Last Updated on May 25, 2022 by Neera Bhardwaj
Valentine’s Day is all about romance, from love notes to candlelight dinners, and it’s just around the corner. However, in the middle of all of this, have you given any thought to the topic of finance? If you haven’t already done so, now is the moment! It’s quite imperative that you talk finances with your partner, whether it’s your spouse, significant other, or someone you’ve just started dating.
When you start dating that special someone, it will naturally tend to affect both your finances. So the more openly and maturely you handle the ‘money conversation,’ the more it will deepen your relationship. It will also help you understand your partner’s earning, spending, and saving patterns.
This way, you can build a healthy financial relationship. So, here are some tips to help you set you off on the right foot.
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Build a foundation
You don’t have to map out an elaborate financial future with your partners just yet. But it’s equally important to gauge how your partner understands money. You can start by understanding and analyzing their net income, debt, spending and saving ability, monthly budget, etc.
With this analysis, you can gauge and create hypothetical scenarios or get a glimpse of what you are getting yourself into, should your relationship progress.
The bottom line, you need to know where your partner stands with their finances.
Avoid lying on money matters
Even if you don’t combine your personal finance immediately after you start dating, remember your partner’s situation will ultimately affect yours. Therefore, while sharing information around finances, you have to be transparent—be it a credit card debt or other loans.
Nobody likes being lied to. Financial infidelity and hiding your financial background from your partner may potentially end your relationship in the near future. Besides, when you truthfully talk about your money, it eases the otherwise awkward financial conversation.
If you want to build a rock-solid financial future together, you should be more open to discussing financial matters with your partner. Do not encourage statements like – “I am better with money, so let me handle it,” or “This is how my parents and I have always done it.”
It takes two people to be in a relationship, so there should also be two people in making the financial decisions.
While some couples may prefer opening a joint account after some time of dating, it may be prudent to wait this out until the relationship solidifies. Some others may keep their finances separate. Whatever your preferences on the account structure, you both should share the decision-making power. Including your partner in the decisions also does not leave room for resentment later.
Gauge your financial compatibility
You and your partner may not look at money in the same way. Your financial status and upbringing may reflect deeply in your spending habits. For instance, an Rs. 30,000 designer coats may be an ordinary expense for you. But, for your partner, it may be highly non-viable. It can also happen that you may observe your partner being a spendthrift, engaging in gambling, or being involved in criminal activities. All of these could be a big red flag.
If your partner’s spending habits are largely different from yours, you may need to take a step back and think. Regardless of your financial aspirations, you need to gauge if your partner is willing to come aboard with your goals.
Are you willing to make a sacrifice to accomplish their plans? Give it a thought.
Many people are not comfortable talking about their personal finance, especially early on in a relationship. After all, it is a sensitive topic, but it is also a great way to build connections and trust. So be supportive and understanding about your partner’s financial condition.
If it is going to be your first real conversation about finances, don’t tone it negatively. Suppose your partner tends to overspend, don’t shame them or ‘fix’ them and lecture on how they should avoid it.
Don’t make the conversation negative. It should be productive and fulfilling. It’s okay if your financial goals don’t match at the moment. The important thing is that you build a trusting, healthy relationship that makes you and your partner financially happy and content too.
When bringing up the money topic, you need to be cautious. Go easy in the beginning. After all, you don’t want to shut down your partner completely. Questioning your partner early on or bombarding them could acutely harm your relationship.
One of the best ways of approaching the topic is by listing down questions you want answers to. Some could include spending habits, credit health, debts, credit scores, etc.
However, it’s always good to gauge how open your partner is to discuss their personal finances with you. Be patient, don’t ambush them with erratic inquiries—which is never a good way to start any conversation.
There is always something about the budding romance on those initial dates. Discussing personal finance is also part of intimacy, after all, you both are probably discussing a sensitive topic that may affect your future. Carefully analyse your partner’s understanding of money. It is also essential to be patient and come clean on your finances. Avoid lying and understand where your partner comes from. This way, you can build a long-lasting and truthful relationship.