Empower Blog

May 18, 2023

Conversation Starters for Financially Aligning with Your Significant Other

Financial Planning
Getting on the same page with your significant other regarding money may not be the most romantic conversation, but it’s a good idea to get in the habit of talking about your financial goals and learning about one another’s financial tendencies. People sometimes assume that married couples have already discussed and aligned on this topic, but money is still the number one reason cited for divorce.


Below are conversation starters for couples to use when it comes to discussing finances.

Your Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Money Growing Up

Before you jump into the money talk, take time to understand your partner’s background with money. Everyone grew up differently. Our childhood plays a role in who we are as adults and that includes how we view money. Here are some questions to start with: What was the greatest financial lesson you learned from your parents? Did your parents talk openly about money? What is your greatest fear with your own finances?

Your Position on Debt

Some people are more comfortable with debt than others. Knowing and understanding your partner’s threshold is a big part of how financial decisions are made. Being on the same page about how quickly you’re able to pay off car loans, student loans, and other debts will help bring clarity to your finances. As a financial institution, we recommend paying off credit cards at the end of every month. But the reality is, many people fall behind unintentionally so it’s necessary to start this conversation early.

Saver vs. Spender

Whether you’re a saver or a spender, it’s important to know how you’re going to approach long-term saving. Make sure you have an open line of communication to talk about your finances on a regular basis, and that each person is having their needs met. Start the conversation with basic savings and build on that for longer term goals. For example, how large of an emergency fund do you need and how much will you set aside each month? How much money of your paycheck will you put into your 401(k) or other retirement accounts? Do you plan to buy a home? If so, how will you save for a down payment?

Which Splurges are Worth It

Have you ever noticed that people have specific things they’re willing to splurge on? For example, you may prefer a trip to the beach over a pair of designer shoes while your Halloween-loving partner wants to go all-in on an elaborate-themed costume each year. Knowing where your significant other loves to spend when disposable income is available can help you both plan for these purchases and avoid potential financial pitfalls. You can prepare for those known splurges by having a dedicated savings account and adding to it each month.

Envisioning Your Future

This is the opportunity to take the conversation all the way to retirement and beyond. If one person longs to travel extensively without the burden of employment, while the other would rather live large now and wind down the spending in retirement, those are different envisioned futures. Spend time talking about the future so you can determine how much or how little you should spend or save now. Finances after we are gone Talk about your eternal financial wishes sooner rather than later. It’s important to make these decisions together. Estate planning is as much about taking care of your surviving family as it is about ensuring your final wishes are carried out properly. A Wealth Advisor can help guide you in your estate plan and connect you to the right experts.


There are many ways to achieve financial success. Pay down debts, prioritize savings, and have a plan and a budget. But what’s simple to define isn’t always simple to execute, especially with differing perspectives. These conversation starters will hopefully kick off beneficial financial conversations for you and your partner.

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About the Author
rance carlson
Rance Carlson

Wealth Management by CommunityAmerica

Rance Carlson is a Wealth Advisor who works with clients to truly understand the “why” behind their goals so he can create a financial path that will help them get there.