Let’s face it, money is a heavy topic in a relationship. What better (worse?) way to sober up the atmosphere than asking your girlfriend/boyfriend about their financial plans a few minutes into a date. Despite its heaviness, this is a discussion that must be had as the relationship progresses. Talking about money with your loved one will give you an insight into your individual financial habits and how you both can manage financial decisions which is crucial if you intend to get married. Here are ways to breach this subject:
Begin lightly, maybe share how some of your views on money have changed over time or what you’d do if you had ten million Naira. Once the subject is on the table and the two of you have had some fun with it, maybe delve a little deeper. Neither person should get too specific with their numbers until they are comfortable doing so. If the other person is putting pressure on you for your financial information or wants a lot of your data, step back.
Secondly, when you have a conversation going, get (and give) a sense of what both of you think about not only spending money but also saving long-term, investing, planning for retirement, financial emergencies and giving.
Thirdly, address your financial “bucket list,” as well, to see whether your values and long term goals match up. Some red flags that might signal trouble in the long run include : one of you advocates stay-at-home parenting while the other doesn’t support it; indecisiveness about the number of kids you want or if you want kids at all; when you’re at odds about how much to spend on your wedding.
Money is one major reason why people have problems in their marriages so it’s best to have a continuous honest conversation before making any major decisions.