Money in a relationship can be a hinder or a helper. It’s the one thing that every relationship has, but not something that everyone talks about. Why is that? If we all have money in common why can’t we talk about it?
I don’t think money should be a faux pas in relationships, it should be a topic that’s discussed openly – just not too early. Talking about money too early in your relationship can definitely be off-putting. However at the same time you don’t want to wait too long to have “the talk” to ensure there are no surprises. The key is to find a balance.
There can be nothing worse than having a lot of time invested in a relationship and finding out your sweetheart is terrible with money. If you decide to take the next step and move in together or get married your honey’s money troubles could become your financial woes. I’m sure we don’t want that.
On the first date
This is definitely not the time or place to talk about money. You will naturally learn a little bit about your date’s money habits based on the venue they choose and how they react when the check comes. However it’s not the time to have a long discussion about money goals, spending habits and how to split costs. Let some time pass and some of those things will work themselves out. Once you are more comfortable with each other as the relationship moves along you can bring up money.
You split all expenses evenly
This is a sign that you’re not ready to have the money conversation yet. If you and your date continue to split all expenses evenly you may not yet be ready to take your relationship to the next level. It’s O.K. because there isn’t a set time in the relationship handbook that says every couple must talk about money by a set date. So take your time and let your relationship and money progress naturally.
All payments are made separately
The reality is that couples may not need to have the money talk in their relationship. Maybe they decide to keep all expenses separate and that’s what works in their relationship. There’s nothing wrong with that. I say if it’s not broke then don’t fix it. Bringing up the subject of money in a relationship that doesn’t have any problems could create unnecessary stress.
Nick and I managed our money separately for years and I honestly believe it helped our relationship grow stronger. If you completely trust someone to contribute their part to monthly expenses without having a hand in it then that’s true trust and love.
The Simple Dollar says finding the right time to talk about money is a key turning point in any relationship. But what if that moment never comes? Couples can decide to manage their own money, pay expenses separately and set their own goals. Of course a conversation has to happen at some level as couples grow together and decide to buy a home and take vacations etc. But that doesn’t mean joint accounts need to be opened and money needs to be merged.
When did you first talk about money in your relationship?