We recently discussed the importance of discussing financial matters with your romantic partner early on when dating.
For people already in a relationship, money talks are even more key. Your romantic partner heavily impacts your spending habits.
The depth of any conversation about this topic should match the depth of the relationship.
How to Start
Tell your SO that you think you need to talk about money and that you want to set aside a specific time to do so. Because you’re not springing the conversation on them, they’ll have time to think about it beforehand and, hopefully, collect some information.
There are a few main areas to cover.
Your Financial Present
How much you earn
How much debt you owe
How much you have saved
How much of your current income you spend and save
Any major financial obligations you currently have or expect to have
Your Financial Past
Do your best to understand their financial past and explain yours.
You won’t just want to cover how much you’ve saved or spent, but why those events occurred. How did their family approach finances when they were growing up? Did they struggle with money? Did their parents fight about money?
Try your best to be open minded with their answers.
Your Financial Future
Before you can make decisions together, you will also want to discuss your future goals for the short, medium and long term, as well as how you’d like to live your life.
Have broad conversations about your financial future first, then deal with the details.
For example, let’s say you want to move in together. Before you pick a place to live, you should not only figure out what you can each spend but also how you are going to divide the expenses. Will everything be equal or will one person contribute more money?
Also, the logistics will matter, even if they are boring. Which one of you is going to handle the bills or are you going to split the management?
None of these questions have right answers, by the way. What matters is coming to mutually agreed upon solutions that work for both of you.
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