Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Three Tips on How to Talk Money


There’s no denying it: when it comes to dating, money matters, whether it’s small date expenditures or longer term investments. It’s a fact that many a dispute and divorce stem from the almighty dollar. But how soon is too soon to discuss dollars and cents with your partner, particularly when your relationship is just in its beginning stages?  Well, you may feel as if other people’s money is a touchy issue or plain none of your beeswax. But you won’t want to wait until you’re walking down the aisle to tackle the subject head on. Dating a financial deadbeat? Better to know sooner rather than later. If you're at a loss for words or unsure on how to go about it, here are three things to keep in mind.

Test the Waters. 
Start off by discussing general attitudes toward personal finances rather than specific situations. You can get an idea of your partner’s lifestyle, spending habits, and relationship towards money when talking about big-picture ideas instead of exact numbers. When your partner knows that you’re not putting his or her finances under the microscope, he or she will feel more open to the discussion and less on the defensive.

Talk about money before it’s a problem. 
When a conjugal life seems on the horizon, start discussing and planning solutions to different case scenarios before they actually arise. What would you do if your account is withdrawn or you’ve maxed out on your credit cards? What if you miss a mortgage payment? What are the advantages and disadvantages of setting up joint accounts? You’ll be able to discuss potential issues calmly and collectively when you’re not under the gun of actually having to deal with them.

Trust Your Instincts. 
Does he pick up the bill without looking at it? Does she wear designer labels while she’s living off a grad school stipend? Heed the warning signs. You don’t necessarily have to delve into credit scores to find out if he or she is financially responsible, but if your partner is asking you for a loan or you’re planning a big joint purchase, don’t be afraid to do your due diligence.