How money conversations can improve relationships

By Tokiso Nthebe

It is no secret that money conversations remain a taboo, even in 2024. For many couples (dating, engaged or married), openly talking about money, setting financial goals drawing up a budget or discussing different types of marital contracts is an uncomfortable and a topic they would rather ignore. Couples regularly have date nights to talk, rekindle the spark and connect, sadly however, money conversations seldom make it to the list of topics.

Not only are finances important, with far-reaching consequences if not addressed, but remain a source of conflict in many relationships. Studies indicate that money is a significant contributor to divorce, intimate partner violence or financial abuse. So, couples cannot afford to ignore money conversations!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and couples preparing to spoil their significant other with gifts such as dinner dates, chocolates, flowers and wine to celebrate, is it not time that they also prioritise their financial well-being and have honest money conversations?

How to start money conversations?

As aforementioned, money conversations are deemed sensitive and uncomfortable; naturally, initiating them will not be easy. The challenge this Valentine’s Day, however, is to grab the bull by the horns and start healthily talking about money. A great starting point is to set the mood and create a conducive environment. 

Instead of the traditional Valentine’s Day dinner, how about a ‘Money Date’ where you discuss your financial goals? The secret ingredient here is NOT to judge or make the other partner feel bad. Below are a few strategies and questions to consider.

  • Use open-ended questions.

By using open-ended questions, you allow other people to think and then respond without feeling judged or like they are being interrogated. Questions such as ‘how would you describe your relationship with your money?’ ‘What did you believe about money growing up?’ ‘What financial goals do you want to achieve in 2024?’ ‘How would you spend your money if it was unlimited?’ ‘what money mistakes have you made that you regret?’ and ‘would you say your tax affairs are in order?’ can help kickstart the conversation. 

The answers to the above questions will give you insights about your partner’s money beliefs, mindset and values to name a few. Please note that it will also take time to build this relationship, so be patient and go on more money dates.

  • Invest in financial education as a couple.

The second tip to consider this Valentine’s Day is to invest in improving your financial knowledge. There are many available resources such as personal finance books, workshops, events, podcasts and coaching both as an individual and a couple to consider. Listen to podcasts that discuss money and financial planning, attend workshops together, read blogs such as My Money Adventures available at then discuss and compare notes. Instead of spending a lot of money on another Valentine’s Day gift, replace that with a coaching session with a psychologist and financial coach to talk about your relationship and financial goals. 

When couples invest in their financial education, money conversations become easier and less uncomfortable. This makes conversations such as discussing which expenses or projects to prioritise or which financial goals to focus on in 2024 easier to navigate. 

Plan and navigate the money adventures.

Lastly, I encourage couples to plan, individually and collectively. As much as you are a couple, it is important to also prioritise individual needs, goals, and aspirations. Discuss what each one wants to achieve, what the couple wants to achieve and how it plans to achieve it. Develop a financial plan, with clear timelines to help you navigate the finances. It is also important to allocate the budget to individual spending such as entertainment and personal development. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!


I do not guarantee that the above tips or strategies will immediately change your relationship’s financial well-being and health, but there are possibilities. With a lot of work, trust, and professional help, you can have healthier money conversations, that will hopefully, also improve your overall relationship. The views expressed in this blog are of the author and do not constitute financial or relationship advice. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *