When you find the love of your life, nothing can get between you, right? Wrong! There’s a reason that money is a taboo topic. 

Do you know when’s the right time to be open with your partner about how much you earn and what you spend your money on? How long should you be with them before you tell them everything — that is, if you ever do tell them everything? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone.

When it comes to cash, how much you have and who pays for what can be awkward. To help you have the big money chat with them, here are a few things you can do to make things less awkward… 

Get the timing right

Timing is everything. If you’re about to take the plunge and make some big life decisions, like you’re thinking of moving in together, you need to make sure you’ve had a full and frank discussion about budgets before you commit. 

You don’t want to get to the stage where you’re moving your stuff into the flat that you’re renting together before you tell your partner that you can’t afford the two-bed after all. So, get talking now while you have time to work out what you can both budget for. 

Break the ice

Having said that, it’s not easy to jump in and talk about this stuff, especially if you’ve never brought it up before. There are ways to break the ice about money management, though. 

You’re naturally more likely to be having this chat if you’re about to split the rent, so you can go in with a simple: “Before we start searching for a flat, we should go out for a coffee and talk about how much we can afford to pay out each month.” 

Maybe you’re not moving in together just yet, but it looks like your relationship is heading that way. In this case, you could try asking them about how their finances are looking: “If we’re aiming to move in together by the end of the year, we could do with working out how we’re going to cover the bills. How are you managing your money at the moment? I manage mine like this…”

Be practical

Remember that money can be an emotional subject. Your boyfriend might have had problems with debts in the past or your girlfriend could have lost her job a few years ago and doesn’t like to talk about how she struggled to afford things. 

To avoid this becoming a difficult conversation, try approaching it like a business meeting. You don’t have to be formal, but it’s worth speaking in a practical way. 

If it looks like things are going to become tricky, for example, your partner is talking about a negative financial experience from the past, find out how they dealt with it and when you feel happy that you know if it’s sorted now, you can steer the conversation back to the present. 

To do this, take turns to speak and have topics in mind to cover. So, once they’ve told you about anything from their past, you can then share your history before moving on to what you want for the future. This can cover things like whether you want to buy a house, whether you want children, if you’d like to go travelling. These are things that cost money and they are things that you’re likely to want to share with your partner. 

Money doesn’t have to be a horrible thing to talk about, but it is something you will need to cover if you’re taking the next step.
*Collaborative post. For more information on what this means, please see my Disclaimer
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