This is part 3 of Money questions to ask when Dating. Let’s be honest. Money is still the main reason for breakups. That and cheating. So it’s imperative that you understand or know what the other person’s money beliefs are. Money is a sensitive topic but one that can easily be third partied. So talking about celebrities or political decisions can give you an insight. Note that many are very private when it comes to money so may not talk in actual figures. My ex and I both said we were comfortable with risk. It turns out he thought risk was £3,000 and I thought risk was £30,000 🙂
Some think that money is the root of all evil whilst others a source of anxiety. Ask and listen. Changing someone’s money philosophy is hard as it’s so ingrained in their psyche. I was watching How to Get Rich on Netflix and it was obvious that people were caught up in money cycles which were also linked to culture, religion, upbringing, traumas. Many felt shame or guilt over their decisions and a lot was wrapped in ego. Well worth a watch.
So delve into these questions and try to understand if your attitudes and beliefs align or not. It’s rare that two people will be 100% aligned but being diametrically opposed will not end well.
This one is less important in Europe where the majority of healthcare is reasonable or free to access. However pensions are a worthy (yes I know it’s boring) topic to raise. If they’re talking retiring in the Caribbean or travelling extensively then one would assume that they have a plan. But some are just dreamers. Americans and their 401K or property discussions for that time is key.
I also found out that Americans don’t even get the same number of days off a year so even planning trips becomes a chore. Maternity /Paternity pay is another one. You need to think beyond someone’s salary and look at their whole package (no pun) if you’re planning a merger.
This debate will never stop. When should you share your monies and is a joint account right for you? I’m an advocate of separate bank accounts with MAYBE one joint house account if you’re living together. It’s tricky though as if you’re not earning the same salary you have to negotiate what is fair for each person to put into the joint account. It does encourage conversations about spending and saving though so can be good. I know of partners who have found out years later that their partner had a lot of debt or spent a lot on things they deemed frivolous…
OK I’m torn. I’m going to go with one joint savings account at best?
I went through a phase of not opening bills. It was too depressing as I was out of work and I was in denial. Despite this all those bullying brown letters from the HMRC and MBNA didn’t cease. It took a lot but eventually I just had to get my head out of the sand and open them. Turns out that yes, it was worse than I thought but, having a figure made it both more scary and less scary. It took about a year to get out of that cycle of bills. Now I pay things immediately as I can’t be dealing with the anxiety of it all. No more MBNA!
That was about 10 years ago and since then I just accept that bills, like taxes, will keep coming. Not all of them planned. During Cozzie Livs we are not expecting them to do anything but increase.
So find out how the other person is with bills. Are they a ‘pay them immediately’ type person or will they wait until the final reminder or let it go into collections. Adulting means that credit scores matter if you are still in the house or car buying phase of your lives.
This is an awkward one but again depends on your age and ambitions. Bankruptcy may last for up to 10 years in the US and 6 years in the UK minimum. I don’t like those numbers.It’s your responsibility to ensure that credit companies have removed it and even then you are often asked if you have ever been declared insolvent on forms. E.g Charity Trustee, Tenders for new business etc. I know a lot of people get themselves into trouble and bankruptcy seems like a solution at the time (see my Bills section) but it has long term complications.
So it’s hard for me to encourage a relationship with someone who has been declared bankrupt but, everyone makes mistakes, right? I think it depends on your appetite for risk and how secure your own finances are. If you ever plan on working together and they have been declared bankrupt all debt financing will be on you. What about childcare and school fees? Will they ever be able to take out loans for your children?
I would look at how the bankruptcy happened and the potential of it happening again. If you’re dating an entrepreneur / business owner then risk may be expected but manageable. But, if you’re dating someone who likes to gamble, I can’t help you. Chances are your financial situation will oscillate and you need to decide if you want to ride that particular storm or not.
One advantage: For those looking to avoid the altar, it’s a good reason not to get married.
© Chelsea Black ® 2023