The Investigators

Nov 3, 2011 1:00 AM

Digging Out: Money Talks

TUCSON -- If you truly believe that your spouse or partner is your partner in all things, then it may be time for a business meeting.

Financial experts suggest having a frank and unemotional discussion about finances. Studies show most couples don't do this on any regular basis.

Matt and Andrea attempted their first meeting about money only recently. The News 4 Investigators caught up with the couple at the Zoo.

Andrea says, "It's stressful, we're used to being totally independent, then coming together and trying to make things even."

Matt's take: "I'm not sensible at all; I'm more of a spender. She likes to tell me not to spend money but I always come home with a new toy."

Dr. Michael Sullivan is a financial expert with Take Charge America, a non-profit consumer counseling service in Phoenix.

He said it's critical for couples to put all other issues and emotions aside, at least once a year, to figure out where they are and where they're going financially.

Sullivan says, "Often the money discussion becomes a power discussion. And that is the danger. When one person feels they have more power than the other, they're trying to exert more power."

He also says if other issues spill-over into the discussion about money, then put money aside. And do what you have to do to resolve those other issues.

Sullivan urges couples to be sure to schedule a good time and place for your Money Talk.

"Have an agenda, and ground rules going in," explains Sullivan. And be open to solutions and compromise about what's an indulgence, what's a necessity, and who should handle what with finances."

For more tips and information you can visit Take Charge America's website.

http://www.takechargeamerica.org/

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