Regardless of who handles the finances in your household, discussing them can be nerve-wracking. You can make definite progress in your financial situation if you know how to talk about it.
- Step 1: Don't get up until you've made progress, and don't get emotional. Try to be objective and don't end the conversation until you've agreed on a plan. When you each see that the other is earnestly trying to make things better, you'll appreciate the other's sacrifices.
- Step 2: Continue to discuss your finances on a regular basis. Schedule monthly meetings to go over your progress and to devise new strategies. Before you know it, you'll be in the black with an ongoing plan to maintain financial security.
- FACT: 45 percent of female respondents to a 2008 Pew Research Center poll said that they manage the money in the household.
- TIP: Make it clear that you're trying to help, not merely pointing out problems.
- Step 3: Have the facts and figures at your fingertips. If you have solid evidence of your financial situation, you can propose ideas to get back on track for the short, medium, and long term.
- Step 4: Broach the subject gently. Don't be accusatory or assign blame, and acknowledge your part in any financial difficulties you're having. Rather than judging, understand that your marriage is a partnership and, in financial matters, can be approached like a company.
- Step 5: Make a list of areas that need to be addressed. Whether it's aging parents, support of your children, lost income due to rocky investments, or other urgent financial problems, make sure that you are both aware of the problem and that you have definite steps to take toward fixing the situation. This will move the conversation forward instead of leaving you both stressed or angry.
- Step 6: Schedule a time to have a discussion with your husband. Block off at least a half an hour when neither of you have other obligations or responsibilities to attend to. Eliminate all distractions so that you can focus and work things out as expeditiously as possible.