Money and Relationships – When to have the chat?

50% of UK adults believe sharing personal money matters with others is taboo, but does this include partners?

Money isn’t the most romantic of subjects to discuss, especially on the most romantic day of the year but it is important. You only need to glance at a shop window from the start of February to feel the financial sting of cupid’s arrow – dating is expensive. With new matchmaking apps popping up every week promising the perfect partner, it can start causing a bit of a strain on the wallet. So, when you finally hit the jackpot and find yourself in a relationship, when’s the right time to talk money?

We think as soon as possible.

Okay maybe not first date kind of soon…

"Shall we go for a drink?"

"Show me your last 3 months bank statements first?"

But if you are moving in the right direction with someone then it’s a great idea to get the conversation out of the way.

Our friends over at Lloyds Bank ran a survey with YouGov last March about our love/hate relationship with money and found out some interesting stuff.

23% of UK adults have lied to their partners about money and most commonly they’re lying to conceal the amount of debt they have (11%).

We had a chat at Tandem and decided these are the top three money topics worth covering early on in a relationship.

Spending and Saving

We all do this differently and it takes time to find the right fit for your spending and saving habits which often means it can clash with a partner’s process. In the early stages of a relationship it’s fun to think up great date ideas to impress and build early memories but these can be pricey. If you’re a keen saver then you may favour the low-cost alternatives to your partner, like a movie night in or a dinner party with friends. Understanding each other’s spending and saving habits early means you can set realistic budgets for date nights. There’s nothing sexier than a budget….right?

Financial Goals

“Tell me about your goals in life” isn’t actually a bad first date question. You can get to know a lot about a person by what they have their sights set on and how they’re planning to get there. Not only does asking this lead to great conversation, but it allows you the chance to figure out if their goals come with a financial element too which you can then match to your own ambitions.

Debt

A big one but arguably the most important. We all need to be a bit more open and honest about how money and debt are part of the same package. You might not be keen early on in a relationship to discuss the finer details but getting a feel for one another’s debt tolerance by touching on the topic can help you decide if there’s a future. Further down the line if you’re looking to take a financial leap together then you’ll have to get down to the dirty business and talk numbers. Starting early can help make that conversation less awkward.

Remember, if you’re concerned about your financial situation or just want to talk about money and it isn’t the right time to discuss with your partner, the Money Advice Service is a great place to start.

Happy Valentine's day, all.

Love, Tandem

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