It’s safe to say trust is the foundation of most successful relationships and it’s important that you have financial conversations. Trust is formed in many different ways throughout a relationship, and one of the most difficult conversations to have sometimes for people is in regards to money.
Let’s be real, who wants to talk about their 20 year plan to pay off a massive student loan, or better yet financial mistakes of the past. It’s not comfortable, but it needs to happen… and with that, trust is built and a bright financial future can be seen ahead.
We’ve made a list of 7 financial conversations you should have with your partner. Remember, trust is important, but what’s also important is to feel comfortable and safe when discussing a big topic.
7 Financial Conversations To Have With Your Partner
#1 Current Financial Status
When your relationship starts to get serious, you’ll want to know what your partner’s financial status looks like. To have trust in a relationship you need complete transparency. Time for those financial conversations to start happening!
Talk about your debts (student loans, personal loans, credit cards, etc.), credit score, assets owned… and anything else that is relevant to your current status.
Embarrassed about a financial mistake made in the past? We’d suggest to disclose it to your partner. Don’t hide anything, for it will only come up in the future and may negatively impact your relationship and break down its trust.
#2 Future Money Goals
You’ll want to know what short term and long term goals your partner has. This way, when you have financial conversations you can assess whether your personal future money goals can be met, or how to compromise.
You can talk about spending goals, saving goals, plans to purchase a home, retirement, investments, and so on.
In your talk about future money goals, you can talk about whether you want children or not and how to best plan for those expenses.
Another crucial thing, you’ll want to know if your partner often lends money to family members with or without being paid back. So, decide what you would do if a family member asked for money. This can sometimes often derail future planning as it is an unplanned expense.
#3 Mine or Yours?
Before you move in together you’ll want to talk about ownership of assets. If you split up, you don’t want to be in a position where you are left empty handed if you paid for all the assets (TV, washer/dryer, fridge, etc.)
Plan out if you’ll purchase these items together or separately and in the event of a break-up, know who will walk away with what.
#4 Separate Bank Account or Joint?
Will you keep the money you make separate from your partner and vice versa? Will you have a joint account where bills come out of, or for every-day spending?
Who will put money into the joint account, or will it be 10% of each others pay or a dollar figure? These are all things you’ll want to discuss.
We know quite a few people who have established joint accounts. Even if you create one just for buying the groceries and paying bills. Give it a goal and decide how you will both contribute to it.
#5 Compatible Money Habits
This is a big one! Some people are used to a high-spend lifestyle. Expensive dinners, expensive taste in wine… they may be addicted to living the good life. But the question is, how much of their paycheck do they spend on these kinds of things?
If you’re at the point where you’re talking about money with your partner, we’re assuming you’re pretty serious and are probably living together. So having said that, you’d be pretty familiar with their spending habits and hopefully you’ve already worked a few things out.
But hey, even if you’re just starting to date someone you see potential with, it doesn’t hurt to suss out what their spending habits are like! If they’re used to spending 50% of their paycheck on frivolous fun and going out and you’re used to SAVING 50% of your paycheck… you seriously need to take that into consideration.
Yes, we like to think we can change the other person and their spending habits, and to a point you can, but not without having a serious and possibly uncomfortable conversation where their is a high chance of yelling and screaming at each other.
Asking the right questions and having a civil conversation as to whether your money habits are compatible is crucial and will help you both come to a compromise.
Perhaps you can set up an account that is strictly for weekend spending and set up a monthly budget. Once that budget is blown, that’s it until the next month rolls around.
#6 Nominate A Finance Keeper
Just get real with each other… who is better with money? Nominate them as the finance keeper of the relationship.
Just remember there has to be 100% transparency so you BOTH know where you stand at all times. Frankly if there isn’t 100% transparency you may as well just keep your financials in separate accounts. But that’s something you’ll need to decide!
Ideally, the nominated person will manage the budget, pay the rent, pay the bills etc. But make sure you have some kind of record where both of you can easily access all these details. Try budgeting apps such as Mint or Pocketbook to manage your budget!
#7 Flexible or Strict… How Much Communication?
Communication is key to everything! Especially when it comes to money… money can make or break a relationship and we can’t stress enough how important financial conversations are.
You don’t want to hide things that will eventually come up in the future and break the trust that you’ve been building up in your relationship.
Do you want to know every dollar that is spent, or just for purchases that are over a certain amount of money? How much communication do you desire to feel financially safe and comfortable?
Usually if you are making a purchase that affects both of you (whether that be financially or lifestyle wise), this is something you will want to discuss.
For example if one person wants an expensive gadget that will cost over a thousand dollars, this is probably something you BOTH want to discuss. Or if it’s a new piece of furniture where both of you will probably have to fork out money for, again, this is something to bring up.
Do you guys have any other tips when it comes to talking about money in your relationship and having financial conversations? How do you manage your money within your relationship? Do you use a joint bank account? We’d love to hear from you so please comment with your thoughts!
Amanda & Julia xx
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