Make sure to discuss any money problems with your other before they become your significant other!!

March 22, 2012

One of the most common reasons couples come to see me is disagreements over money. This is not surprising as it is one of the leading causes of divorce.

So the statistics are against you to start with….imagine how they escalate if the issue is something you have hidden from your significant other, especially if it was an issue before you committed to one another!! This is particularly if your problem is with debt. Discovering unknown debt, particularly if it is a large amount, can be a real honeymoon stopper! It can even be a marriage stopper.

I know that when I got together with my partner, my overspending  very quickly became an issue between us. In fact, it was really why I finally found help to deal with it. Now, whilst we still have very different attitudes to money, they’re out in the open and we can discuss money with that knowledge. Now, I’m not saying it makes it easy!! It is however, less fraught than it would be, if it had come to light once we had committed to one another.

So, if you are just developing a relationship with someone who, you think, might be “the one”, find a time when it is just the two of you, maybe over a quiet drink, meal or coffee  and begin to talk.  You can start by simply asking ” Do you think of yourself as a spender or a saver?” Ask them about their money goals, do they have any? Inquire about their debts – do they have a student loan, how big is it? Do they have credit card debt, again how big is it?  Do they save for something or just put it straight on a credit card. Obviously it is better if this is a two way conversation and not an interrogation!! Share with them your goals and attitudes towards money and if you have any debt. It is better to be out in the open.

If you’re reading this and thinking ” Great, but it’s too late for me, we’re married and he/she doesn’t know that I have $15K of credit card debt” Tell them NOW! The sooner the better. It is always better if you tell them than they somehow find out on their own. The deceit then somehow just seems worse and is more damaging to trust in the relationship. Your partner could then be thinking “What else have they hidden from me?”

So, be proactive and discuss your attitudes to money before your move in together or get married….trust me it can save a lot of heartache!

If you have been in either situation, please share your experiences in the comments section below.


5 Responses to “Make sure to discuss any money problems with your other before they become your significant other!!”

  1. I agree that it’s best to talk with your partner about money before you get married. It’s a topic that has the potential to cause many problems and resentment, so it’s best to know about your differences beforehand.

    My wife and I had very different views of money before marriage, but luckily I’ve convinced her to adopt some of my thrifty ways 🙂

    • jillporter Says:

      Thaks for your comment.

      You are lucky! Did you know about your differences before you were married?

      • We did. She liked to have new things, but I was (and still am) all about saving. We talked a lot about money before we got married, and even now that we’ve been married 3 years. If anything, we probably over- communicate (if that’s possible)!

  2. Felicity Says:

    When we first got together I was saved from financial ruin by my husband’s squirrel-like tendencies with money. I’m still a spender and he’s a saver but I’ve taken on more of his habits than the other way round. I still pull out the odd pair of shoes and say ‘ oh these old things, I’ve had them for ages’.

  3. jillporter Says:

    Thanks for your comment.

    You are not alone Felicity! It’s certainly easier on a relationship if some compromise is reached. Occasional breakouts happen! Just keep them occasional because hiding purchases, is another whole topic!

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