“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like”
– Saint Augustine
It’s funny how you can undress in front of someone, but surprisingly, talking about money becomes taboo. We often try to avoid the topic of money in a relationship, but this is one of the most important topics when the relationship becomes more serious.
Did you know that money is one of the main reasons why people get divorced? Because they leave out topics like children, marriage but money is often left out.
How should you start the conversation?
You may think that starting the conversation hits like a bomb, but there is an effective way to talk about money. Be honest when you talk about your finances, communicate about your habits (do you spend a lot, do you have a budget…etc.), communicate about your goals, whether personal or together, and of course, remember that in financial distress, you are a team and not against each other.
What do you need to talk about?
Everyone has a different habit of money, and this can be the root of all problems. For example, you may be someone who likes to save while your partner likes to spend, then things will often clash when it comes to money.
If you know each other’s spending habits, it will be easier for both of you to shape your future money decisions.
Debts should be one of the first topics discussed. Unfortunately, many people have debts, including student loans, car loans, and more. Having a lot of debt can detriment your relationship because it keeps you from saving and enjoying other fun things in life, like vacations.
What is important to know is how your partner feels about debt; for example, you do not like to have debts, yet your partner has several; how do you feel, and how do you deal with them.
When we were children, and until we are adults now, we all had our money upbringing. How did our parents present us with money? Our money upbringing determines our current perception of money.
Did your parents teach you to handle money responsibly, or did they tend to spend money on unnecessary things? If you ask your partner about his or her money upbringing, you will gain insight into how they handle money now and how they view it.
When you are thinking about a serious relationship, it is normal to think about the future, and you should think about preparing for your retirement money. Although your retirement won’t be for another 20 to 30 years, it’s still important to think about it. The earlier, the better.
You need to talk about your retirement; will you save for retirement or work until your old age?
Investing is part of building wealth, and you need to see if your partner is trying to build wealth or just enjoying what he has and leaving nothing behind.
There are some big life investments like buying a house or a car, and these decisions, even if you are not married yet, are important to make with your partner.
Goals (short and long term)
It’s important to have goals; it keeps a couple going. And financial plans are even more important. There are short-term and long-term goals that could be a vacation or buying a house. So, of the goals, you will be able to save in these terms.
Communication is very important in a relationship for any topic. Still, money is sometimes the last topic to talk about when it should be one of the most talked-about topics. Just because you don’t have the same thoughts and views doesn’t mean you weren’t made for each other. Compromise is the key to strong relationships; let us know in the comments if you think it’s important to have money-talk in a relationship…