In the early stages of your relationship you might not feel comfortable bringing up the full money conversation, but observing your partner’s money habits can be incredibly telling. What are your partner’s spending habits? Do they impulsively make big purchases or usually go for the thrifty option?. If you’ve been observant and have tried to understand your partner’s attitude toward money, it will help you eventually ease into a conversation that feels natural.
Set an Open Environment
People can become sensitive when the topic of money is brought up, so the environment that you set before and during the conversation is really important. Don’t demand to talk about money and expect to sit down with your partner at that very moment to have the conversation.
Speak generally at first
Maybe talk about how your family viewed money and once the subject is on the table and the two of you have had some fun with it, maybe talk a little more in detail. Neither person should get too specific with their numbers until they are comfortable doing so. If the other person is pushing hard for information or wants a lot of your data, step back.
Don’t just talk about spending
When you have a conversation going, get (and give) a sense of what both of you think about saving long-term, investing, planning for retirement, and giving. Start by mentioning the topic and suggesting that this is something you two could sit down to talk about in the near future. This gives you both times to think about what you want to discuss so you can both feel prepared and ready to have the talk.
Know What You Want to Discuss
Everyone will have a different list of what they want to know or share, depending on where you are in your relationship. If you’re moving in together or getting married, it’s really important to talk about not only your current financial situation but also how you’re going to handle money as a couple and how you’re going to set financial goals that leave you both happy.
Be Honest With Your Partner and Yourself
Honesty is the best policy, especially with something that can be as emotional as money. But it can be really difficult to be honest with your partner if you haven’t accepted your own financial reality yet. Part of having this conversation with your partner is having this conversation with yourself first. If you have something in your financial history that you’re not proud of, it’s time to come to terms with it and make a plan to move forward.