Romancing the Dollar: Couples and Money

Money is messy business when you’re dating. There are assumptions on both sides and until you sit down and actually hammer out the money details, a relationship doesn’t feel as committed as it should. If you’re in a serious relationship and especially if you’re contemplated marriage or even living together, you should both understand the financial situation both of you are in.

Speak Rationally with Emotion

Money talk time isn’t a time to be shy, but it is a time to be open, rational and still caring. Be honest with your partner and expect honesty from him as well. It’s not a competition and you don’t have to share the balance of your bank account, but you should share details about your spending habits, the type of person you are (Saver? Spender?) and what amount of saving or spending makes you feel comfortable.

There is a time when you are very committed to each other to discuss the bones of the finances including debt obligations, income levels and net worth. Credit scores are part of this discussion as well. If you don’t know your credit score, find out. You can get a free report online once per year, and it’s good financial sense to do this anyhow.

Recognize a Real Problem

A partner who lies about money frequently or who shades the truth isn’t someone to be with. If your partner isn’t able to talk to you about money or he can’t move past an embarrassed place to have an open and frank conversation, the timing of your conversations may be wrong or he may be a poor match. Lying is always a deal-breaker and lying about finances can be extremely dangerous in the long-term as well since your credit often gets tied into your partners in the long run.