Tips for Talking Money With Your Spouse Carl Richards: Financial arguments 'come from surprises' By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted May 20, 2012 2:55 PM CDT 1 comment Comments Talking money with your spouse: a potential minefield of emotions and expectations. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – A financial discussion with your spouse can feel like a minefield of emotional surprises. Financial planner Carl Richards advises you to first have "the conversation before the decision gets made," which "can make a huge difference" in your relationship, he writes in the New York Times Bucks blog. Also: Limit your spending. "Often our biggest arguments come from surprises," so set a threshold for surprise purchases. Discuss education. Parents often disagree on how to pay for the children's education, so have the conversation soon—"preferably before the first child is a senior in high school and sending out applications." Talk about where to live. Some spouses like renting, others owning. But whatever you do, "don’t view your home as an investment. Buy a house for reasons that aren’t connected to selling it again in a year." Go over retirement expectations. You may want to hit the links, while your spouse starts a new, satisfying project. "Talk it through and be clear about what’s important to you." Click for more from Richards, including his "no shame, no blame" rule.