By Blake Miller, REDBOOK
If you've been putting off having the money talk with your spouse, you could be putting your relationship in jeopardy. Financial psychologist Brad Klontz offers pro tips to keep your finances - and your marriage - in check.
1. "Let's talk about financial baggage." "You don't truly know each other until you discuss your individual spending styles and financial goals, and come clean about any debt," says financial psychologist Brad Klontz. "Being honest about how money was handled in your family growing up can also help your partner begin to understand any money hang-ups you bring to the relationship."
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2. "Let's talk about spending limits." Decide together what qualifies as a big-ticket purchase requiring approval by both partners. "Many acts of financial infidelity take place because couples don't have an explicit understanding about how much they'll spend or save," says Klontz.
3. "Let's talk to a pro!" If you hit an impasse over spending issues, consider setting up an appointment with a financial counselor who can help. You can find one at fpanet.org/findaplanner or financialtherapyassociation.org.
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4. "Let's review our money plan." No matter what you agree to, Klontz says it's key to sit down 30 days after hammering out a plan to see how it's going. "People tend to slip up if they don't revisit their goals," he says. Ask each other two questions: Is it working for me? Is it working for you? "If either of you says 'no,' renegotiate the terms to something you'll both stick to."
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