Discussions about finances plus money management equal a healthy relationship.
The first time Richard Martinez and his fiancé talked about finances was over a milkshake. It was at the Silver Diner in Woodbridge, Virginia. He remembers this clearly not because of the diner, but because of the serious conversation they had about finances.
“Within a year of dating, my wife and I began talking about our financial goals, about buying a house, and even about moving to Florida. In fact, she was always the one to lead the conversation about money and budgeting.”
This is typical of Hispanic couples, according to a TD Bank Love and Money Study. The study reveals 70 percent of Hispanics in relationships believe discussing money and finances is imperative. In fact, while 60 percent of the general population saves and plans for special occasions together, 71 percent of Hispanics do.
“My wife and I now talk about money at least every two weeks when we do our budget,” adds Martinez, who has now been married for 10 years. He’s a firm believer in the principle that having open conversations about finances is essential to a lasting relationship.
And while men and women may have opposing views, when it comes down to budgeting Martinez feels sharing the same viewpoint is necessary.
“For a lot of men, saving means not spending at all, but for some women saving means getting a great deal on an item. Still for a healthy relationship, it is important for you and your spouse to have similar views on how your incomes should be spent.”
Delving Deeper into the Survey:
- 62 percent of Hispanic couples start talking about finances with their significant other before they get engaged.
- 37 percent talk about money before they start living together.
- 77 percent of Hispanics make financial decisions together which includes bill payment and saving toward financial goals, such as vacations, major purchases and education.
How often do they talk money?
- 90 percent discuss at least once a month
- 63 percent discuss at least once a week
- 17 percent discuss on a daily basis
“Many of us are taught from a young age that money is a taboo topic of conversation, but when it comes to romantic relationships, discussing finances needs to happen sooner or later,” says Ryan Bailey, Head of Deposit Products, Payments and Non-Real Estate Lending at TD Bank. “Couples who are hesitant to talk about money should be encouraged to see that doing so could result in a happier relationship.”
Interestingly, though most Hispanics are normally cautious about their spending, the survey states Hispanics are less likely to assign blame on their partner for overspending, even when there are a few areas of concern in their budget.
According to the survey:
- 23 percent overspend on clothing/shoes
- 22 percent overindulge on Hobbies/interests
- 21 percent spend too much dining out/restaurants
- 18 percent overspend on Technology/electronics
Historically Hispanics place a great emphasis on family life and tend to overspend on gifts for children. Compared to 25 percent of the general population, 36 percent of Hispanics feel they spoil their children with money.
Tips for talking money with your spouse
When it comes to the affairs of the heart, there are many things at stake; financial wellbeing is one of the most essential. Money is a major stressor in many relationships; it is also one of the leading causes of divorce and marital rifts, according a recent article by the Huffington post.
Here are a few discussions you need to have about money:
- Budgeting – Whether during dating, marriage or day to day life, money management may cause problems if couples have different views on the subject. One way of avoiding such problems is by creating a financial plan together. Crafting a budget together is a good way to minimize financial stress in your household.
- Debt – When it comes to planning a future together, no topic should be off limits, and debt cannot be taboo between you. Whether it’s old debt or recently incurred, your debt must be discussed. Develop a plan to manage debt together and make sure to eliminate unsecured debts, such as your credit cards, as quickly as possible.
- Credit – If you’re married, your credit can have a major impact on your spouse’s credit as well. It is important to keep each other on track. Make sure to check each of your credit reports for errors once every twelve months. Keep in mind that even after you’re are married, you will each maintain a separate, individual credit report and credit score even though your debts may be held jointly.
- Short and long term financial goals – Setting financial goals together is key to a healthy relationship. Topics such as saving, planning a vacation or cutting household expenses are important to discuss. It is also very important to discuss long-term financial goals such as paying off a mortgage or car loan, as well as things like retirement and investments.
If you need advice on budgeting or information on ways to get out of debt, Consolidated Credit may be able to help. Call to speak with a certified financial counseloror fill out our online application to request a free budget analysis.