I hate money. Money is hard enough to deal with when you’re single and trying to pay rent, buy food and buy the best dress at the party or the newest toy to play with on the tube. When you add another person to the mix, things get more complicated. No matter how much we want to think that “love conquers all,” money is still important in a relationship. I’m not just talking about letting someone pay for dinner on a date. Even though we’re feminists, we all know that it’s nice to be treated to a nice night out by someone else from time to time. Also, you’re fooling yourself if you think that’s the only way money will affect your relationship. Love might win in the end, but it still needs a place to sleep and probably doesn’t want to have awkward talks about how to pay for a romantic trip.
Money is important because it comes with standards and because it limits not only what you can do with your life but also what you can do as a couple. And if you decide to work together financially, sometimes your own wants have to take a back seat to what’s best for both of you. So, it makes sense that talking openly about money is important if you don’t want money problems to get in the way of your love. When you’re in a serious relationship with someone, it’s not uncommon for most of your money to become “group money.” No, this doesn’t always happen. Some couples stay together and even get married without being financially dependent on each other, which is great if that’s what you want. But as a relationship goes on, money becomes a less clear joint effort for a lot of pairs.
And there are consequences: if you live together, you have to pay rent, bills, buy a new couch, cutlery, etc. Your financial goals become the financial goals of the relationship. It’s still fine to spend money on yourself, but really big purchases need to be run by the team first. Sure, you can buy that $80 dress on sale, but if you want the $800 dress, unless you’re very rich, you might need to talk about it first, since that’s like a month’s rent for most people. Before you say things like, “But it’s my money!” It’s true that you worked hard for it, but here are six reasons why money does matter in a relationship:
1. Relationships should be equal, and you have to decide for yourself what that means.
Relationships should always be fair, which means different things to different people. Some people think that “equal” means that the couple’s finances are split 50/50, but that’s not always possible or reasonable. What if neither person makes as much as the other? Why should they feel like they have to divide things fairly if it doesn’t make sense to them and they’re happy with a different plan? When one person can’t keep up with the other financially but is still expected to, this can be a problem. Clarifying what each person in a relationship is supposed to do is important so that no one feels taken advantage of or out of their depth.
2. You don’t want to have to help someone out of the blue.
It’s important to know how much money your partner makes or has. It’s true. I’m not saying you should start asking for bank accounts on the second date, but if you’ve been together for a while and plan to stay together or move in together, you don’t want to hear, “Surprise! I’m broke!” out of the blue. It’s fine to help your partner through hard times and have them do the same for you, but you don’t want to wake up one day and find that someone is just counting on you to carry them. You want to know that your partner’s end goal is to be able to put money in the bank, not to ride on your coattails like a lazy freeloader when they aren’t doing well financially.
3. You might also have to be ready to help someone out of the blue.
Yes, as was already said, there may be times when you need to help the other person in your relationship out of the blue. People lose their jobs or get hit with big bills all at once. When this happens, you’ll realise that your relationship is a financial partnership as well as a love and emotional one. You need to know that if you’re in a serious relationship, you’re in it together when it comes to money. When they had hard times, you had hard times, and vice versa.
4. Your cash goals should be the same.
It’s much easier to find out if a possible partner is someone you can trust with money than it is to be in a relationship where one person is always keeping an eye on how the other spends money. When it comes to daily spending, you should both be able to be reasonable, respectful, and open with each other. You should also have the same goals for spending and saving in general.
For example, when one person wants to save for a new dining room table and the other person spends $500 on a spontaneous night out with friends on a regular or semi-regular basis, there is a pretty basic difference in priorities, which isn’t healthy and can’t last. When you work with someone, especially if you live with them, the way you spend money matters and will always affect the other person. Even though you can’t make someone show you every penny, you should believe that your partner won’t waste money that you both need on something useless. You can’t keep an eye on your partner, so you have to be able to trust them when it comes to money. This is much easier when you and your partner have the same goals.
5. If you want to live together, get married, or have children, you should plan your financial future together.
Planning for the future is often part of a stable relationship, whether that means renting together, buying a house, getting cars, having kids, or going on a lot of trips. No matter what your road is, money is important because how you spend it will determine how you live and how you reach your goals.
6. Fighting about money is too easy.
It can be bad for your relationship if you don’t pay attention to how money works in it. If you don’t talk openly about your money and don’t talk to each other about it, you can quickly fight about how the other person spends money. Every day, you use money. Everything is affected by money, from where you live to what you eat for breakfast. Obviously, it will change how two people who share their lives, however much, live with each other. It’s important to pay attention to it and talk about money in a clear enough way so that it doesn’t sneak up on you and cause trouble.