Do you know how much your partner makes? If you don’t, you’re not alone: In a 2015 survey of more than a thousand couples (either married or cohabitating), four in 10 incorrectly guessed each other’s incomes — and one in 10 were off by at least $25,000.
Quick point of inquiry: What?!
I know people who practically talked salaries and savings priorities over text before the first date. Sometimes they compared credit scores before deciding whether to see each other again. And for good reason — if you’re sharing a life with someone, money is a fundamental component.
Still having trouble broaching the subject? Try these 10 clever tactics.
1. Send a note that reads: “Do you like me? Y/N. Income? _______.”
2. Create an elaborate tax document for your partner to fill out, including questions about income. In order to maintain appearances, you’ll need to mail it in an official-looking envelope. If you’re really serious, you’ll want to mail it from Washington, D.C. (so the postmark is legit) and include a return envelope to a PO box to which you have the key. That should also be in D.C.
3. Hire an actor to call your partner and pretend to conduct a phone survey. Feel free to add other pressing questions you’ve been avoiding, such as religious inclination or whether your partner wants children.
4. Say, “What do you want for dinner? How much money do you make?”
5. Make a snap judgment based on how nice your partner’s shoes are.
6. Ask your partner to name a “competitive” salary for their current job title. Infer from their inflection whether this salary would be an upgrade or downgrade from what they currently make.
7. Pick a random salary and yell, “How crazy to make $X per year!” Then carefully watch your partner’s reaction. Does your partner’s facial expression make it clear whether they fall above or below that number? Read your partner’s mind a little, for confirmation.
8. Actually read your partner’s mind using ESP.
9. Pay a clairvoyant to actually read your partner’s mind using ESP.
10. Have an open and honest conversation about money.