4 Conversation Starters for Your Financially Challenged Partner
Although it has been said that discussing money with a significant other is taboo, there comes a time when it may need to be done – and when that day comes, it is important to know just exactly how to ease in to a meaningful conversation about money.
Oftentimes, when two people become a couple, monetary issues will initially seem meaningless. That new relationship bliss typically lends itself more to walking in the park, romantic dinners out, and sharing an ice cream sundae.
Yet, as things begin to progress, you may find that you and your partner may not have the same values about the almighty dollar – and this can eventually become a problem if not successfully addressed. According to a research, arguments over finances are the main risk factor for divorce.
So, how exactly do you bring up the topic of finances in a non-threatening manner? Here are four ways that may put your mind at ease, your wallet in check, and your future in a much better position going forward:
“Where do you see yourself (or us) financially in 10 years?”
When working your way into a financial conversation, one of the best ways to do so is to ask your significant other where they see themselves – or better yet, where they see you both as a couple – in the future.
In fact, when it comes to financial goals, there are many different things that people want. For instance, while one person may want to have their home paid off or start a college fund for future children, another may opt instead to put it all on the line in Las Vegas and see what happens.
By asking the question in this manner, you will get a much clearer idea of where your partner wants to be – as well as how responsible they are with the funds that they currently have, and the funds they will have in the future.
“At what age do your realistically plan to retire?”
While it’s fun to dream and imagine ourselves winning the lottery and spending the rest of our days wandering aimlessly on the beach without a care in the world, the reality is that most of us will need to work and save until we are able to retire from the proverbial rat race.
Therefore, by asking this question of your significant other, you may get a better picture of how intently they have thought out their retirement goals – or if they have thought about their retirement goals at all.
“What would you do if you won $1 million dollars tomorrow?”
Certainly, this conversation starter will spark any number of responses. Here again, though, the answer that your partner gives will provide a much better insight as to how they deal with money.
For instance, if their response is to put the funds into an annuity in order to guarantee a lifetime income and instant retirement, then congratulations – your partner is likely quite responsible with his or her funds.
Conversely, if they sound like they would hit the nearest shopping mall and have an “ultimate shopping experience,” then their priorities may not quite be on the same page as those who are more financially unchallenged.
“Would you purchase a certain item if you had to wait a month in order to receive it?”
With this financial conversation starter, you can substitute any item of your choice, depending on what it is that your partner likes. For example, if your significant other is prone to purchasing expensive shoes or aftermarket auto parts, use these items in your question.
Here you are seeking more insight as to how they deal with delayed gratification. This can actually be a very powerful tool – and, once a person has used it in making their purchasing decisions, it is amazing how much money can be saved.
As our society today promotes – and even encourages – instant gratification, it is oftentimes difficult to pass up a “great deal” – even on items that you really don’t need. This is especially the case with “buy now, pay later” promotions. Unfortunately, the items that are purchased through these seemingly wonderful deals often turn out to be collecting dust in the corner soon after they are purchased.
The Bottom Line
By having “non-threatening” conversations about money with your significant other, you will be able to learn a great deal about how he or she both thinks about and acts in various financial situations. This can be extremely important going forward for the financial – and emotional – health of your overall relationship.