Money is one of the most important topics to talk about with your significant other no matter what level your relationship is at. Not being on the same page when it comes to finances can lead to stress and / or divorce. According to a study by Jeffrey Dew, Ph.D., an assistant professor of family, consumers, and human development at Utah State University, it was couples who argued over finances at least once a week 30% more likely to divorce than couples who are less likely to argue about money.
For National Couples Day, in this article, we're going to explore some of the ways you can talk to your significant other about finances and setting financial goals as a couple, no matter what type of couple you are.
Turbos # RealMoneyTalk poll
In February 2019, Turbo commissioned a survey This was done online by The Harris Poll to better understand behaviors and attitudes in dealing with others on money-related issues.
One of the findings from this survey was that 90% of people in a relationship reported being open and honest with their partner about their finances, and 85% believe that their partner is open and honest with them about their finances. However, it is possible that this is a misperception as 23% also admit that they sometimes hide purchases from their partner, 17% admit that they have accounts / debts that their partner doesn't need to know about, and 14% of those Those who have individual debt relationship admit that they are currently hiding debt from their partner.
How to talk about finances with your partner while casually dating
Going out with someone casually reduces the need to talk about finances. At this point, it is likely that your finances are completely separate and each partner is still living for themselves and contributing to their own expenses. The only discussions you are likely to have about spending on shared activities.
If you and your partner are in a similar financial situation and pay jobs and expenses similarly, the expenses from these joint activities are an easier calculation. Each partner can plan to pay the same for joint activities. It gets more complicated when you and your partner are not on a financial footing. Having a low paying job and / or more debt while your partner has a high paying job and no debt can create friction. Your partner will often suggest more expensive activities than you are comfortable with. The key here is being able to communicate openly about your feelings to find out which path is right for you and your partner.
Talk to your significant other about finances in a serious relationship
As your relationship progresses, you will want to have more in-depth conversations with your significant other about finances. Talk about your own financial habits and goals and observe your partner's habits and goals. You shouldn't necessarily be trying to switch partners, but talking about your own feelings and experiences can be valuable. How pleasantly you talk about money with your partner likely depends on how advanced your relationship is overall.
If you are thinking about either moving in together or getting married, it is important to learn more about your financial situation. This can be a difficult situation, especially if you and your partner are in a completely different financial situation. It can be tempting to hide or downplay negative financial information about yourself (lower income, amount of debt). But hiding this type of information can start the relationship off on the wrong foot. A better idea is to be open about it and come up with a plan that you can both agree on.
How married couples can talk about finances with one another
There are several ways that married couples can organize their finances. Some married couples keep all of their finances completely together, with a small amount of money being used as an "allowance" for each couple. Other couples have a combined expense account and then have separate personal expense accounts. In any case, good communication is the most important factor.
According to the # RealMoneyTalk survey, those in a relationship see their partner as financially beneficial. 86% of respondents said they trust their partner to contribute as much as possible to their mutual financial well-being.
How to Set Financial Goals as a Couple
As we've said several times in this article, honest and open communication is key to speaking to your significant other as a couple. A great way to make sure the two of you are on the same page is by setting financial goals as a couple.
Remember, it's not just about spending. You can be a saver while your partner is a donor. That's not exactly a red flag to keep you apart – instead, think about how you can compromise. Stay open and honest about your finances and what is important to you.
Starting the conversation by talking about financial goals can be a better way to keep the conversation productive. Instead of complaining about their spending habits, talk about where you see yourself in 6 months, a year, or more. This can help open up the discussion and discuss more everyday topics like budgeting and spending.
Dan Miller (23 posts)
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a website that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 children.