Four tips to avoid discussing finances at the wrong time

Timing is important when discussing finances.

One of the most important subjects you can talk with your family and spouse is about money. Money is a sensitive subject for many families and often one of the biggest things that couples fight about. Many of those arguments come about because a lot of us just don’t know how to talk about money. It is one of those things you’re not supposed to mention in polite conversation. But if you’re married or in a serious relationship, you have to talk about it. Financial issues are going to be a recurring topic of discussion and often we pick the wrong time and place to discuss money. Think about the acronym, HALT, and follow these four simple tips to avoid discussing finances at the wrong time. 

Don’t discuss money if you are:

  • Hungry: This leads to a general feeling of weakness in your body, makes it hard to think and you can’t rely on yourself to be functioning at your best. Before you have a difficult conversation with your spouse or your significant other, make sure you’re not hungry.
  • Angry: Anger causes you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do, and you may well regret your actions later. An angry person doesn’t think things through as well as one who is calm.
  • Lonely: If you’re feeling lonely this can lead to depression, being overwhelmed and having anxiety. It is important to avoid discussing finances at this time.
  • Tired: Being tired and run-down creates so many physical and emotional concerns and can cause your brain to not function properly. Try taking a nap and being well rested before having a conversation about finances.

Remember, timing is important when discussing finances. The discussion of finances with your spouse or significant other can be challenging but also rewarding. Use the acronym, HALT, and follow these four simple tips to avoid discussing finances at the wrong time and to ensure a healthy financial conversation. 

If you have questions about personal finance, or would like to ask an expert, Michigan State University Extension has access to many resources. Visit the MI Money Health page for more information and answers to your questions including more information about creating a spending plan.

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