If you haven’t talked about finances with the person you’re dating, it might be worth thinking about having the money talk soon. Financial issues touch just about every part of our lives, and how someone handles money will become important if you find yourself wanting to make a commitment.
So how do you know the right time to talk? These are a few great things to watch out for.
You’re personally holding off financial plans because of the other person
For example, are you thinking about buying a new car, but are waiting to see if the relationship progresses before making that choice? Are you thinking of moving to a new apartment? Maybe you’re even postponing an important decision about your career. This is a sign that on some level you’re thinking very seriously about the long term with this person, and that means it’s time to start talking about that long term.
You’re left feeling uncomfortable on a regular basis by the other person’s financial habits
Does your partner spend more than you like? Is he or she too much of a tightwad? Does that person not take the appropriate time and effort to manage the details, like making sure that overdrafts don’t happen? If these issues are cropping up and bothering you, it’s time for a talk.
Your spending and your partner’s spending are less coordinated than they should be
This is something that was a clear warning sign for my wife and I as we got closer. We’d both stop on our way home from work and buy milk, winding up with two gallons in the fridge (and one usually going bad before it was finished). We’d both buy stamps. We used to have to pay rent at an office and, more than once, we both went to that office and paid rent or the month. This is a sure sign that something’s out of whack and it’s time for both of you to get on the same financial page.
You’re about to be faced with a major financial issue or milestone
If your relationship is serious and you’re about to be met with a major crisis, like an impending pink slip, a huge financial settlement, or a job offer in a faraway place, now is the time to have a serious talk with your partner about your shared future.
You’re about to make a lifelong commitment to each other
If nothing else has triggered a money talk, an engagement ring should. If you’ve committed to marriage, one of the first things you should work out about your future lives together is how the money should work.
– via The Simple Dollar
Now… What To Say?
Talking about money can be… weird. It brings out our insecurities or fears, and it’s all too easy to clam up.
But at the end of the day, having the money talk and getting everything out in the open will feel like a weight has been lifted! The more you know, and the better you communicate, the better your relationship will be in the long term.
Here are a few ideas of what to discuss when you bring up money matters.
Financial goals. This is probably the easiest topic to discuss. We all love to talk about what we want to happen in your lives. It makes the goal seem reachable if you discuss it with someone that you know will support you all the way. By including this topic in your money talk, you are giving the other person an idea about your aspirations for the future. And if you hear about their own, you can decide if that is the type of future that you want to share.
Household expenses. If you do not live in the same roof, this discussion may not be done in details. But being open to your partner about the household expenses will help them understand the financial responsibilities that you are facing each month. It will help them get an idea about the type of lifestyle that you lead. That is also true vice versa.
Debt problems. This is the most difficult of all to reveal to your partner. Debt is oftentimes associated with failure. The more deeply rooted you are in your debt, the more embarrassed you will be to divulge this. Not only that, you will fear that your loved one will think negatively of you because of your debt. But if you trust in what you feel and you accept that you need help, then you have to share this information with your significant other. This is the toughest money talk to have but it is the most rewarding – especially when your partner turns out to be very supportive. Tackling debt as a couple, when done correctly can help strengthen the relationship.
– via National Debt Relief
Do you often talk about money with your significant other? How did the money talk go?