Money drama can be one of the major reasons relationships break up. If you want to keep your relationship loving, calm, romantic and fun, it’s a good idea to get on the same page with your partner about finances.
It can be scary, though. When I first started dating my soon-to-be husband we were both in financial pickles of one sort or another. Both of us were in debt. Both of us were in career transitions. Both of us were just starting out in the online business space. And both of us were making a lot of money mistakes. Most importantly, both of us had shame about our current financial situations. We also had inaccurate perceptions of where the other person was financially. We both assumed the other one was “more together” than we actually were.
My awakening came early on in our relationship, at a tiny gas station in Telluride, Colo., as we were crossing the Rockies on our way to Boulder. Mike (who is now my fiancé) had just revealed the whole truth about his finances. We were one week into our relationship and into what became a 10-month road trip around the USA called The Freedom Tour.
Even though I was scared because it seemed that my fantasy of Prince Charming coming along and saving me from my own financial mishaps was not going to come true with this guy, it was oddly freeing. He’d just told me the worst of it. So I told him my worst of it too. And then we could be together in the truth, instead of being together in an illusion.
There were many more difficult money conversations over the next couple of years (and I’m sure there will be many more in the years ahead), but what’s really cool is that our relationship has gotten easier and easier the more truthful we are with one another, financially and otherwise. And, I’m very happy to report that in our three and a half years together we’ve collectively paid off more than $50,000 in credit card debt and more than $80,000 in student loans! We’re getting married debt-free and, more importantly, we’re getting married as a strong financial team without any money secrets.
Women ask me all the time what they should do if their honey is on a different page than they are financially. Based on my own experience of building a relationship while building a solid financial foundation, I have five simple tips to get you and your partner on the same financial page so that your bank account and relationship can flourish.