Money isn’t everything, but so much of our lives depends on money. Our homes, our food, our lifestyles, that sadly is it not surprising that finances are often cited as a reason why couples’ relationships end.
A recent CIBC survey suggests that nearly all couples believe it’s important to have a serious joint discussion about finances before getting hitched or moving in together. If that is true and couples believe it is important, why did the study find that only 35% of committed partners talk about money in detail?
For many of us, money is a difficult and intimate subject wrapped with deep dark cobwebs, judgment and shame. It’s a tough subject today even in 2016 when we seemingly discuss everything.
Here are three questions all couples should be able to answer together:
- Where is money being spent? Regardless of who might be the breadwinner in the house, if only one person works, or if they both earn comparable incomes, both people in the couple need to feel comfortable with where their hard earned funds are being spent. A very detailed budget isn’t required necessarily, but at the very least both people should understand at a high level, the allocation of their funds.
- What is money for? This might seem like a silly question, and actually the answer has a lot to do with the kind of lifestyle a couple chooses to live. Do they value private schooling for their children? Do they want to travel several times a year? Is all their food organic? The couple are more likely to be willing to compromise on “wants” in order to ensure that their mutually decided on lifestyle goals are met.
- What is your short-term financial goal? They say that couples who play together stay together, so whether you’re saving for a vacation, a home renovation project or looking to pay off some debt, having a shared goal to work towards together will keep you aligned both financially and on life’s journey in general.
So if you and your partner haven’t “talked money” for a while, set up a special money date to have a chat and work on creating shared answers!