Discussing money in a relationship can be a touchy subject.
In some instances, it’s because you have not been honest with yourself about where you are financially. In other cases, you are scared to know the real deal about your boo and his/her money. We can call this ignorance is (fake) bliss.
If you are planning to build a life with the person you are seeing, it is important for you to be able to talk about any and everything, especially money. According to a Citibank survey, 57% of divorced couples cited money problems as the primary reason for the demise of their marriage.
- Be honest with yourself. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how much you have coming in and where it is going out every month. Check your credit report and see if there is anything you need to work on. Determine your personal net worth by taking an inventory of your assets and liabilities.
- Be open to your partner being honest with you. Judge not unless you want to be judged. Most of us have made some financial mistakes in the past. Your partner may be there or may be on the road to recovery. On the other hand, you mate may be rolling in dough. These days it’s hard to judge a book by its cover because a lot of people are faking it while they are trying to make it. One of the keys to a lasting relationship is honesty.
- Create a plan to move forward. If you are not married, I would not advise you to open any joint accounts together. Don’t play married, if you don’t have the official status. This does not prevent you from creating a plan to save together. Some common goals that you may want to save for include a vacation, to pay for the wedding or to buy a house once you are married. By each of you saving in your separate accounts, there is no nasty argument if you break up about how to split the money. This is also a great way to see if your bae can stick with a budget.
Having an honest conversation about your financial situation can be extremely liberating. So many couples hide their financial situations like dirty secrets because it can be embarrassing to admit that you don’t have three months of living expenses in your savings account, you have started a college fund for your kids, you aren’t on track to retire, etc. As a couple, you should be focused on creating generational wealth. Letting go of the past mistakes and working together to create a brighter future for each other, your children, your grandchild and even, your great grandchildren. To do so, you should be honest about where you are and where your partner is so that you can create a plan to move forward together.