Couples and Money
I decided to compile a set of questions that are worth asking your partner if things start to get serious. These are definitely not the questions for a first date, maybe let’s use that date as an opportunity to get to know the basics. But once you’re further down the road towards deciding this person is the “the one” for you, these are the kind of questions that I believe are important to ask for the long-term success of your relationship. Several studies have shown that finances and infidelity are leading causes of divorce in the USA so it’s a conversation worth having.
Marrying purely for love is therefore a virtually certain to ensure that the relationship ends in disaster. I believe having a good understanding of where both parties stand on financial issues respectively, sets up the union for success and a lot fewer arguments.
- On a scale of 1–10 where would you rank your level of financial literacy?
- Would you be willing to sign a prenup? (Prenuptial agreement)
- What are your thoughts on gender roles? Particularly, do you believe the responsibility to provide should be on one member of the relationship?
- What is your relationship with money? Is it meaningless to you? Do you want a lot of it? Do you find it intimidating?
- What was your financial situation growing up? In what ways has that impacted the way you handle money as an adult?
- What is your money personality? There are 5 money personalities theorized by Scott and Bethany Palmer:
- Big spenders (Enjoys luxury, expensive brands, and lifestyle, etc.)
- Savers (Very frugal, avoids debt, minimalist)
- Shoppers (Emotional spender, impulse buyer, can’t resist a sale)
- Debtors (Deep in debt, poor/no financial plan)
- Investors (Delayed gratification, plans for future)
- Do you have any debt (Student loans, loans, mortgage, car payments) If so, what is your plan to pay them off?
- What sort of purchases do you consider worth taking on credit/higher purchase? Do you prefer to “save up” and buy a product, or would you prefer to take the product now on credit?
- How do you structure your budget? Are you strict with it?
- Does anyone depend on you for their living? (Friends, family, etc.)
- Do you have any bank accounts or sources of income I am not aware of?
- Are you an emotional spender? Do you shop to raise your mood when you are sad?
- What are your personal aspirations? Secondly, what aspirations do you have for our union?
- Do you want to have children? If so, what is the ideal lifestyle you would like to provide for them?
- If either of our parents were to run out of money in retirement, is that expense you would allow me to undertake with our finances?
- In the event that we were to fall on “tough times” financially, what expenses in your life would you be willing to forego temporarily?
- In your opinion, how should our household bills and expenses be split? Should they be split evenly? Should the person who earns more, contribute more?
- If I were to lose my income for whatever reason (job loss, changing careers, maternity, starting my own business, etc.) would you be willing to support me financially? If so, for how long?
- When it comes to financial decisions, should the person who earns more have the final say? Justify your position.
- Share your genuine thoughts about the experience with your partner. (Express grievances, agreement, optimism, concern, etc.)
Bonus Question: If you had all the money in the world, what’s the first thing you would buy?