Is the relationship getting serious? It’s time to enter the next conversation level, time to talk about finances! Here are some tips on how to start the financial conversation with your partner:
- Be honest about your current financial situation, spending habits and future financial goals
- Understand that financial views can be different for each person
- Every individual’s financial situation is unique
Communication is key in handling the financial conversations with ease and maturity. No one likes to talk about finances, it’s a taboo topic for many! Before you ask your significant other about their habits and goals, know yourself and reflect on some key questions.
Personal Key Questions to ask your Partner
- How do I feel about money?
- What is my financial situation? Am I in debt? Am I saving?
- What are my financial goals in the short-term and long-term?
- Am I willing to combine incomes for shared expenses?
- What does my “rich” life look like?
Once you understand your financial stance, you’ll be better prepared for the conversations with your partner.
Her are some important conversations to have with your partner:
In the very beginning of dating, you should establish your relationship’s preferred bill splitting method. There are many different ways to split the bills:
- 50/50 Split of all expenses
- One person pays and the other picks up the next one (works well with similar amounts)
- Income splitting (the one with the higher income pays a higher percentage of the bills)
Establish earlier on what method you prefer and what would be your preference after living together and/or being married.
Being mindful that not everyone is comfortable with sharing their salary, be respectful of their choice to answer. One way to pose the question is to ask, “what’s your salary range now and where do you want to be in the next 5 years?”
Many of us have some sort of debt that we deal with from our past, whether it is tuition debt or a car loan. Having a general idea of your partner’s debt is important to understand their plan of action in eliminating the debt. As a team, this topic might also affect how you two spend and what are your financial goals.
Each of us handles our finances differently, some of us automate savings, investing, bill payments, some choose to manually check each transaction on credit cards, and some spend money when they are stressed. Finding out your financial habits prior to initiating this conversation with your partner is crucial. Some questions to ask your partner:
- Do you keep a budget for spending?
- Do you invest or save money?
- Do you spend consciously?
- Do you check your credit card statements regularly?
- Do you have passive income sources?
- Do you have any financial goals?
- Do you pay your credit card bills in full and on time?
- Do you have emergency funds?
If you’re going to buy a home or lease a car with your significant other, you’re going to need to understand their credit score. The credit score provides knowledge into your credit profile and determines if you’re a good candidate for that loan. While you don’t need to know their exact credit score or share yours, it might be a good idea to pose the question as “do you have a good credit score”? Understanding that a good credit score is between 660-900.
While the conversations might be difficult or awkward at first, you’ll be thankful you reflected on your own financial stance and then started the conversation with your partner. The conversation allows the relationship to grow stronger and for an active discussion of how the relationship will function in the future.
Want to learn how to define your financial goals? Get started here.
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