Some issues are pretty easy to discuss with a romantic partner — who’s in charge of grocery shopping, which Netflix show to binge next, and how to properly load the dishwasher. Other issues, like finances, are a little more — or a lot — more taboo. And if you grew up in a family that didn’t really discuss money, broaching the topic of finances may not seem easy, and sorting out the details of joining bank accounts may incite anxiety. It doesn’t have to.
You and your partner have some questions to ask each other, with full understanding that your answers don’t need to match; they just have to be flexible and up for discussion:
What was your experience with money growing up?Understanding where your partner is coming from can go a long way toward informing how they approach finances as an adult. Linking a person’s experience around money in their family of origin to their current values around cash can be a really useful way of exploring long-held beliefs, fears, and goals.
What are the areas you prioritize for spending?
It can be hard to take yourself outside of your everyday reality, but listening to your partner’s list of investments may open your eyes to what others consider valuable. Do they prefer to spend money on high-quality food and skimp on the contents of their closet? Would you rather squirrel away money for travel and economize on your daily commute?
Are there long-term goals you’re striving for?
Even if you’re years away from contemplating kids or decades away from retirement, talking about these topics and others is an important step in the financial-planning process.