It's the most wonderful time of the year – extended family members coming to visit, increased work to get everything done before the break, and lots of presents to buy.
Sorry, did I say wonderful? I misspoke. I meant stressful.
I love Christmas (especially the cake) but it's undeniable that the silly season also quickly becomes the stressful season.
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So it's more important than ever to be able to have a conversation with your partner about your spending priorities.
If you're not talking about what you want to do, there's the risk of accidentally undermining each other's efforts.
In the latest episode of the Cooking the Books podcast, Money Mentalist Lynda Moore recommended starting the money conversation "as soon as the toothbrush starts to move".
In other words, as soon as the relationship is getting serious enough that you're spending large amounts of time together.
I wholeheartedly agree as money is a foundational part of any relationship.
But of course, it's not as easy as saying "just talk to each other, silly".
Money cuts to the heart of many subjects that can cause arguments. How important we feel in a relationship, whether our needs are being met, whether we feel like a priority.
Many people who've been together for years can still struggle to have conversations about money.
One of my favourite tips is to break the cycle of tension by verbally time travelling. You can ask – what would you do if we won Lotto this weekend?
It's a less confrontational way to start than an argument about the latest credit card bill, but you've also just got valuable insight into their goals.
Whether it's travelling (post-pandemic), paying off the mortgage, or helping out friends and family, you now know what's important to them.
Once you know the goal, it's easier to work backwards. Do you need to wait for Lotto, or could you start changing money habits now in order to reach that goal together?
Or you can ask about their first money memory, whether it was getting pocket money from parents, what they liked to buy as a kid, or when they got their first job and the independence that came with it.
Where people have come from concerning money is just as important and can help you understand their priorities today.
These lower stakes introductions to the money conversation can help you break the ice, so you can have conversations about the here and now as well.
A regular money date, such as a fortnightly chat between the two of you, over a bottle of wine and with no kids around, can help keep everyone on track.
But those are often much easier once you've started a track record of good conversations about money, where everyone feels heard.
Get all the tips when you listen to the latest Cooking the Books podcast here: