Money is one of the least glamorous parts of being in a relationship. Money talk leads to tough conversations, and tough conversations lead to stress, anger, and resentment. Because of this, most couples avoid this conversation at all costs. Sound familiar?
It gets even harder to discuss this topic if you have never brought it up with your partner before. Maybe you are just starting to share finances or looking for an apartment together. Whatever the situation may be, it is extremely important to have a sit down conversation about money and finances with this person.
Why this is important: Most couples decide to share finances at some point in their relationship. According to research from TD Bank, over 50 percent of couples combine their money with 70 percent collaborating on major purchases. This makes having the “money conversation” a necessity for every couple.
Set the Scene
Sitting down to discuss money isn’t exactly inviting your partner to a nice steak dinner. You both know the conversation may get complicated and it’s best to address that at the beginning. A few tips to get you started are to:
- Get in a comfortable space.
- Start the conversation with a mutual understanding that it will be tough.
- Remind each other to keep the end goal in mind.
- Ensure your partner that this is a necessary step to creating a sustainable life together.
Clearly State Your Financial Situation
When talking to your partner, whether it’s about saving or spending, be as honest as you possibly can. There is no sense in lying about salary, expenses, credit scores, etc. Be very transparent with your partner and ask them to do the same.
- Clearly state your salary, savings, spending, credit score, etc.
- Explain 3 strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money.
- Make it clear that it is a no-judgement zone — whatever is brought up will be discussed in a fair and open-minded way.
Have Key Points to Discuss
A mistake that many couples make is focusing the topic of conversation on spending and nothing else. This often leads to pointing fingers at each other arguing over who takes longer showers and goes shopping more often. However, it’s just as important to talk about what you’re earning, saving, and investing.
- Come prepared with a document that has all of the topics you want to talk about laid out–discuss checking, savings, investment portfolio, credit score, etc.
- Make it a point to talk about your future goals (i.e. moving to a new city, having children, salary goals, etc.)
Talk About “What If” Situations
You may not love when your mind plays the “what if” game, but with money, it’s important to consider certain scenarios. To start, answer the questions listed below and consider how you would go about handling them as a couple.
- What if one of you wants to quit their job?
- What if a car needs repairs?
- What if the dog needs to go to the vet?
- What if one of you gets a raise?
- What if you decide to start/grow your family?
Look Ahead to the Future
While talking about finances may not exactly be an ideal evening, end the conversation on a positive note! Talk about your future together and personal goals you each want to hit. Some topics you can touch on include:
- Financial goals to hit as a couple.
- Saving for a vacation.
- Adding regular date nights into your budget.
- Upgrading your living room couch.
End the conversation by setting a date for the next time you are going to meet.
Money talk can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be! We are still exploring this topic and want to know what your think. Do you have regular money talks with your partner? Talk to us on social media! We’d love to hear your thoughts.