When it comes to healthy relationships (of any kind), one element you’ll consistently find is good communication. More than the ability to tell your partner that you’re annoyed they didn’t unstack the dishwasher last night, good communication involves sharing, planning and hearing one another out on a regular basis. And when it comes to partnerships and money goals, clarity is hugely important. For that reason, H&R Block ambassador
The value of a relationship check-in
The concept of checking in with your partner with some formal regularity is hardly a new one. In her book How Not to Die Alone, Logan Ury writes that the relationship ‘Check-In Ritual’ is something she lives by. In the book, she quotes Esther Perel, a psychotherapist, who once said, “Relationships are your story, write well, and edit often.”
Ury continued, sharing that she recommends running a weekly check-in with your partner in which you “discuss what’s on your mind”. In her check-ins with her partner, Ury tends to cover three questions “How was your last week? Did you feel supported by me? How can I support you in the coming week?”
The point of these is to address issues as they emerge. A relationship WIP is much the same. And the questions you choose to cover are up to you. As money tends to be one of the biggest issues relationships need to navigate, it makes sense that you’ll cover this topic more than once.
Edwards shared with us over email that “By talking about money in a regular check-in, you’re opening the floor for either or both of you to discuss any money stuff that’s on your mind, before they [these money concerns] bubble over into a bigger issue.”
“…when you start talking about money early on in a relationship, you get to know one another’s money stories which can help you form a deeper connection and help you plan for your future,” she said.
How much should you share about money?
If you’re unsure about how in-depth your discussions about money should go, Edwards shared that the only real rule here is that “both of you feel comfortable and empowered with your level of involvement”.
Depending on how intertwined your finances are, your comfort level will vary, so it’s really down to you and your partner to find the level of sharing that works for you – as long as you’re both being heard and respected here.
“Money management that’s too one-sided can leave the other person financially disadvantaged, or even be a sign of financial abuse,” Edwards added.
How to introduce money planning into relationship check-ins
If your relationship is in a place where future planning, including financial goals, feels important to you both, Edwards has some advice on practical ways to get organised.
“For thoughts, goals and comments, having a shared Google folder or document where you can keep track of things you’ve discussed can be helpful. If you’re more visual, a digital whiteboard like Google Jamboard or Miro can help you brainstorm together. When it comes to tracking spending, a digital platform like MoneyHub from H&R block can help you get clear on where your money is going, and identify areas to cut back,” she said.
And while you still might have personal financial goals, hearing one another out during a regular check-in or WIP can be helpful for all aspects of your relationship health.
“Our money goals and behaviours say a lot about what we want out of life, so building individual and joint goals that work together can help the relationship grow and evolve as you do,” Edwards added.