial Conflict to Financial Intimacy (Marital Partnership Inc.: From Financial Conflict to Financial Intimacy) Instead of debating, say, when or where you want to retire, start with something like how much to spend on your next vacation.

“Imagine you’re on a team solving a problem,” he says. “You’re working toward an outcome for the greater good of the team, not for ‘what I’m going to lose if I don’t get my way.'”

Ford suggests that instead of sitting across from each other at a table, take a walk together outdoors when talk about money. Fresh air will help clear your mind. You can walk side by side so you’re not looking directly at each other, which can be less intimidating.

A date to talk about money is a good idea, experts say. Photo illustration Shutterstock.

How often should couples talk about money?

Evans recommends setting aside time regularly – ideally, once a month– to talk about their finances. “I love the concept of ‘quote to talk about money“,” she says. Topics can include a review of recent expenses or progress toward financial goals. You can do this at home or at a restaurant, if you feel comfortable.

By Ann Carrns, for The New York Times. Translation: Patricia Sar.

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