You may feel it’s too early to talk about money with someone you’ve just started dating, or that your finances are not your partner’s business; but this conversation can only help to strengthen the relationship. In general, it’s best to use the first few dates as a time to feel out your partner’s value system on the things that matter to you, and this includes discussing money.
According to a CNBC report, finances are the leading cause of stress in long-term relationships, with 35 percent of respondents saying that money is a major source of conflict within their relationship. This is why it’s important for couples to open up their financial lives to one another so that they can do a real assessment of what is feasible based on their reality.
“If you can bare your body and soul to this person, you should be able to open up about your finances,” expresses money expert and Founder of FINancialSharktress, Galit Tsadik, “It is something that will impact the rest of your lives together and can cause a lot of friction in a relationship if not discussed!”
They say opposites attract, and more often than not we find ourselves dating or marrying our financial opposite. Although dating someone with different values in money can be a challenge, it doesn’t mean the relationship can’t succeed. It only means you have to be more conscientious on how to manage the money and communicate around it. Galit has a few tips on how to navigate through the relationship and find financial common ground.
Help first. Your resources are better than money! Have regularly scheduled money dates where you go over each other’s finances and offer advice/teach each other what you’ve learned over the years. Come with an open mind and listen to each other.
Don’t encourage unsustainable habits. For some reason, finances are a subject nobody wants to discuss. Does anyone ask whether the shiny new car parked outside was bought with cash or with credit? No. Does anyone discuss monthly saving plans and saving strategies? No. Does anyone address the many unnecessary items their partner buys on a whim, for instant gratification? Again, no. Just like you wouldn’t give a drunk an alcoholic drink to help them stop drinking, do not throw money at a person who engages in addictive spending behaviors. Throwing money at bad behavior is not the answer; it would only serve to make the problem grow even more out of control.
Don’t be a borrower or a lender, your relationship will suffer! Stop being the ‘loving lender.’ Lending instead of simply giving seems the sensible thing to do. After all, this at least respects their ability to get back on their feet and pay you back. But, as with many of the factors behind the numbers and amounts in your budget, there are human factors that really make lending or borrowing a terrible idea when it comes to healthy financial relationships. Conversations can become tense, meals out become something to avoid rather than look forward to. Keep lending and your partner might be looking to you to pick up the check for the rest of your life: that’s not a healthy behavior to adopt!
Try out a money coach! Many financial coaches offer group programs. I’m partial to my group program, the Inner Shark Tribe, but most valid group programs will help. Just make sure the group culture as well as group leader is the right fit for you both. Join together and make getting financially healthy something fun you do together.
Learning how to make a relationship work with a person who is dissimilar is challenging, especially when it comes to money. Remember, coming together about your finances won’t happen all at once; it’s an ongoing process. But by staying mindful and following these tips, you have the opportunity to create a happy, healthy relationship with financial security!
About Galit: Galit Tsadik is the founder & SHE.E.O. of FINancialSharktress, as well as her namesake company, Tsadik G. Management and a respected money expert. Learn more at: https://financialsharktress.com/.
Facebook Group (Righteous Revenue Fishbowl): https://www.facebook.com/groups/RighteousRevenue/