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Having a Conversation about Money

Wednesday, February 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Psychologists Offer Tips to Avoid Financial Woes

Money is stressful. When it comes to relationships, differing beliefs about money can be a recipe for conflict. Having an open dialogue about finances can help you talk about money in helpful, healthy ways. Psychologists offer tips to avoid financial fights and set the stage for healthy discussions. 

According to the 2017 The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in AmericaTM survey, 62 percent of Americans reported that money is a source of stress. When asked about stressors related to money, 34 percent worry about unexpected expenses, 30 percent experience stress when thinking about saving for retirement and 25 percent of Americans say the ability to pay for life’s essentials proves stressful. 

With practice, people can learn to talk about finances in a healthier, more satisfying way:

Avoid using the word “budget.” Some people have negative associations with this word which may set up a feeling of deprivation. Instead, think in terms of developing a spending plan. Deciding together what goals you want to save for and what goods and services you want to spend your money on can help set shared priorities.

Talk about your money history. Whether people have been in a relationship 10 weeks or 10 years, talking about your money history is the first step to getting on the same page about finances. Having an understanding of the partner’s beliefs can help people avoid conflict and set the stage for healthy discussions about joint finances. Some things to discuss:

  • What did your parents teach you about money?
  • What are your financial goals?
  • What are your fears about money?

Be a team. If financial conversations become heated, take a time out and revisit them later. When it comes to money, partners may not always see eye to eye. But with good communication and an understanding of each other’s beliefs and values, people can work together to realize shared financial goals. 

To learn more about depression and related mind/body health issues, visit apa.org/helpcenter and follow @APAHelpCenter on Twitter. To find out more about the Ohio Psychological Association visit ohpsych.org and follow us on Twitter at @ohpsychassn.


The Ohio Psychological Association, in Columbus, Ohio, is membership organization of approximately 1,500 Ohio psychologists. Its mission is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare. For more information or for a psychologist referral, visit www.ohpsych.org.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.