The only thing less romantic than talking about money with your boo is breaking up with your boo over money. And I guarantee a money-related breakup will happen if you two don’t discuss your finances. So, if you have to pick between the two, pick talking about it! Duh! Here are the money conversations you need to touch on before you get serious with your man.
Does your man have debt? You have to know the answer to that question. And then you need to know how much he owes and what kind of debt. You should also ask about his plan for getting himself out of debt. Because once you two are married, his debt is your debt, too. Get into every single nook and cranny of his debt and figure out what makes sense for next steps. My word of warning is to never combine finances with someone who has credit card debt. I know that could be tough to hear, but you’ll kick yourself if you don’t listen.
Find out how much your man has in savings and where he has it saved. You don’t need his bank passwords…yet. But, you should have a sense of his worth before you guys merge your finances. Truly, it doesn’t matter who has more or even how much he has. It’s just important for you to know the information so you two can plan your future in a reasonable way.
Talk to your man about his budget. Even if he doesn’t print out a Google Sheet of his income, expenditures and savings every week, he has a sense of what’s coming in to his bank account and what’s going out of it. And you should, too. Find out what’s a spending priority in his lifestyle and what’s not. Then, figure out if that lines up with your spending style.
Not everyone has the same financial goals. Some people’s big goal is to buy a house. Some want to send their future kids to college with no debt. Other people want to fly first class. What is he working toward financially? More importantly, does that financial goal feel like something you can get behind?
There’s an infinite rainbow of shades of personal finances philosophies. What is your man’s? Is he someone who tries to save every dime? Someone who believes that if you don’t use it, you lose it? Someone who plays it safe in investment? A risk taker? Is he comfortable lending money to friends? Does he think it’s on him to pays for his family’s needs? Does he refuse family money? Money is so deeply personal and everyone has their own take on what’s right and workable. Ask him for his take.
Financial conversations – yes, plural. No way this can all happen in one talk – like this are difficult. Do your best to not be judgmental. Listen as much as possible. Of course, you should be ready to share your finances with him, too. So, model the behavior you’d like from him by being as receptive and accepting about his finances as possible. Good luck with these convos, girl. They’re not easy, but they’re worth their weight in gold. Or silver. Or bonds. Or stocks. Whatever metric of value you two chose together!