I have written about who should pay for the first date in the past. We have also discussed how to save money when in a longer term relationship. Today, though, I am interested in how much you share about your finances, and what you expect to know, when in a new relationship.
When Do You Spill the Beans?
For some of us, talking about money is an easy thing to do. For me, a guy who shares my bank account balances on the internet, it doesn’t bother me at all to share my financial situation with someone in my life. Of course, I am vague in some areas, but I put a fair picture out there.
For others, though, money is taboo. I once dated a girl who grew up in a family where money was never discussed openly. The parents took care of everything and the kids had no idea what was going on. If you grew up in that situation, you probably want to keep your finances close to the chest.
As a money minded person, it makes sense that you would bring up the topic first. In doing so, you should be willing to share your financial situation. Of course, that doesn’t mean bringing your statements to dinner, but you should be willing to say “I have about $XXX in debt and am working to pay it off by XXX” or “I don’t use credit cards, but my student loans cost me $XX per month.” It is easy to paint a pretty clear picture on your situation and your goals and plans for the future.
But when is the right time? When you have “the talk” and make it official? A month after? Two months? Every relationship is different, but it is important that you don’t blindside your partner far into a relationship when they don’t expect it. And it would not be fair to you if they did the same.
What Do You Expect to Know?
As I mentioned, I have rarely discussed income with a girl I was dating. When we did, we were vague and gave a range, rather than the actual number. Even when talking about credit cards and student loans, we were never specific, we used ranges to paint a picture of the situation.
I do, however, want to know if I am dating into a ton of debt. Whether it is credit card (honestly, this could be a deal breaker if it is too out of control) or student loans (would not scare me off, because it was accumulated trying to better their life), I think it is fair that your partner should know your situation.
When do you expect to know that, though? You obviously don’t sit down on your first date and interrogate your new romantic interest on their debt and savings. You don’t ask about retirement planning until well after date number two or three. But when should it come up? When do you want to know what you are really getting into? After all, money is a common reason for relationship failure.
Your Opinions and Experiences?
I know that each situation is different, but we all have our tipping points where we think it is reasonable to share and understand each other’s financial situations. When do you think it is appropriate? What have you done in the past? Please share in the comments.