How to Talk Money With Your Honey
Money talk is always a taboo subject. Talking about finances in a relationship can cause a lot of tension if both people in the relationship handle money differently. This leads to the question – is there such a thing as financial compatibility?
The idea may sound silly, but there is some truth behind asking that question. Letting a significant other know about your spending and/or saving habits also reveals a level of financial responsibility you may or not not want them to know about. If you are a saver and your partner is a spender, you may feel the need to address this issue, but how? Money is an awkward conversation, and unless you are married, do you even have the right to comment on another person’s finances? Honestly, there is no right answer.
Experts at NextAdvisor.com have indicted money as the Number 1 source of stress in relationships, so perhaps financial compatibility is necessary to move forward in a successful relationship. According to a separate survey from credit reporting and marketing service Experian, there is a connection between personal finance issues and relationship troubles. So not only is financial compatibility definitely a thing, but it is a major indicator of whether or not your relationship — or even marriage — will last.
In my own relationship, I am the spender and my boyfriend is the saver. While it hasn’t been a huge issue, it has definitely come up in the past. Most of the time, my boyfriend offers to help organize my finances since he loves numbers, but I always turn him down. One thing my mom taught me growing up was to never let your significant other know about your money because it will complicate things. Now I don’t know how great of advice that is, but I understand where she is coming from. Unless you are married, why does your significant other need to know where you spend or save your money. But at the same time, talking about money after you have been in a serious relationship for a while may help you better prepare for a life together, rather than just springing everything on them at once.
There may be no right or wrong way to go about it, but if you choose to talk money with your significant other, here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you are talking money, don’t lie. It will only make things worse. Money talk is definitely one or the other, you either talk about it and fully disclose or you don’t and just keep it to yourself. If you are comfortable enough to discuss finances with your loved one, white lies are not welcome. In this case, half the truth may be worse than a full on lie.
If something doesn’t make sense, just ask! Maybe you don’t get your partner’s spending habits, but instead of judging them or causing a stir, sit them down and ask. Their spending habits may stem from their upbringing, serve as a way to cope with bigger issues or more. You will never know if there is a deeper meaning if you don’t ask. Granted, there may not be an underlining reason for all their spending, and if that is the case, you just have to address the fact that they may be a shopaholic or have a problem.
Keep an open mind
Keep in mind that there is no singular right way to go about your finances. Of course, there are definitely ideal ways to go about not spending everything, but even then you have to be mindful of how others spend their own money. Just because you value saving, doesn’t mean your partner has to. You need to keep an open mind and understand that until you are married, your finances are separate. But as soon as you decide living a joint life together is a possibility, it is worth bringing up to hear both parties’ points of views. At the end of the day, tension is unavoidable, but conflict is. Keep in mind that you may have to compromise a bit to meet somewhere in the middle, which will require an open mind to find a mutual solution to balancing your financial compatibility.
Unless we are talking about winning the lottery, money is uncomfortable to talk about. But if you see it being an issue between you and your loved one, it is better to bring it up before making any major life commitments together. Bottomline upfront is talk about it sooner, rather than later. In a worse case scenario, it is probably best to realize money may be a deal breaker in your relationship rather than wait until marriage and a family comes along.