How to Approach a Money Conversation with Your Significant Other

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Money has been a driving factor of arguments between couples since the beginning of banks. When it comes to relationships, research shows that talking about money could be the key to happiness – and that the earlier you talk about money with your significant other, the better.

In a Love and Money study, TD Bank polled more than 1,300 Americans who are either married, engaged, or in relationships, and among respondents who talk about money at least once per week, 42% described their relationship as “extremely happy,” compared to 27% of those who talk about money less than once per month. Additional key findings include: 21% of respondents said they started talking about money with their significant other before they started living together; 22% said once they started living together, and 21% said when they got married. Among those surveyed who are content in their relationships, 20% said they started talking about money before they lived together, compared to only 18% of those who are not happy in their relationships.

We all know it’s a sensitive subject, but it’s a conversation we’ve got to have. So how exactly are we supposed to broach the topic with a significant other? Keep reading to discover expert advice on how to handle the cash-flow convo.

According to Ryan Bailey, head of deposit products, payments and non-real estate lending at TD Bank, here are three tips every couple should be following:

  1. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to personal finance, and for couples, it is important to learn from each other as you grow your relationship and begin saving for some of life’s biggest events, such as a wedding, birth of a child, buying your first home together, and deciding whether to open a joint account or keep separate accounts.
  2. As a couple grows their relationship, their need to talk about managing money grows, too. It is important for each person to share what has worked and hasn’t worked in the past when managing money – these insights can go a long way toward establishing budgeting goals and the foundation for a happy relationship.
  3. When merging finances, it’s a good idea stop by your local bank and have a conversation with your banker about what account options are the best fit for you and your partner’s specific needs. Couples should also seek out relationship benefits from their financial institution. Some banks, like TD, offer couples valuable advantages like rate reductions on mortgages and home equity loans that could save them hundreds of dollars a year.
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