Some aspects of relationships are essentially uncomfortable. Meeting their inappropriate friend. Working out how long it should be before you call after date number three. Broaching the topic of how deeply you love Deep Purple.
But most awkward of all can be money conversations. They’re imperative, important and downright tricky. Here are five questions, inspired by MSN Money, that need to be asked before you bust out the his and hers towels.
Is Saving Money Important To You?
A cheat question. Firstly, if saving money is important to you, then you already know what your new lovelight’s answer will need to be. But on top of that, it’ll enable you to find out a lot of other information. Has your partner already started saving? What are their views on saving for retirement? This question will give you a big insight into their money personality, and how they save. And as much as we wish we could change people, it’s rarely the case, so pay close attention.
If someone gave you a $1000, what would you do with it?
I spend a lot of my life thinking about the answer to that question, so I’m already armed with my response. This is a big question in terms of compatibility. ‘Spend it’ is a perfectly valid response. But what on? Beer? An unforgettable holiday? A new suit for big occasions at work? Maybe they’d use it to put their credit card bill to bed. Whatever their answer, it’ll tell you a lot about their money personality.
Do You Want Kids?
Oh god, the king of the unasked questions. Most of us would rather spend a week on Survivor with a pack of accountants listening to Enrique Iglesias than ask or answer that question. But if you’re lucky enough to be in a serious relationship, you’re going to have to front up to this question at some point. And, like it or not, it’s a financial question. It takes a lot of money to raise a child, so appreciating the effect it’ll have on your finances (and relationship) is an essential for the long-term.
How Do You Feel About Debt?
My essential question. People have different perceptions about debt, and that’s absolutely okay. Most of the time. Not so much in a long-term relationship when you’re hitching your financial security to his. For me, if my partner felt blasé about consumer debt or was happy living from credit card bill to credit card bill, that’d put a time limit on how long I was willing to spend in the relationship. And the reverse would be true for him. Get it out there, and get honest.
What Is Your Current Financial Situation?
You can love someone irregardless of whether they are thousands of dollars in debt or without a cent to their name, but you need to know first. It’s not about calculating how big a present they might get you every Christmas, but knowing how your financial lives together are going to work. If they’re in debt, you need to know so you can work out how to cope with it together, or at least have an idea what effect it’ll have on your financial future.
These aren’t first date questions, but they need to be asked (and answered) at some point if happily ever afters are going to become a reality.