Financial Conversations to Have Between Spouses and Partners 

How much time do you spend talking about money with your spouse or partner? (Not counting fighting about money!) You may not have grown up with the same views on money at all. Maybe you pride yourself on being a saver and you bemoan your partner’s spending habits. No matter, what, consider getting on the same page with these conversations:

    • Talk about your individual values. What does money mean to each of you? If your partner loves classic cars and has spent a fortune restoring a classic car of his own, there’s more going on there than just “spending money for money’s sake.” It’s a passion. Talk about the role of money in your lives and agree on it and you’ll hit on the higher purpose of money in your lives.
    • Don’t fib. Don’t tell your partner that you only spent $50 shopping when you actually spent $550. Those kinds of conversations can really hurt your relationship. Vow to stay as honest as possible, no matter what.
    • Talk about your money goals. What do you ultimately want to work toward together? A vacation home on Lake Tahoe? A Colorado ski vacation every year? Talk through your long-term and short-term goals and don’t forget to talk through your retirement. What do you want that to look like?
  • Talk about how you can be the most financially responsible possible. What do you need to do to make sure you have all your financial ducks in a row? Do you need to get life insurance? Set up a will so your children and assets get cared for? Meet with a financial advisor so you know what your goals should entail?

Take a look at the last point again. You may need to meet with a financial advisor to help you get to your ultimate goals, whether they involve getting out of debt, increasing your income, investing or simply saving up for the future. Ask around in your area to find the best advisor for your needs and your goals. 

Have the Right Conversations at the Right Time 

You don’t want to rush any of these conversations with your young children, teens and even your spouse. Give yourself plenty of time — years! — to have these conversations over time. As kids grow, hopefully, they’ll realize how you’ve developed their money management skills and habits over their entire lives and make great decisions with money. (It doesn’t hurt to have the conversation that you won’t bail them out their whole lives, either.)

Don’t forget to have the right conversations at the age-appropriate time so your kids can digest the information and appreciate it for what it is — golden wisdom.


College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.

Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.