September 27, 2021
Can a relationship break just because your partner asked you not to eat so much at a family dinner? One person didn’t think twice before asking his girlfriend to “not eat so much” at his granny’s place and launched a “financial conversation” behind all those extra slices of delicacies she’d eaten.
Money can be a challenging subject, especially when there’s a colossal difference in finance management between you and your partner. According to a survey, most people talk to their partners about their weight instead of introducing the financial aspect to the conversation.
In a 2017 survey, an investing app called Acorns conducted research and declared nearly 68 percent of respondents said they’d rather reveal their weight than their savings in their bank accounts. Is weight even connected with money? One Redditor felt emphasizing his girlfriend’s weight was the only way to explain his financial tightness.
MONEY IS A COMPLICATED TOPIC
Being financially well off means having zero interference with your lifestyle, including what and how much goes into your plate. The Redditor knew it sounded awkward, but he had no choice but to tell his girlfriend she ate his granny’s share for the week too. Posting on Reddit, he said:
“My grandmother has invited us to dinner again this weekend. Before we go, I tried to have a discussion with Ashley, re-iterating my grandmother’s financial situation and asking that she try to only take a single smaller portion so my grandmother can have food for the week.”
Money conversations are one of the most challenging aspects to navigate in a relationship. People often misinterpret the idea, and eventually, several incompatibility issues arise between them. Shockingly enough, experts claim that many couples are embarrassed to discuss their finances with their partners.
WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD YOUR FINANCES?
People in a relationship often don’t disclose their debts or financial instability to their partners. When couples don’t talk about money, chances are plenty it can snowball in the future. A post on Quora emphasized how to bring up money conversation with your partner.
“I had to tell my husband, who was terrible at handling money, that if I didn’t start handling all the finances, I couldn’t stay in the marriage anymore. It was driving me crazy that he had no thought process in place when it came to spending money,” a person named Elisa Ramos explained.
When you start dating someone, you’d be interested in finding a lot about them—their values, interests, and how much you equate with them (or don’t), to name a few. But what about finances? Money has been a leading cause of anxiety in many relationships, probably because, for many couples, it’s a topic not to be discussed.
DISCUSS YOUR FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS EARLY ON
First things first: never rush talking about money if you don’t feel it’s the right time. Every relationship navigates at its own pace, and it’s up to you and your partner to decide when to introduce money into your conversation. “Money is a major cause of anxiety in relationships,” claims New York-based relationship expert April Masini, adding:
“People are not usually honest about money — until there is a problem. And it can be a big problem. It can bring up so many issues, like upbringing, gender dynamics, personality, and more. It’s a loaded area and one a lot of us like to ignore.”
Several experts like Masini herself claim that talking about money on a first date allows you to know how well your partner responds to the topic. Money being an open topic for discussion helps long-term relationships function smoothly in the long run, claim experts.
SHARE YOUR SPENDING HABITS
Often, all it takes to avoid any financial issues in your relationship is to have some money talks. Discussing your spending habits might help to test the waters before things go awry in the future. For example, economic tension becomes a haunting experience for people moving in with their overly spendthrift partners.
For instance, one person explained to Insider how his spending habits differed from his partner. “I’m a saver who is strict with money and who already has retirement accounts set up, while she is prone to splurging and not saving because it’s important to “live in the moment,” he explained.
According to expert opinion, approaching the discussion about money paves the way for understanding each other’s financial ethics. Your initial money conversation should focus on emphasizing your background, including how your parents treated money. Taking a deep dive into that subject might help your partner understand their live-in-the-moment attitude towards spending.
DO YOUR LONG-TERM FINANCIAL GOALS MERGE?
When couples argue over money, it’s because it hasn’t been discussed. According to a survey conducted by GoBankingRates, about a quarter of Americans never tell the truth to their partners about their finances. However, talking about finances doesn’t make it for a comfortable or easiest conversation.
“Don’t do it on the first date. But you should do it in the first six months. Definitely,” says David Bach, personal finance expert.
This scenario is perfect for couples looking forward to establishing a long-term relationship with their partner, despite the differences in their financial goals. Bach claims that two people with different financial opinions can work it together only if their goals are on the same page.
COMBINING FINANCES CAN BE STRESSFUL
A significant part of merging your life with your partner has to do with finances. Talking about money with them can be downright stressful when you don’t equate how you want to spend and save money with them. One of the most complicated topics is combining your finances with your partners, but experts claim it still needs to be in the conversation.
“Combining finances can be very stressful for most. We end up bringing up the past, which may not feel the best for some. But remember, money is just a tool to help you move forward in life. This includes moving your relationship forward,” says certified financial planner Brian Face.
However, combining finances or not depends on your preferences. Some couples feel the necessity to keep their finances separate, while others set up joint accounts to simplify things. Combining finances and having regular discussions can prevent issues that lead to conflicts.
Rather than just being about dollars and cents, an honest and open money chat helps in revealing your beliefs and values. Money is often a sensitive topic, and it can be hard to open up to your partner about how much money you make and any debts you may have. However, it’s also important to talk about your finances to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
When your relationship is getting more intense, it’s time to have a frank chat about money. Although it isn’t easy to seed the subject in your discussion, it’s critical to establishing a smooth foundation in your future together. Please let us know what you think! Thanks for reading!