The following is a sponsored partnership with Frost Bank. All opinions are 100% my own.
When you decide to enter a serious relationship with someone, I highly recommend having regular serious conversations about money.
Unfortunately, many people completely skip over this valuable step.
Some people don't like talking about money because their issues become too real and don't want to face reality. They may even feel shame about their financial mistakes, or they may feel that they aren't doing as well as others.
Or, they may just not know what they are doing!
But, you are not going to reach financial success in life if you don't start learning about money.
And, a great way to learn about money is to talk about it openly with those around you.
I read an interesting study by Frost Bank that linked optimism and financial health. As you know, I am a big believer that positive thinking can change your life, so I found this extremely interesting!
The study found that optimists are 7 times more likely to experience better financial health than those who are pessimists. The study also uncovered simple habits anyone can adopt to become more optimistic and improve financial health, with one of those habits being willing to talk about your finances more openly.
Other interesting findings of the study include:
- 76% of optimists say they are comfortable talking about money compared to 53% of pessimists, and optimists are more interested than pessimists in learning about money too.
- Optimists experience 145 fewer days of financial stress per year than pessimists.
After seeing this research, I thought it would be a great idea to talk about how you can have more open conversations about money with your partner, since it can clearly impact a person's life.
Playing off the familiar “Honey Do List,” let’s create a “Money Do List” to help everyone become better at managing their money.
Below is my Money Do List, so that we can take the taboo out of talking about money.
1. You should regularly talk about money.
I highly recommend having regular money meetings with your partner, as talking about money is an essential step for every partnership.
You will want to be open about your financial situation because it will help prevent financial surprises and it will enable both sides of the relationship to be aware of the finances.
So, how often should you have a money meeting? What is regular anyways?
The timeframe is up to you. You may decide to do this weekly or monthly, or some other timeframe that works best for you and your relationship. You also may decide to try different lengths of time to see what does and doesn’t work for your situation.
Now, there is too long, though. I do not recommend going months or years at a time without talking about money. Many things could change in that period of time, and money talks don't have to take up too much time anyway. Your money meetings can be as short as 10 minutes, so there is no reason to not have them more often.
In your regular money talks with your spouse, I recommend discussing topics such as:
- The financial goals you are working towards.
- The things you value in life.
- Your budget.
- Retirement and investing plans.
- Financial issues.
And so on. Each family is different, so you may decide to add certain topics to your regular money meetings.
2. Define your financial goals.
I suggest having a conversation with your partner where you define your goals.
You will want to discuss your ideas of how you’d like to manage your money, how to invest for retirement, save money for vacations, and so on.
If you and your partner are both putting time and thought towards your financial goals, you can work on them as a team and are much more likely to have a positive outcome.
3. Create your budget together.
In the Frost Bank study mentioned earlier, optimists found it important to have a rough plan in place, and building a budget is the first step.
You should create a spending plan with your partner that is easy to maintain and fits your shared priorities in life.
Instead of just having one person in the relationship completely build and manage the budget, I recommend doing this together so that everyone is on the same page.
A budget can keep you mindful of your income and expenses. With a monthly budget that you create with your spouse, you will know exactly how much you can spend in a category each month, how much you have to work with, what spending areas need to be evaluated, among other things.
Having a budget can help you to reach your financial goals, pay off debt, make more money, retire, and more.
4. Find ways to be positive.
Your mindset is critical when it comes to achieving greater financial health in a relationship. According to the Frost Bank study, 9 out of 10 of people want to be more optimistic, which in turn, can lead to greater financial health.
No matter how bad life may seem, I believe that having a positive outlook as much as you can as it can truly help a person persevere through more difficult times.
Being optimistic may help you:
- Go for your goals
- Feel motivated, so that you can keep on pushing past what's slowing you down
- Move on from your past mistakes and regrets
- Have the energy to improve your situation
- Be happier and cheerful
Being pessimistic about things can cause you to waste your valuable time, which may cause you to earn less money, not reach your goals, save less money, and so on.
You will most likely be increasingly happier and reach your financial goals if you try to be more optimistic.
Do you have open conversations about money with those around you? Why or why not?
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