The Importance of Talking to Your Partner About Finances
You’ve probably heard it said that communication is the key to a successful relationship, but how well do people follow this advice when it comes to money? According to Fidelity, over 40% of individuals surveyed didn’t know how much their partner made. In fact one in ten were off by more than $25,000. With statistics like these it’s no wonder that many couples argue about finances.
Recently MoneyNing highlighted some important monetary questions you and your partner should discuss before it’s too late. At the top of their list was knowing how much your partner makes. As they note, this question may seem judgmental but it is extremely important for both parties to know each other’s finances if they plan to share their lives together or get married.
Going hand in hand with income is debt. While many Americans do their best to make ends meet (and put their debt to the back of their minds), your partner is entitled to know what they might be inheriting in the future. Being upfront and honest about your personal debt could save a major hardship down the road when you’re forced to come clean. While some might plan to quietly pay the debt off themselves, any skeletons in your credit closest could come out to haunt you when applying jointly for such things as a mortgage.
Just as many couples will marry into debt, others will marry into their partners life savings. But discussing savings doesn’t just mean talking about money you’ve accumulated so far; it’s also necessary to know what your partner’s habits and philosophies are when it comes to saving. If one person in the relationship is trying to save while the other is intent on spending today, there could be some major bumps in the road. Although there are a number of opinions on whether couples should keep their finances separate or combine them across the board when they get married, no responsible decision can be made until all of the individual finances are known and discussed.
Overall these questions will help determine if your finances support the lifestyle you hope to lead. For example, if you and your partner are both content with your lower paying jobs, you’ll need to ask if having children is realistic. Additionally you should discuss where you’d like to live in the future and how your will support yourselves in that location. It seems like common sense to talk about these issues with your partner, but many couples (unfortunately) neglect to consider the monetary needs that go hand-in-hand with such decisions.
Talking about money can be difficult for any couple but especially for those who might not have a lot. However, that makes discussing your finances openly and honestly even more important. When it comes to money you and your partner should be on the same page. Ensuring that this is the case will not only save you from financial hardship but could also save you from future heartache.