How to talk to your spouse about finances? An expert weighs in.

Mar 27, 2023, 8:30 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY — Finances are an important discussion in any household. But how often should you discuss it with your spouse? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Dr. Dave Schramm, a Utah State University family life extension specialist, joined Dave and Dujanovic on Monday with hosts Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the matter.

Noriega asks how often should we have the financial discussion with our spouse, and the crackdown on the finances.

“It’s kind of like asking how many times should I use the restroom each day. Right?” Schramm said. “It depends on how many times I need to.”

He says if a couple have been married a long time, maybe it’s every few months. But a younger couple might check in with each other several times a week.

Overall, Schramm says the answer is simple.

“It just depends on how many times you feel like you need to have that discussion,” he said. “If one person feels like they need to, then you need to have it.”

Avoid the blame game when talking finances with your spouse

Dujanovic asks how we avoid any finger-pointing in those types of conversations.

“These money dates, they need to be brief,” Schramm said. “Ideally about 20 minutes and you need to stick to the point and avoid any kind of old arguments because it can feel threatening. It makes us defensive.”

Schramm also says these types of conversations should be avoided late at night.

Noriega asked, “So what if there really is an impasse where you can’t agree on a spending plan of accountability? What do you do if you just genuinely cannot solve the problem?”

Schramm says people do go to a counselor to solve the problem. However, he advises to avoid using family or friends in financial situations.

“But I recommend really trying to understand the person, and that takes compassion,” he said. “You don’t have to agree with them now. But at least try to understand their perspective on why they feel so strongly at that.”

He says understanding is so much part of the situation and solution. 


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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How to talk to your spouse about finances? An expert weighs in.