Category Archives: money

Talking about Finances During the Coronavirus

Talking about Finances During the Coronavirus

With the COVID crisis being what it is, a lot of people are under financial stress.  You might have lost a job.  Or maybe things have just slowed down enough that money is not coming in like usual.  In any case, talking finances is hard to begin with.  Talking with your partner about money can be difficult.  So it could be an even more intimidating subject if the added stress of COVID is piling on.  Here are some thoughts on dealing with money with your partner.   

Talk about What You are Afraid of 

There is a lot of uncertainty that goes along with this situation.  You have no clue if or when things will go back to their old rhythm.  And with uncertainty comes fear and anxiety.  Financial fears have a way of spiraling if we let them.  And that spiral could easily lead to being reactive when you bring up the subject with your partner.   

So part of things is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself well.  Make sure that you are keeping up with any skills, hobbies, or activities that help you relax.  But also make sure that you are talking with your partner about what your financial fears are.  You do not want to underestimate the value of your partner being able to share that weight with you.  Your partner has no opportunity to be supportive if they do not know what is getting to you.   

Start the Conversation Softly 

Mature couple talking together in sofa

Conversations tend to go the way that they start.  The beginning of an interaction sets the tone for how you can expect the conversation to go.  If you know that a topic is going to be difficult, be sure that you avoid any blaming, criticizing, or harsh comments.   

You will want to preface things before bringing up the conversation.  Mention that it might be difficult to talk about money, because you are feeling scared lately.  Ask for patience if you think that you might need it.  Be ready to talk more about what you are feeling emotionally if things start to feel out of control.   

Attend to emotions during these talks first.  Think about it terms of priorities.  You want to make sure that the two of you are able to talk through you are feeling first if your relationship is more important than money.  Otherwise, any talk about money is going to fall apart if the foundation is shaky.  Here is a helpful worksheet on keeping conversations soft instead of harsh.   

Go Slow 

can not emphasize this enough, but you will want to go slow.  The discussion will not go well if you come in hot and try to solve the problem immediately.  Approaching the situation as urgent will not go well for two reasons.  First, Urgency puts us on edge.  It is harder to keep our cool.  Second, speed is only your friend when one person is making a decision.  If you go too fast, one person is more likely to take the lead.  And if you feel like you did not have equal say in a decision, you will be more likely to feel resentment later on.   

If you are looking for help handling the touchy subjects, give The Marriage & Family Clinic a call. 

About the Author

Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado

Talking to Your Spouse About Money

Talking to Your Spouse About Money

I was recently asked to be a guest presenter for a webinar for investors on the psychology of money. Everyone’s heard money (along with sex and kids) is one of the most common causes of arguments in marriage. So as you can imagine, the conversation got pretty exciting as everyone told stories about conversations they’d… Continue Reading

How to Make a Budget Work for Your Marriage

How to Make a Budget Work for Your Marriage

A while ago I had the opportunity to give a webinar for a financial company that teaches everyday people real world investing and practical investing strategies. I was asked to guest present on decision making in uncertain times. It was a great presentation with a great audience. During the webinar I was asked several questions from… Continue Reading

My Partner has Changed! What Do I Do?

Dear Aaron,I’ve been married for 18 years and for the most part those have been happy years. We’ve had our share of stresses but nothing that we haven’t been able to handle. Anyway, I stayed at home until our youngest started going to school which was about 6 years ago. My husband’s income was enough… Continue Reading