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Keep Calm & Talk About It

Many couples fight over finances. It is one of the leading causes of divorce and separation.

But debt cannot just be ignored. You really do need to talk about it or things can get out of control very quickly.

So, how do you talk about debt without a big fight?

A Regular Time

Talking about debt can be tricky.

You may start to say something about your debt situation and then hold back at the last minute. You may find yourself rehearsing a sentence or two to try and get a conversation going but then chicken out at the last minute over and over again.

So, setting up a regular time or day each month to talk about debt can create the right forum to have these discussions.

Keep It Short And Sweet

Though you may be tempted to dive deep into your entire financial situation and have a 5 hour strategy session this can actually be counter productive (at first).

If debt is a sensitive subject, then keeping discussions brief and informative can be best. It can reduce the amount of time during which tempers can fly and harsh words can creep in.

Keep it factual for now. Just keep everyone informed of how things stand and what payments are needed.

The Biggest Rule

The most important part of such a discussion is not to blame one another or raise your voice.

Keep things calm and avoid blaming each other. You may need to bite your tongue and hold back certain thoughts.

It can be easy to blame and easy to point fingers but try to think of the big picture. Would you rather have all the information about your true financial situation or live in the dark?

Rather than play the blame game remember that you are a team and the debt is the common enemy (not one another).

Could You Add a Little Fun?

Debt and fun do not go together. True. But could you make the evening or day when you talk about debt something to look forward to?

How could you do that?

Some households make the event a special occasion by having a fun family meal or linking it with another fun family activity (like a trip to the park or beach after the discussion). Even when finances are tight there are ways to link the chat with something fun and low cost. It might be as simple as a fun meal (Hotdogs or homemade pizza) or movie night.

Try and reward yourselves for having the chat. It can help you look forward to the discussion rather than fear it.

It’s Hard At First But Gets Easier

As with many things, setting up a regular time to talk about debt can be difficult.

You may find excuses to avoid the conversation, particularly when things are not looking great or if one party in a relationship has more debt than the other.

Still, if you are able to set up a regular time to discuss finances it will get easier over time. And once the routine is established it can become key to a successful financial future.

Which is something we all want.