Role of Money in Relationships: When to Discuss a Budget

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Money can make or break a relationship. Even though it is important, it’s not proper to bring up the topic whenever you wish. It’s a good idea for you to discuss the budget within your relationship, but only when the time is right. How do you know when that is? We’re going to answer that question and many others. Here is everything you need to know!

Don’t discuss money on first dates

Source: Wells Fargo Stories

According to research by Douwant experts, don’t discuss money on first dates. There are several reasons why that is the case, starting with the fact that you don’t have any elements of your lives that are entangled to that point. Now, some people wonder about what they should do in terms of paying for the date. While conventional wisdom will tell you that the man has to pay, there isn’t always a man on the date, right? There are two schools of thought on the subject. First, the person that asks the other person out for the date should pay for it. If you’re inviting them, then you should treat them. It’s relatively fair and ensures that they don’t have to cancel because they don’t have the money.

Realistically, if you can’t handle the cost of two people on a date, then you probably shouldn’t be asking people out for dates, either. Another thing to think about is the increasing number of people who would prefer to split the bill. It might seem a little odd based on the dating values that we’ve been taught. It is a lot fairer and more equitable to each person that takes part in the date. While some people might be uncomfortable with it, it’s best to have a plan in place before you go out on a date.

Budget in a relationship: How and when should this be discussed?

Source: Estes Therapy

Now that we are past the first date, when should you consider talking about a budget in a relationship? Well, the answer is pretty simple. You should start talking about a budget as soon as your finances become entangled with one another. That means when your financial situation starts to impact that of your partner, it is necessary to start talking about the budget. Some couples believe that the budget should start coming up when you are regularly dating. However, many others believe that the better option is to wait until you are living together. Since more couples are moving in before marriage, planning and executing a budget with your significant other is far easier when you are living in the space.

How do you bring it up, though? Well, the key is waiting for the right time. Don’t try to tell someone how to spend their money before you two have mutual interests or bills with one another. That way, you can talk about it with confidence and knowing that you are not stepping out of bounds with your partner.

The short answer to this question is to start talking about budgets in your relationship as soon as you share a bill.

You must have similar financial priorities

Source: Bridge Financial Planning

When you’re considering getting financially entangled with your romantic partner, each of you must share the same financial priorities. Two people that have a dissimilar or conflicting philosophy on saving and spending money will not last long together in a relationship. The reason is quite simple – people who like to go out and spend money on the weekends will be viewed negatively by people that would rather save that money for a retirement fund or a house. Thus, if you and your partner find yourself at odds over the everyday expenses that you share, then you are not likely to be happy at all. You should find someone that is going to have the same long-term and short-term goals as you.

Otherwise, you might have to lay some ground rules on how you accept their contributions to the household. Some people might have more money to offer than others, and they might not need to be as judicious with their spending as people that don’t make as much. All in all, it is necessary to balance fairness with your long-term goals for budgeting. Every couple is different, though, so make sure to talk to your partner directly.

Tips on how to start a joint budget

Source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

After you have a conversation about your expenses together, it’s a good idea for you to start your joint budget. Where do you begin? Well, that depends on your philosophy of couples’ budgeting and how interconnected your finances are. Some people are willing to set a joint bank account when they’re engaged; other people like to keep their finances separate. In the early stages of living together, it’s good to fairly and evenly split the bills unless there is a large disparity in the amount of money that one person makes relative to another. While it might not be equal, if someone is making three times as much money as their partner, then it might be kinder for them to take on a portion of the other bills. Again, every couple is different.

After you go through your bills and split them up, determine what quantity of money should go into joint ventures. Contribute to savings, set a limit on how much you spend on dates, and then come up with a hard limit for how much you spend on frivolous things, too. You have to agree, and it’s up to you both to determine what you consider fair.

Stating a budget with a significant other is a big step, and it’s a step that can result in some pretty significant discussions. You have to be ready to have them, though. Immature relationships do not survive financial discussions. However, if you’re both ready to merge finances or talk about them in the context of your relationships, then it’s time to break out the bank statements and look at how you want your money to interact.

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