couples and money

Money is something that should be discussed as early as possible in every relationship. If ignored, it can be detrimental to your relationship over time. In your twenties it is extremely likely that you will end up in a relationship that is more serious than a fling. This is where talking about money comes into play…. seriously, start talking about it as early as possible.

Here are GenTwenty, we’ve created a timeline to identify when you should start talking about those big money issues. By no means do we expect you to ask about your partners financial history on date number one, but down the road… you should have a good idea as to what is going on, especially in terms of their spending habits and long-term financial goals.

First date

Unless it comes up naturally, date number one probably shouldn’t be used to talk about money. You may be able to identify what you think their spending habits are based on their lifestyle and career path (all things you can and should talk about on a first date).

After Three Dates 

You should probably offer to pay the bill after about three dates. You will be able to identify things about this person based on how they react to the other party paying. You can continue to talk about all the normal things you talk about on the first few dates, and if the conversation is right you could ask questions such as:

READ MORE  Repeat After Me: This is the Year You Pay Down Your Debt!

– You seem to travel a lot, is that a financial priority of yours?

– You own your house, how exciting, when did you buy it?

– You just recently graduated, now it’s time to pay back those student loans, yeah?

You will get a great view of how they may manage their money based on open-ended vague money questions. If they seem turned off by the question, you can always apologize and say you did not mean to offend them.

One Month In

You’ve been dating for a little while now, you’re seeing each other more often and spending more time together. This is where you need to start having those in-depth money conversations. You should discuss who is to pay for what on dates. Are you going to split it 50/50? If one person always drives, does the other help pay for gas? If you stay over at their place should you be helping pay for some of the food you are eating? If your money personalities seem to clash, that may be a sign that it’s time to get out of the relationship. You are no one’s personal ATM.

At Three Months

Now things are starting to get serious, this isn’t high school so once you hit the three month mark you aren’t likely to stick around unless it’s something you are interested in pursuing in the long run. Of course you should know this person’s money personality by now. You should be aware of how you are going to be sharing expenses, but now it might be time to see if you can save up for something together.

READ MORE  Are Student Loans Killing Your Vibe? Maybe It's Time to Consolidate

Perhaps plan a mini-getaway to a nearby city or plan to go to an event that requires a bit of saving. Discuss your goal together and implement a strategy to get there. If all goes well you should be laughing it up at your destination!

Six Months

Once you hit six months, you should be talking about how you would split the finances if you were thinking of moving in together, how you should be sharing expenses because by now you probably have quite a few of them, and what your long term financial goals are. Do you want to own a house, travel the world, pay for your child’s education? Whatever it is make sure your partner is on the same page.

Now it may be time to set a larger financial goal… perhaps you are going to take a larger, more expensive trip together or buy something for your home.

One Year Mark

If you’ve made it to the one year mark you need to make sure there are no financial surprises for either party. You should know what sort of financial position they are in. Do they have any debt? What are both of your hopes and dreams for the future? Can you save up for something together? Have you fought about money? How would you raise your children financially? If you get married how would the finances be run in the household?

READ MORE  How To Start Improving Your Credit Score in the Next 6 Months

Congrats, you’ve made it! all the stressful money questions have been attacked before you’ve even been dating for a year, it should be smooth sailing from here on out in terms of finances.

How have you approached finances with your significant other? Have you created a plan and implemented it?