We all know that finances play a huge part in a marriage. If you’re dating someone long-term or currently engaged, have you had this conversation yet?
According to a survey done by American Express, only 43% of the general population talk about money before marriage. 12% have never talked about money with their spouse - how is that possible!?
Being able to openly communicate with your partner about anything, especially finances, is a great quality to have in a relationship and can either make it or break it. Here’s how you can have this conversation without fear of upsetting your partner:
Wait until you have been with this person for a long time, or you see a future with them.
Money is a scary topic for a lot of people - it can cause judgement of character, or create feelings of inadequacy. Don’t bring up the topic if you don’t think it’s necessary - rather, wait until you’ve developed a deeper relationship with your partner, and when you feel comfortable enough that you can talk to them about anything.
Instead of springing it on them, let them know ahead of time that you’ve been thinking about it and would like to talk about it. This gives you both time to prepare.
Know what you’re willing to bend on and what you absolutely can’t negotiate.
Before having this conversation with someone else, know where you stand. Take time to reflect or write down your own money rules, and figure out which ones you are willing to compromise on and which ones you can’t break. You’ll feel much more prepared going into the conversation and discussing your partner’s thoughts when you don’t have to worry about organizing your own.
Keep it general and lighthearted at first, and read the conversation.
Does your partner look relaxed, or are they crossing their arms and leaning away from you? Are you able to laugh or make jokes, but still keep the conversation on track? Go in easy, and then delve deeper when able to. Also, be sure to avoid accusatory statements - this isn’t a blame game.
Chances are, you’ve got some financial skeletons in your closet, and so does your partner. Make sure not to hide anything that could come up and ruin both of your finances in the future. Talk about any debts you may have, your credit score, and any other money issues that could come up in the future - the sooner you bring these out into the open, the sooner you two can come up with an action plan so that they aren’t hindrances in building your lives together.
If you disagree about something, try to find a compromise.
This is a great reason why preparing ahead of time is key. There’s a good chance that you and your partner will not agree on everything. Are you two able to compromise, or are you being strong-willed about a rule? Are they not willing to loosen the reins a little? This part can be tough because it could mean the end of your relationship - but again, it’s much better to get these grievances out in the open now, than to be in too deep later.
If the conversation goes south, be willing to let each other cool off and come back to it later. Not everything has to be discussed in one sitting, and sometimes, it’s better that way - money talk can be overwhelming. As long as the important details are discussed, and you two can come to an agreement, your relationship will thrive and come out that much stronger.
Need help preparing your financial rules? Book a free consultation with us - we can help you figure out exactly where you stand financially!