Having ‘the talk’ ...the money talk

They say that money can’t buy you happiness, and while that’s true, money (or lack thereof) and differing attitudes towards finance within a relationship can be the cause of a lot of unhappiness.

For the longest time, talking about the ‘M’ word amongst your friends, family or significant other has been labelled as a pretty big taboo. So when it comes to dating, money might feel like an especially touchy topic. When in actual fact, talking about money with your partner in an open and non-judgmental way is better for your relationship.

Here are some of my tips for managing money talk in relationships:

Get to know each other’s values

Before anything else, it’s important to identify your big, overarching money values. You should talk openly about your experience with money growing up and how this has influenced your values now. If you better understand where your partner is coming from, you’ll tend to have fewer conflicts.

Talk About Who Will Pay for What

Whether it’s going halves, taking turns, or one person agreeing to generously pay the bill, working out a fair arrangement eliminates any hidden expectations.

Don’t be nosey

Being curious about your boyfriend/girlfriend's earnings or debt load is totally normal, but if you’re pushing the conversation you may experience some hostility around the topic. Be patient, let the conversation happen gradually as your relationship progresses.

Don’t do it at 2am over Whatsapp

Having the money talk might seem like a heavy subject, but it doesn’t need to be. Don’t text them in the middle of the night, or bring up the conversation when one of you is having a bad day. You might want to wait until you’re both in a neutral environment. By breaking down the taboo you can take the first step on a joint path to financial health. 

Talking about money doesn’t have to be hard, shameful, or awkward. Whilst it shouldn’t be a taboo subject in your relationship, it’s important to be sensitive when discussing financial matters and not force it. By taking the small steps to get the conversation going, even if it’s just starting off by discussing how much you’re paying for monthly subscriptions, you’ll be able to ease into having money conversations with your partner about bigger financial matters later down the line.