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How to talk to your significant other about spending habits

Posted at 6:33 AM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 09:33:09-04

PHOENIX — Because of inflation, you may find yourself needing to talk with your significant other about changing your spending habits.

It's a difficult conversation to have, so ABC15 spoke with financial psychologist Dr. Dan Pallesen about the best approach.

Pallesen says he often serves as a third party when couples are making big financial decisions. He recommends creating a money mission statement. It could be, "build a better future for our family" or "enjoy the moment and make memories today." Once you can agree on whether you'd rather save or spend, things could fall into line.

He also recommends being transparent about your spending habits or any debt you're working to pay off and talk at least monthly about your plans. He says talking daily could lead to more arguments, so couples need to find their sweet spot.

"You need to leave your ego at the door, so you have to humble yourself and recognize that one person is not right and the other person is not wrong," Pallesen said. "It's not a matter of who's right, who's wrong. It's more a matter of what is driving your financial desires."

Pallesen says if you are unable to have those conversations between just the two of you, the Financial Therapy Association can help find you a mediator.