Money has always been a very touchy subject, especially in relationships. It is definitely easier not to talk about it, however, failure to find comfort in talking about it freely could have a negative impact in a relationship built by a sincere feeling of love.
Here’s a great video that covers how to address this subject early on the relationship.
In a romantic relationship, we should remember that it is not always about romance, about love, and about those cheesy stuffs (cheesy if you’re outside that romantic relationship). Since most relationships are there for the long haul, it’s best to talk about the practical stuffs early on, particularly about money.
Explore Your Financial Compatibility
Unless you are in a short time/term relationship, financial compatibility should always be part of the game plan.
Compatibility doesn’t really mean that each partner should have the same views in all aspects of life – as Edrick Mendoza mentioned in this video, that’s a boring relationship.
It simply means that both partners eventually get along, no matter how different their views are in different things.
Financial compatibility is one of the practical areas that should be tackled in a romantic relationship. Understanding compatibility in this area is very crucial.
Okay, but how?
In this video, Maricris San Diego, pointed out some questions we may ask ourselves to help us determine if we and our partners view money the same way.
- Do our partners value money?
- Do we view borrowing the same way? How about spending?
- Are our lifestyle choices compatible? (perhaps one spends a lot and the other is very thrifty)
All these questions may be answered even while we and our partners are still dating – in a boyfriend/girlfriend stage.
Considerations in identifying compatibility
- While still dating, start watching out for signs on how our partners treat money – are they a show-off and spends a lot, or are they high maintenance, etc…
- How do they live their lives? Do the live within their means or do they spend unnecessarily.
- Start talking about where they invest, or where they put their money.
Proper ways of Probing and Finding Answers
- Through observation
On the early stage of the relationship, the first way to identify money compatibility is to observe one’s partner on how they behave and use money.
- Ask questions
As the relationship gets serious, it is imperative to talk about money since it will be a very important area that will affect the success of the relationship for the long haul.
What if the difference are just too great?
Well, what about it? People are unique and different.
We adjust along the way. The careless spender could change to a conscious spender, and a very thrifty partner could learn to spend a bit and enjoy life a bit more.
In a relationship, we will change and evolve along the way.
Important Money Questions to Ask Before Tying the Knot
- What each owe and own.
Upon marriage, assets and liabilities of each partner becomes conjugal or combined. This means that everything that each partner owns and owe will be combined. Ownership of these assets and responsibilities for liabilities will be divided equally to each partner.
- Kind of lifestyle each partners want
Do you want a luxurious lifestyle – a lot of travels, entertainment, etc…? This should be discussed and match against the reality of existing resources and financial capability.
- Expectations and roles in the relationship on how money will be managed
Who will manage the household finances? Who’ll take care of the budget? and more.. This should be discussed transparently.
Advice for Married Couples
- Start having an inventory of what they own and owe.
- Look at the family budget
- Talk about how they will be paying out debts, if any.
- Talk about the long term plans
How to Deal With The Filipino Culture of Extended Family
- Be transparent in identifying which obligations from parent and siblings that will continue after marriage.
- What are the support they can get from family members (discuss what your support system will be like)