If you are in a long term relationship, eventually you will have to have ‘The Talk.’ The money talk can put a dent in the most successful relationships. Part of compatibility is having the same goals, including financially. We recommend having a basic discussion of where your finances and goals are at around the 6-month mark. At some point you may decide to join finances or open a joint bank account, for this you should wait at least a year, this gives you the chance to see any bad habits come up before hand. Here are a few other important tips for when you bring out the bank accounts.
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1 – Budget Together
Make a comprehensive budget together, and include everything. This doesn’t just help to set your goals together, it can also help you find out how well your partner can stick to a financial plan.
2 – Marriage
Marriage offers certain financial security as well as emotional. If you decide to divorce, you could have the help of the courts to divide assets, otherwise, joint accounts can be closed (and emptied) by either partner.
3 – Warning Signs
We mentioned before that the 6-month mark can be a good discussion point, but you should be paying attention from day 1. Watch out for specific behaviors, deception, borrowing money and not paying it back, not wanting to discuss money, etc. These can be early warning signs or serious financial problems and should be dealt with quickly.
These are just a few of the most basic considerations when dealing with dating and finances, but the most important part is communication. Don’t let the fact it can be an uncomfortable talk stop you or you may find that an uneasy conversation may be the least of your worries.