People say you shouldn’t talk about money, especially early in a relationship, but we’re all about openness and transparency here at Same New Love.
Why not talk about money when it’s undoubtedly going to impact your relationship, at least if you plan on being with someone for the foreseeable future?
Whether you believe money makes the world go ‘round or whether it’s the root of all evil, the fact of the matter is that money is a necessary part of your life. And given the closeness a relationship brings, things that are essential in your life will eventually become important aspects of your growing relationship. Like it or not, this includes money.
This article is part of a 3-part series on Relationship Money Questions, written for three different relationship stages. Click to read about questions to ask Before Combining Finances and After You’ve Combined Finances. Of course, as with all of our “questions to ask your partner articles”, be willing and prepared to answer these questions for yourself as well!
Here are 5 questions to ask your partner about money early in the relationship:
1. What is your relationship with money like?
This question is open and broad, thus a good to start with if you’ve never brought up the topic of money before.
It’s very open-ended, allowing your partner the freedom to answer it at any angle they’re most comfortable with – whether that’s in terms of their history with money, their current financial status, their financial goals, their success with money, their struggles with saving, etc.
This may be the only question you need to ask, as it could spiral off into many pieces of information, perhaps even hitting all of the questions below.
If their answer is quite shallow, however, simply continue with the following more specific questions:
2. How did your parents talk about money?
This is another not-so-threatening question that can branch off in various directions. It could also reveal how your partner currently discusses money and/or may continue to approach it in the future.
Relate it to how your parents talked about money (or didn’t) and decide how you both want to talk about money in your own relationship moving forward.
3. How much money do you typically like to spend vs. save?
This is getting more into the meat of the money discussion, and if you’re wildly uncomfortable asking this question because you’ve only been on a few dates with your partner, then sure, lay off.
But if you’re only slightly uncomfortable asking this question (or answering it in return) but have a gut feeling that it’s information you’d like to know, go ahead and ask!
(Remember: Don’t be afraid to lean into slightly uncomfortable topics because those are usually the ones that lead to the most transparency, trust, and overall growth.)
You may want to preface it with an explanation of why you’re asking – not to critique or judge, but to discuss and learn.
4. What are your financial goals?
The previous question looks at you and your partner’s current financial habits, while this question looks more into the future.
This question is a step up in terms of building trust and should be asked if both you and your partner have established verbal commitment to each other and are on the same page about your partnership.
If not, it may be a little too uncomfortable… But it could also be eye-opening – not just in terms of their answer, but whether they are looking to include you and your financial goals in that vision of their financial future.
However, if you’re unsure about the true status of the relationship, you may want to have a “DTR” convo first.
5. How much money do you plan on needing in the future for the kind of lifestyle you want?
This could be posed as an earnest question or asked in a fun, get-to-know-you kind of way. It’s a little more lighthearted because it’s more about desires and what that person considers an “ideal life” than just finances alone.
But it will still be revealing. If all you need (and want) is a 1-story cabin in the woods to be happy, and they’re looking to own three vacation homes and a yacht, that might be a reason for a lot of further discussion on what life might look like down the road for your relationship.
I hope this is a helpful starting guide for questions to ask your partner regarding money and finances early on in your relationship.
If you have other suggestions for questions or feedback on the questions presented, please leave a comment below!
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