Newlyweds: Saying ‘I Do’ to the Money Talk

Newlyweds: Saying ‘I Do’ to the Money Talk

You’re married at last! The beautiful day went off without a hitch. Bliss is the only thing you feel right now. Congratulations! Enjoy the honeymoon. But when reality sets in and the newness wears off, don’t run from the hard conversations, especially the dreaded money talks. Many newlyweds avoid this subject because it can cause tension. But quite frankly, addressing the dirty word—money, that is—early in the marriage, will enable you as a couple to learn healthy ways to discuss finance. A great article in Forbes titled, Newlyweds, Here’s How to ManageYour Finances, points out:

Money is the number-one cause of fights in marriage, but since that’s no fun to think about, consider this instead: Establishing open dialogue around finances can help you ensure a long and happy marriage.

Why Couples’ #1 Fight is Money

Although many newlyweds dread broaching the subject of money—because it’s never quite the symbiotic conversation one hopes for— if you view the topic of money as a learned dialogue, it can actually improve communication in the long run. Like most difficult conversations, it takes practice. In a recent CNN article, Dr. Terri Orbuch, a social psychologist and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, says:

Many people simply haven’t learned how to talk about money with others. The way people approach money is often heavily influenced by the way they were raised.

And, says Therese Nicklas, a certified planner with U.S. Wealth Management:

It’s important to get that information out on the table so you can set goals, understand what is important to each partner and …move forward as a couple, as a family.

Here are some tips to navigate the conversation:

  • Preparation

Come prepared for the discussion. It is a serious topic, so take it seriously. Have copies of your Quickbook financial statements. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes and write down goals.

  • Financial Goals

In the first conversation, determine your short term financial goals together. For instance, a good goal might be to pay off the credit cards and plan on only having one emergency card. Or, decide to pay down your student loans. You might also plan to start saving a certain amount weekly for an emergency fund.  And whatever you do, don’t point out each other’s faults in this conversation.

  • Evaluate Spending Habits

Be sure to look at both of your spending habits. Honestly, evaluate and assess where there is room for improvement. Again if you are the saver and your partner is the spender, this conversation is a great opportunity to practice healthy communication around money. Avoid accusatory language as it will lead to disagreements. This is where having good financial statements can come in handy because you can simply point to the income v. the spending statement to show a plus or a deficit. Take baby steps and  be prepared that may be some tension. Money is a very personal subject to some and can trigger even the most stable spouse.

Consult with a Financial Professional

Early in the marriage is the best time to consult with a financial professional like a Certified Public Accountant to guide you in planning and saving. Also, arrange to meet regularly with your accountant so  h/she can objectively address some of the difficult truths about your financial status without one spouse having to be the heavy.

If you are newly married and would like financial advice, or to schedule a consultation, call Joel Lewinson 818-593-6777 or visit the website for more information.




photo by:

kevin dooley