Building financial harmony in a relationship



With Valentine’s Day last weekend, it might be a good time to reflect on how much money impacts relationships. There are important facts to know. For example, do you know your significant others money personality? Do you know their complete financial picture? Building financial harmony starts with open communication.
Why are financial matters so important to discuss early on in a relationship?
Money issues are still given as the number one reason that marriages end in divorce. Many times, having an honest discussion at the beginning of a relationship can be helpful. Overlooking financial habits in your partner that are upsetting is not a good foundation for a long term relationship.
When should couples start discussing financial matters?
You probably shouldn’t discuss credit scores on the first date but as the relationship moves to being more serious, start talking about easy subjects such as level of student loan debt or credit card debt. Maybe even what they spend their money on when not with you. This can yield insights into each other’s money personalities and financial habits.
What are subjects to discuss if the relationship becomes more serious?
As you feel more comfortable with where the relationship is heading you should then move into discussing each other’s current financial situation in depth.  This is when credit score and current net worth are important to understand about each other.  You don’t want to find out after you are married about a financial situation that could stress your marriage from the very beginning.
Do couples have to have similar financial habits to have a successful relationship?
Most definitely not.  There probably are as many couples who are polar opposites on financial matters as there are those who agree on everything. The key is understanding your differences and being willing to work together towards a common goal and making compromises.  A great example, have an agreement when spending needs to be discussed with each other, for some it’s $100 for others it’s $1,000.  Setting a joint safe to spend limit helps polar opposites avoid arguments about spending.
What is the most important advice for couples to avoid money fights?
When it comes to financial matters, it’s not about getting your way or winning, it’s about doing what is best financially and emotionally for the both of you.  Don’t keep score.  You are a team and each decision is a point for the team not you or your significant other.  With that mentality, money troubles are less likely to happen and if they do, you can quickly find a way to make it a win for the team.

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