Talking about money can be very awkward, but the discussion must happen when it comes between you and your partner. It’s no surprise that a number of couples don’t start this conversation. According to a survey by Fidelity, four out of ten couples don’t know how much their partner earns. While that’s not necessarily a question to ask of the first date, it needs to happen at some point down the line. Many are ignoring it altogether though.
Discussing financial matters with your partner can be a tough conversation to have. Maybe one person has more debt than the other, or makes significantly less, or you have differing views on saving and spending. Regardless, however awkward the conversation may be, it’s important you are open and honest with your partner about your finances. If you see a future together, making decisions about money will be a big part of your lives together. Make sure you ask the right questions now. Here are a few you can start off with.
How Much Do You Make?
Many new couples find it difficult to ask about their partner’s salary because they don’t want it to seem like they are judging them. Why else would they want to know, right? Wrong. If you’re in a committed relationship, you have to understand how much income you’re bringing in your relationship. This will allow you to plan for your life goals together.
How Much Debt Do You Have?
Debt is an ugly monster and it’s one thing that can drive couples apart. I’ve heard many stories of people who didn’t know exactly how much debt their partner had until years into the relationship and felt a betrayal of sorts when they found out. If you have debt (especially if it’s a considerable amount), be open and honest about the situation. Your partner can help you figure out how to pay it off but both parties have to know what they are getting themselves into.
How Much Do You Have in Savings?
Talking about savings is just as important as talking about debt. Most people bring at least some sort of savings or assets into a relationship. But is it something you plan on sharing? Especially if you plan to get married, talk to your partner about your plans for your savings and whether you will combine your finances or keep them separated.
Where Do You Want to Live?
Where you live now might not necessarily be where you want to live in the future. Does your partner feel the same way? Deciding where you live also has key implications for your careers and your cost of living. Make sure you are both on the same page before you move to a brand new city.
When Do You Want to Retire?
As a couple, you will ideally spend retirement together. Even though that can be years down the line, talk about that now. Do you know when your partner wants to retire? Understanding this as a couple will help you determine how much you need to save together and how you will be spending your latter years.
Talking about finances is not always fun and in many cases, has led to numerous fights and breakups. But if you plan on spending the rest of your life with someone, you should feel comfortable talking to them about money too. Your finances play a huge part in your life and you should be able to talk openly about it with your partner in life.