There’s no formula for romance, but there are a few things you just don’t talk about when you’re dating someone – exes, politics, religion, finance, etc. – right? Not necessarily. When it comes to a first date, some topics might be taboo; but in order to spend the rest of your life with someone, you need to know what you’re getting into.
Enter the financial planning “Date Night.” It might not sound like the most romantic evening, but setting aside some time to chat with your partner about your financial future together can go a long way toward avoiding money problems down the road.
Third Date: The Money Talk?
You don’t necessarily need to have a talk about finances on the third date, but covering the money matters early on in a new relationship can actually be a really healthy step forward if you start seeing someone you like. Not only does it help you get on the same page about where you both stand – but in fact, having the conversation early on can help you discover whether you and your partner share the same values when it comes to money.
Sure, it can be uncomfortable; however, depending on where you’re at in your dating life (casual chatting versus looking to settle down), it’s okay to have awkward conversations about important stuff once in a while.
Keep The Conversation Going
You and your partner/significant other/spouse shouldn’t just talk dollars and cents once, and then move on. It doesn’t need to be a constant conversation, but most peoples’ financial situations are fairly fluid, especially at a young age. Keeping up-to-date on what’s going on with your partner’s finances – and opening up about your own – can let you celebrate successes and solve challenges together, which can actually be a great bonding experience.
Plus, it helps you avoid unpleasant surprises. Even if consumer debt and student loans aren’t a dealbreaker, finding out about them further down the line can be a hard pill to swallow. Depending on your relationship and comfort level, getting those talks out of the way up front can set the basis for a great problem-solving opportunity, rather than a crisis down the road.
The Big Talks
Of course, once things start getting serious, there are a few major conversations that every couple should have. Beneficiaries on retirement plans and life insurance policies, going in on large purchases (like houses and cars) together, or even just opening a joint bank account to save for a fun vacation are all big steps – but taking them together can help your relationship move forward romantically and financially.