Managing finances with your partner is an important aspect of your relationship.
While the status and longevity of your relationship will surely affect how you approach this, talking about money with your partner is key to success in your relationship. I’ve developed a few questions you should ask both yourself and your partner in determining financial compatibility.
Of course, money is not the most important thing in a relationship. But if you don’t talk about it enough, it will catch up to you in unexpected ways.
Have you developed debt repayment strategies?
It is important to be aware of your partner’s debts in order to understand their financial stressors and decision-making processes. Oftentimes we shy away from discussing our financial woes because we are embarrassed and have this idea in our heads that our debt sum is otherworldly. But, you are surely not alone in this.
According to a 2017 study, Canadians owe $1.71 for every $1.00 earned. A.K.A you are NOT the only one with racked up debt. In fact, 1 in 3 people are carrying over $50, 000 in debt.
If your relationship is going to be long term, there are always chances that their debt will become a part of your personal finances. Because of this, it is important that you’re open in not only discussing debt, but plans for debt repayment.
Knowing that you and your partner are aware of your debts and are on a dedicated path to repaying them, not only shows that you can keep your personal financial house in order, but that you take your finances seriously.
Compare methods for debt repayment with your partner in a non-judgmental way.
And remember as individuals your methods may vary slightly depending on your personal lifestyle and wealth. But what is most important is that neither of you is letting your debt sit stagnant without plans to manage it.
What do you expect from a partner financially?
This conversation can be very enlightening for a couple. What, if anything, do you expect from a partner financially? This will, of course, vary depending on a variety of factors. But it is important that you talk openly about this to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Whether it be a 50/50 split of your expenses, shared finances based on comparative incomes, or your own unique shared budget like my girlfriend and I have, this discussion is essential. If the two of you can’t meet each other’s expectations for shared finances, you might not be financially compatible.
This article delves into a few options in starting a shared financial journey, should that be right for you and your partner: How To Share Finances With Your Partner
Joint accounts are a great option for couples!
If both of you are interested in combining your finances on a more “official” level, joint accounts are at your service. Managing a joint account is no small feat. But, it can definitely be worth it if you and your partner want to take a step toward managing money together.
What are your financial priorities and goals?
It is important to think about your financial future when managing your financial present. Identifying financial goals and sharing them with your partner is important for both of you. It will likely determine where you’re both headed in your life and career, and establish some of your priorities.
Your socioeconomic background and/or your financial politics might also affect your financial priorities. If you and your partner butt heads over wealth inequality, you might not be financially compatible.
Maybe send your partner this article and see what the consequent conversation entails.
So, how did my girlfriend and I start talking about money together?
First, some backstory. My girlfriend and I have been together for a year and moved in with each other in October. We both have jobs with MAG and do freelance work and odd jobs on the side. We’ve always been aware of each other’s workload and changes in careers. We both tend to be open books when it comes to getting to know someone.
Also, lots of things can happen to your finances and income within one year and we’ve been present in each other’s lives to witness it.
Truthfully, keeping each other in the loop about our money successes and failures helped us both build and maintain an unfiltered conversation about our finances.
As our relationship has grown, our money conversations have grown
For the first few months of us dating we’d usually alternate on paying for more pricey dates, like dinner and museums, on the off chance that we weren’t having a lazy movie night in. We both knew we had short and long term savings goals, and an acute awareness of our debts.
In the summer, we were on a break from our university classes and working more hours because of it. This meant we could start splitting costs of things we shared together more intentionally, while also being aware of our date night spending. When we decided to move in together we created a budget that would have us splitting the cost of rent, internet, and groceries.
Knowing each other’s debts helped
The open conversations about our debt made way for non-judgmental money discussions. It also helps us to know when either of us should offer to take on more financial responsibility depending on the situation the other is in.
Relationships are a chance for growth
While I’ll always prioritize growth that comes from within myself, I have to recognize that relationships are a learning experience. But discussions such as those surrounding finances are just another lesson. And it is vital to experience these lessons and work toward your financial future.
If your partner is going to be a part of your life long-term, you should absolutely be considering how you work together financially. All in all, finances and relationships can be hard to navigate together. But as long as you keep the money conversations flowing, you’re both likely to end up in the financial space you aspire to.