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Money Talk: 7 Things to Never Say to Your Spouse

When It Comes to Finances, Avoid These Things...

It's obviously important to talk openly about money and finances with your spouse. Still, it can be tricky to make sure you don't say the wrong thing or step on each other's toes.

Marlow and Chris Felton, authors of Couples Money and The Prosperity Factor, are a husband and wife team who help couples get on the same financial page. 

To keep the peace in your relationship, we reached out to the Felton's for their top money-talk tips--and they recommend never saying these 7 things to your significant other about money:


1. Never scold your spouse for financial habits. When you scold your spouse’s spending habits, you are making a judgment on something that hasn’t been explained. They may have the perfect rationale for why it is a sound purchase. Hear them out. It may sound crazy to you, but it may be a perfectly reasonable purchase in their mind. Communication is key to solving financial differences.

2. Never belittle income ideas. Your spouse may bring up different ideas for income potential. Judgement and belittling of their ideas will inhibit them from approaching you openly in the future. Also, what appears to be a ‘bad idea’ may be the seed to a better idea. You both are a team and your ideas are valuable together. If your spouse mentions a potential income opportunity, put in your two cents of how to make it a better reality for the both of you.

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3. Never interrogate. Interrogation attempts to shift the power structure of a relationship in one direction or the other. It isn’t discussing because incessant questions are fired from one person towards the other with little time or preparation. The interrogator often already has ideas of their own and they are trying to manipulate their spouse into a specific state of mind. Communicate fairly, openly and calmly for best results in conversations and your relationship.

4. Never ask ‘why can’t you make more?’ It is a guarantee that your spouse would like to be making more money if it was possible. You expressing your disdain for their current income only creates conflict. You are most likely doing this out of frustration, and instead of placing blame on your significant other, you should find a suitable solution to the problem with them.

5. Never judge their purchases. The best way to avoid this is to create what we call a “fun fund.” Each person in the relationship gets a small amount of money to do whatever they want with. This, of course, comes after expenses, savings and emergency funds. It’s the leftover that each spouse can use how they wish, or it can be a combined way to have fun together or work toward a shared dream or goal.


6. Never make assumptions. Assumptions regarding anything, especially finances, can lead you down a negative path. Those who make assumptions often cause themselves emotional harm ahead of time, rather than patiently waiting and communicating for actual results. To make assumptions is to make a drama out of a situation before it occurs. Your mind can run wild with ideas. Most people do this to avoid a previously bad situation that occurred from happening again. Therefore, this way of thinking in assumptions is a self-defense mechanism. Rather than assume, discuss for actual answers that are not being created in a narrative of your mind.

7. Never refuse their questions. Questions indicate curiosity. Never shut down your spouse’s questions, financial or otherwise. If there are questions, a conversation needs to take place to clear up any miscommunications. Having these necessary conversations isn’t usually as bad as you might expect. Also, a great relationship can be built upon these uncomfortable conversations.

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