How to Talk About Money With Your Significant Other
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Talking about money with your significant other is important to do but this doesn’t always mean the conversation will come easily. When my husband and I were first getting to know each other, we started talking about money early in the relationship as it came up naturally. Still, this didn’t stop money fights or disagreements along the way.
Despite the opportunity for conflict, I believe it’s crucial that couples talk about money together. Doing so can help you get on the same page financially. When done intentionally, discussing money with your significant other can actually be fun and effective. Here are some of my favorite tips to help you get started.
Allow Money Conversations to Come Up Naturally
You may not want to talk about money on the first date, but money conversations should come up naturally as your relationship progresses. You will likely start doing more things together, whether it’s grabbing food, planning a trip, or possibly even splitting bills. This can open the door for many productive money conversations or even questions.
Discuss Your Future Goals Together
I love setting goals and tracking my progress. Even before my husband and I got engaged, we were talking about our future goals together. For our one-year anniversary, we planned to go on a romantic cruise. Of course, this involved some budgeting and discussing our financial plans. We learned a lot about how each person manages money and certain areas where we both could improve.
As time went on, we set other exciting goals that involved money like buying a house, paying off our vehicles, and sending my husband back to school so he could go into a new career. Planning goals together can be a great way to get on the same page financially and work as a team to build the life you both want.
Be Honest About Your Financial Past
According to a CreditCards.com survey, at least 40% of Americans admit to committing financial infidelity or lying to their partners about money. It can be difficult to open up about your past money mistakes, but your romantic partner deserves to know.
To avoid financial infidelity in your relationship, one of the best things you can do is to have an open mind. Let your partner know that you won’t judge their past financial decisions or mistakes and be sure to forgive yourself for your financial past as well.
Clear the slate by sitting down and openly discussing hard topics like how much debt each of you has, areas you tend to overspend in, and what your credit history is like. When my husband and I sat down and had this conversation, I learned that he didn’t have much credit history and wanted to change that. Instead of judging him about this or turning it into something negative, we worked together to establish and build his credit over time. When we bought our home in 2018, his credit score was near 800.
Be Bold When Discussing Your Expectations
Being in a relationship and learning to adapt to someone’s habits and preferences can be challenging in itself. When you throw money into the mix, make sure you don’t beat around the bush. It’s much better to be bold and clear about your expectations in your relationship when it comes to things like making, saving, and managing money.
- How much do you think you and your partner will need to earn to live comfortably?
- Which percentage of your income will you want to save?
- How does each of you feel about debt and credit cards?
- Who will be responsible for paying bills and managing the household finances?
There’s really no easy way to ask these questions, but one thing you can do is make sure you’re initiating a money conversation at the right time and place.
As your relationship gets more serious, plan a finance date where you can sit down and discuss money openly. Make it a judgment-free zone and lighten the mood with some pizza or ice cream.
When it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad you carved out time to discuss finances and get on the same page.