Conversations about money and financial matters are always difficult. But they are so important to have.
Read more about talking to your parents about their plans.
One of the most awkward but important is talking about money issues with people you are dating. No one in your life affects your spending habits as much as your significant other.
Why to Talk Early in a Relationship
People you are dating can quickly affect your financial habits. I’ve dated people who have more expensive habits – eating out and drinking at bars all the time, going on trips with friends, impulse shoppers, etc. – and people who are just as fun but have less expensive habits. Guess which relationships created more credit card debt?
These conversations will be awkward. There’s no getting around that. But the depth of the conversation only needs to reflect the depth of your relationship.
Let’s say we’re a few weeks into dating. I don’t need to know all the deep seeded reasons for their views on spending. I just need to know how much money he or she is comfortable with spending right now so we can be on the same page. You know, decide how we’re going to spend money before we have to pay the bill.
How to Get Started
Bring the topic up when you’re having a calm but somewhat serious moment alone together. Say you want to discuss it for a few minutes and let the other person chose whether that’s now or later.
It’s definitely best not to catch someone completely off guard with this conversation. But if it’s later, plan a specific time to talk about it.
Tell them you want to make sure you both feel comfortable with how you’re spending money together.
Don’t pry into any of their financial details, but you should both do yourbest to tell the truth. And be prepared to answer any questions about yourself that you ask the other person.
This may sound like we are oversimplifying things. We know how hard it can be, but it’s extremely important to discuss money at different stages of a relationship.
Early on, it only needs to go as deep as making sure that you both feel comfortable with the level of spending you are doing.
Further on in the relationship, more specific conversations need to be had. Read more here.