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How To Talk to Your Partner About Financial Anxiety

woman and man side by side looking at a paper of their finances

Worrying about money is a widespread feeling. You could be living paycheck to paycheck, or you could be trying to make a smart investment. No one is immune to these worries. 

Talking to your partner about money can be uncomfortable, but it is really important to have a conversation about financial anxiety. That way, you can both have a better understanding of one another’s plans and goals. 

You can work together to find solutions that can lessen the stress of it all. 

What Is Financial Anxiety?

Financial anxiety presents similar to anxiety symptoms, just focused on finances. This type of anxiety is not just worrying about having enough money; it’s an anxiety disorder. Those afflicted may partake in overspending, uncontrolled penny-pinching, and worrying so much over money that they can’t sleep or look at their bank account. 

For some people, these money worries are elevated to an anxious level. Financial anxiety affects approximately 72 percent of Americans, so you are not alone. These symptoms can affect your physical health and daily life so it’s important to have a conversation with your partner.

You can also gain knowledge about financial anxiety either for you or your partner. This article has several ways to aid in overcoming your financial anxiety.  You may need to seek professional help like a healthcare provider, financial counselor, or financial therapist. 

How Do I Manage Financial Anxiety With My Partner?

Schedule a money date by setting aside time to discuss financials. In that regard, you and your partner can have ample time to know where you stand financially and arrive level-headed. 


Be aware of your current salary, debts, and where your comfort level is. Ask questions. Does one of you save or spend, or are you both the same? Do you prefer to save as much as possible? 

Does that make your partner feel suffocated like they can’t buy things they want or have fun? Does one of you prefer using a credit card for small things or big-ticket items? 

How do you want to address bills — equally, split each one, one of you pays for electricity while the other pays for propane?

Make a Plan

Each couple will have different preferences and opinions. A conversation where you plan how things are getting paid is important to decrease fights about bills. Fights and arguments can just add to your anxiety about financials. 

For some couples, it’s beneficial for them to keep their money separate, while others prefer it being “their” money as a couple rather than yours or theirs. This would be the time to reveal if you have worries about your overspending or any current debts.  

An in-depth conversation can create an equal playing field and show where the other partner is coming from and their goals so you can meet in the middle. Evaluate what your financial goals are individually and together. 

You may want to get down your credit card debt, but your partner prefers getting your school loan down. If you’re planning on buying a house, it’s important to know your credit scores and debts to be on the same page with what is feasible. There may be areas that need attention before big financial decisions, like a house, a car, or even a vacation. 

Having a plan in place for situations like this can decrease money anxiety. A budget, a debt management schedule, and an emergency fund are all important. These three things are key to feeling less stressed and anxious if something happens, like being jobless or having unexpected expenses. 

Plan with your partner — how much money is put towards a savings account or emergency fund, how much is put towards debt, and even how much is a reasonable amount for “fun money.” 

Money Management

Maybe you think it’s time to start investing, and after a discussion with your partner, they also would like to invest. Using reliable sources such as M1 finance can help ease some financial anxiety knowing you can grow your income.

Money management is important for these occasions and to help control financial anxiety, so you have a plan of action. Another important factor is to remember that situations and money change. You may need a money date every other month or so, whatever seems to work for you. 

That way, you can go over where current debts are or any changes to personal finance goals. Having this transparency is important to managing financial anxiety.  

Don’t Compare

Remember that some couples may be able to spend more than others so it’s important not to compare to those on social media who may have completely different financial capabilities and goals. 

You have no idea what their bank accounts or debts look like; everyone has a different financial situation. You don’t want to fall into debt to try to spend like those you see online. 

Be Honest and Compassionate

Both parties must be honest with one another but remember to be sensitive about bringing up frustrations or suspicions. If one of you is struggling with overspending, it can bring on shameful feelings that can be made worse by a partner coming at you aggressively. 

Remember that there may be a reason for this, such as financial anxiety, and be compassionate. Work together to tackle this hurdle rather than place all the blame on one person.

Financial Anxiety Can Be Managed Together

Financial stress can deeply affect couples and make things very stressful. This is intensified if financial anxiety is also a factor. Having an honest, calm discussion with your partner, rather than an argument, is important to know how each other is feeling regarding their financial health. 

This way, you can plan goals financially and assess where financials may need more attention. In a relationship, you want to feel supported and understood; this applies to finances as much as it does anything else. 

Addressing financial issues with your partner rather than struggling alone is the best way to manage financial anxiety. It can even improve your relationship with your partner; being open and honest brings you close to one another. 


Talking About Money | NPR

Dealing with Financial Anxiety | United Credit Union

Money Stress | Experian