Love & Money
Here’s a scenario:
You are head over heals for someone and things are getting kind of serious between the two of you. You are a couple years into the relationship, starting to even see a future with this person. So far it has been pretty easy, everything has been going well. Sometimes you go to their place, sometimes they go to your place. When it comes to money & bills, you handle your own and your partner handles their own. You guys don’t really dig into each other’s finances just to keep it easy and not make things awkward.
You guys are over the back & forth to each other’s places, so you decide to get a place together (uh-oh ! things are getting real). You find a place, go through the application process together and are both really excited for the big move. The managing office calls the next day to tell you the application was denied due to one of the applicants not meeting the credit requirement (YIKES!)
Is this the time to have “THE MONEY CONVERSATION”?
This conversation is never easy but it is vital for any relationship that has the potential of going the distance. Each relationship is different, so it could be after 1 year for one couple or after 2-3 years for another couple. It could be before purchasing a home or renting an apartment together. Regardless of when it happens, the important thing is that IT MUST HAPPEN.
The conversation should be done with all judgement & emotions removed. We do not recommend having this conversation after or during a disagreement. It is important to go into this conversation with an open mind and the understanding that everyone’s relationship with money is different. You might be a natural saver and your partner might be a natural spender. No one type is “better” than the other but knowing each other’s money habits will help you come to a common ground.
Everything from debt (credit cards, student loans, & other loans) to child support to alimony to parking tickets should be discussed. EVERYTHING! Put it all out there. Transparency is key. You might be afraid to lose your partner if you are carrying a load of debt (or vice versa). Most likely, you both have strong feelings for each other so although one of you might be shocked, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Once all of the money skeletons are out of the closet, you both will immediately feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders. If one of you is better than the other at personal finance, now is the time to help them. Create an action plan to attack debt together. Create budgets together. The most important part is that you both are doing this together, this way there are no secrets and no surprises.