Money Therapy Challenge: 20 Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Each Other

Aditi Shekar
November 6th, 2020 | 10 min

You love each other. You need each other. You know every little thing about each other. So why are there so many miscommunications in relationships about personal finance? Not surprisingly, fights about money remain a top cause of break ups amongst U.S. couples.

Even if you think you know your partner by heart, there can still be misunderstandings when it comes to money. One of you spends too much, or hates to budget while the other freaks out over every line item in the budget. How can two people be so compatible in every way, except money?

You’ve shared so many stories about your lives. But you’ve never shared your money story.

We’ve created a list of 20 essential money questions that we believe that every committed couple needs to ask each other in order to get on the same page about their financial future (and stay there).

20 essential money questions for couples to cover

Tackling our money pasts

With money, the past does predict the future. These questions will help you build empathy for each other and identify experiences that impacted your outlook on money.

  1. What’s your first money memory?
  2. Did your parents ever sit down with you and talk about money?
  3. What word comes to your mind when you think about how your family approached money when you were growing up? Note: Feel free to expound on this “one word.” Tell your partner why you chose it.
  4. What money habits did your parents practice? Was one parent more financially engaged than the other? How did you feel about those habits?
  5. Did your parents fight about money?
  6. Did you get an allowance as a child? What did you do with it?

Understanding our money today

These questions are all the present, the here and now. The aim here is to start to understand how you’re thinking about your budgets, your goals, and your fears about what’s going to happen on the day-to-day and tomorrow.

  1. What drives your financial decisions today?
  2. If you won $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with the money?
  3. What scares you about money? What’s your biggest financial fear?
  4. In terms of personal finance, What do you wish you knew more about?
  5. What does “wealth” mean to you? Does it involve money or something else?
  6. What’s one money-habit that you admire about me?
  7. Do you ever worry about our differing attitudes when it comes to saving or spending money?
  8. If I lost $100 on something and didn’t tell you, would you be upset with me? How about $1,000?

Our money future

There’s no such thing as a crystal ball. And while we can’t predict the future, we can do our best to financially plan for it as a team. These questions will determine how much you know about how the other thinks about planning for the years ahead, through sickness, health, and in wealth.

  1. What are you working towards? What dreams do you have (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years)?
  2. What do you think our financial situation is holding us back from doing?
  3. If we had all the money in the world, what would you want our lives to look like?
  4. Do you expect to support your parents or other loved ones in the future?
  5. Do you expect to get any inheritance from your family? How do you want to use it, if at all?
  6. If something were to happen to you, what would you want to do with your money? What do you want to leave behind (and who would you leave it to)?

Get more personal finance tools for couples, check out more resources here.

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