Financial discussions, alone, can be intimidating and uncomfortable. Not to mention they often require a level of intimacy that many aren’t capable of giving. Your financial situation is a closed relationship, a particular plan, a special bond that you’ve built. It’s something that most find difficult sharing or discussing with others. This challenge can easily cause stress on your actual relationships. When you and that special someone move in together, there are financial decisions that need to be discussed, established and agreed upon prior to diving all in.
It’s often said that the key to successful and honest relationships is clear communication. While yes, it’s a great quality for relationships of all levels, it’s just as important in financial situations. Be realistic from the start. As much as we want to believe all of our relationships will last a lifetime, truth is, relationships break all the time. This is why it’s important to establish financial foundations from the start. In the worst cases, when the relationship doesn’t last, you don’t want to be so financially dependent on your partner that you can’t support yourself. Start strong, protect your finances and have the conversation.
Here are some tips to talk about:
You’ll want to discuss whether you and your partner will want to share financial assets or keep money, assets and expenses separate. In the early stages of your relationship, consider keeping your financial assets separate. This will deter from property arguments in the off chance that the relationship ends. Keeping assets separate will also allow for each person in the relationship to maintain a sense of independence and financial freedom. Most financial experts even recommend exercising caution with considering joint ownership of property(1). However, if you and your partner choose to share, make sure property is titled in both names(1).
As your relationship progresses, so should your financial conversations. At some point, the question of owning a house together, marriage proposals and shared taxes will take prominence in your conversation. There are positives and negatives to each financial decision, but if you take the time to understand and discuss each, your financial relationship will have higher success.
Finances can quickly cause relationships to spiral out of control. Have a conversation and establish financial ground rules. Remember to be realistic and get certain decisions in writing if need be. Communication is a huge factor of successful relationships. Don’t let finances cause stress and potentially end what you and your partner have established. Be prepared when you take the leap to live together.
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