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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Money and relationships: How to talk about money with your partner

Money and relationships: How to talk about money with your partner

married couple thinking about taxes

Allison Miller


There’s no question about it — having money conversations can be challenging no matter who you are or what your background is. Many people feel personal finance is exactly that — personal. That’s why divulging how much you make, what you spend, and what you have saved can feel a bit uncomfortable and awkward. However, money matters in a relationship, and it’s important to have these conversations.

How does money affect relationships?

According to a recent American Psychological Association survey, 55% of Americans say they agree that money is a major source of conflict in their household.1 And not only that, money is strongly associated with all kinds of emotions, including: self-worth, security, power, pride, and inferiority.2

So given its importance to your emotional health, here are some suggestions for how to have the money talk with your significant other — whether that’s your spouse or someone you’re starting to get serious with.

How to talk to your spouse (or significant other) about money

When to talk about finances in a relationship

There’s no right or wrong time in a relationship to discuss finances. It’s really up to you to determine when it makes sense. Again, because your financial situation can feel personal and private, it’s probably best to wait until you’ve established a solid level of understanding and trust between you and the other person.

Remember, these conversations are usually not one-and-done. They should be ongoing and take place in a distraction-free-zone, where you can devote enough time and energy to feel comfortable and productive.

Need help getting started?

Download our free discussion guide: Financial conversations for couples 


1 American Psychological Association, “The 2022 Stress in America Survey,” October 2022.

2 Psychology Today, “The Psychological Impact of Money on Relationships,” December 2022.


Allison Miller, Empower Thought Leadership manager

Allison Miller

Content contributor

Allison Miller is a personal finance content contributor for Empower. A former CBS News producer and media relations professional, she’s covered topics ranging from healthcare reform, space exploration, presidential elections and more.

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“EMPOWER” and all associated logos, and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice. ©2023 Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. All rights reserved.