Do you and your partner argue about money? Or do you simply avoid the topic altogether? For advice on how couples can better handle their finances together, Jean talks to Sharon Epperson, author of The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money—and Live Richly Ever After.
Sharon says that most couples spend a lot of time trying to figure out if they are romantically compatible and not enough time making sure that their financial personalities are compatible. While it's more than likely your attitudes towards money will vary, the key for couples is to simply start communicating, she says.
Once couples open up about their views on money, Sharon says it's important for them to think as a unit about how to move forward. "Yes, you have to look yourself in the mirror and figure out what you want to do with your money but you also need to come together as a couple and figure out what you can do," she says.
Discussing financial goals—such as when you plan on retiring or how you'd like to pay for your child's college tuition—may seem like a daunting task, but not having a plan could be even more disastrous, Sharon says. Speak candidly about your credit scores and debt, then track spending and saving as a couple.
"Just plan so that you can lead your life a little bit more calmly," Sharon says. "When you have a game plan, often that means you have a cushion, and with a cushion comes a lot of peace of mind."