/ Money and Kids: Are you and your partner having the right conversations?

Money and Kids: Are you and your partner having the right conversations?

Jan 28, 2014

The way a couple handles money has changed. And there’s a lot to consider before having children.


Q: Do we need to have joint accounts and be accountable to each other for spending?

Knowing where you stand and what you want for yourself financially is the first step, so you can speak with your partner openly about what your ideal financial relationship with them looks like.

Talk about what you both expect. When it comes to banking, having separate accounts and one joint account can allow couples to have autonomy in what they are spending individually, but makes sure that both people cover things like mortgage payments and child care expenses. This is what my husband and I do, but again, it is a discussion you need to have to figure out what works for you.

Thinking you have to be accountable to each other for what you’re spending often goes back to how we saw our parents deal with money. Maybe your mom would go shopping and say, “don’t tell your father” or your dad would buy a new toy and do the same. Depending on how the other parent reacted if they found out, you probably have good or bad feelings around keeping spending a secret. Talk with your partner about what they see as their ideal financial relationship. If all the big stuff like bills and anything else you have agreed to share is covered, how critical is it to know what your partner is spending in addition?


Q: How do couples sort through this before tying the knot?

Because so many of us have seen our parents argue (and maybe even divorce) over money issues, this conversation has become important to help us make sure we’re making the right decisions.

You need to discuss your feelings with your partner around money and give them the opportunity to share why they may not

have complete financial stability at the moment. Student loans, medical bills and other unavoidable costs can affect a credit score and should be talked about before immediately deciding they’re not marriage material.


Q: How do we know we’re ready to have kids?

Talking with your partner about where you both stand on being ready for children is so important to setting the foundation for this part of your lives together.

When asking whether couples are ready for children, I typically run across two scenarios.

Scenario one: when a woman feels ready for kids but the man is not totally on board, it’s usually because he is scared he will no

longer get the attention he wants from the relationship. This likely stems from witnessing his own parents. If he saw that they lost themselves and dedicated everything to their children, he is probably afraid the same will happen to him.

Scenario two: if the man is ready for children but the woman isn’t totally on board, this is usually because she feels like she hasn’t done all the things she needs or wants to do before she gets pregnant and has kids.

Both of these situations are understandable. It’s important to vocalize these things to your partner if you are feeling unsure, and also to be receptive about what may be holding them back.


Q: Why do we want to have kids?

Not everyone’s reasons for having children are the same. You might have always wanted to be a mom or maybe he wants to leave a legacy. But if you dig deep and find that you want to have children to resolve something in your marriage, or because everyone else your age is having children, then you need to own up to that and figure out what else is going on for you.

Getting clear on why is so important so you know where you stand as a couple and the reasons you’re taking this step.

Of course there are going to be doubts, concerns and fears. Those aren’t going to go away. But you need to be ready to take the next steps, be willing to work through those fears together and be ready for what’s to come.

Lost in love? Email me [email protected]

Kavita J. Patel is a relationship expert and love coach and is the founder of Outrageously Happy Relationships. She specializes in helping women to single-handedly transform their love lives through the power of releasing trapped beliefs, breaking through love blocks and opening their hearts to love in a brand new way. www.kavitajpatel.com

Kavita Patel

Kavita Patel

Author

Kavita J Patel is a Relationship Expert and Love Specialist on a mission to help women worldwide make quantum leaps in their happiness and love lives. As a second-generation Indian American, Kavita's Indian heritage and spirituality deeply inform her coaching, and bring a blend of Eastern and W...

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