Complete this sentence:
My ideal partner is_______ .
A great chef.
If you didn’t come up with financially responsible, I’m not surprised. Money isn’t something that whips us into a passionate frenzy. Heck, it isn’t even a topic we know how to throw into conversation! It kind of falls along the lines of religion and politics, EXCEPT I bet you actually talk about those two topics much more readily than you do about money. Am I right?
Money. It’s a sticky topic that many of us don’t like thinking about. I guarantee you that the majority of the time you’re thinking about money it’s in relation to the fact that you don’t have enough, or you owe it to someone, or someone owes it to you. Hardly what I would call a positive relationship with money. As a matter of fact, a lot of us have a pretty dysfunctional relationship with money as it is. Can you imagine what it would be like to join your money dysfunction with someone else’s money drama? Can you say financial fiasco?
Truth: If you want to attract a financially responsible person, be a financially responsible person
Addressing your own money dysfunction is an important step you need to take when heading out on a quest for a life long mate. Nobody can fix your money drama, and no amount of money can cure you from financial irresponsibility. If you think you’re going to find a financially responsible mate and expect them to fix your problems (read: debt), you’ve got another thing coming. Mo’ money, mo’ problems, ain’t just a lyric. Take responsibility for your finances, educate yourself, and do the right things with your money. Pay down your debt, pay yourself first (savings and investing), and get your money tight.
Curious about what kind of spender you are? Check out Kiplinger’s Quiz: What Kind of Spender Are you?
Truth: You can spot personal finance “red flags” a mile away
Unless you’re looking to acquire an already scary financial situation, open your eyes and start looking for financial drama red flags. Does s/he carry a wallet full of credit cards? Does your date have a champagne budget on a beer income (i.e. high school teacher driving the latest luxury sports car)? Do they have a luxury apartment and virtually no furniture (we call this “house poor” in the finance arena)? Are you on the receiving end of some high end gifts that don’t add up when comparing it to their career choice? You get the idea.
Truth: Open communication about money is part of building a solid foundation for a prosperous relationship
Since one of the top causes of divorce is financial disagreement, you better believe that financial harmony is one of the keys to marital harmony. If you are looking for your happily ever after, now is the time to start talking about money. Now, you don’t have to ask for a credit report and detailed bank statement on a first date, but it is good to get an idea of your potential mate’s attitudes about personal finances. If you can talk sex, exes, parents, jobs, politics, and religion, you can definitely talk money. Try leaning into a conversation about how crappy savings account interest rates are or how excited you are that you snagged a killer Groupon or SocialLiving deal or how stoked you are that you consolidated your student loans and lowered your loan APR. You can do it!
Here’s a warning to the wise: do not make any life altering decisions like moving-in with or committing to someone before you’ve had the money talk. Check out U.S. New’s 8 step guide, “Is Your Partner A Good Money Match” for more ideas!
Best of Both Worlds: Love and Money
Talking money may not be sexy to you now, but I promise it can be! My honey and I talk money regularly and, not to brag, but we’re en fuego. Money is a team sport for us. We find great joy working together to accomplish our money goals, paint our financial future, and celebrate our successes. We relish in our frugality while we laugh all the way to the bank. See, sexy, right?
Have you had the money talk with your significant other? How’d it go? I want to know! Share your experiences and questions with me!