I’ve seen this questionnaire on several other PF sites recently and figured I’d give it a shot and play along. The questions originated with Chase Bank, but I’ve seen Budgets are Sexy, Money Life and More, and Money Beagle give their answers to these questions so check out what they had to say. After you finish reading my post, of course!
1. Would You Discuss Money On A First Date?
Maybe. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been on a first date, but I don’t think I’d bring up any detailed talk about money on the first date. Now, I’d be trying to put her financial picture together in the back of my mind as she talked about her life and job over the course of the night. But it’s probably in bad taste to come out and ask about that kind of stuff on a first date. I can’t imagine many girls find talk about credit card debt and 401(k) balances to be a turn on anyway. If they do I’m going to be pretty upset that this blog hasn’t brought me any groupies by now! 🙂
2. How Long Should You Wait To Talk About Money With Your Spouse?
I don’t think there’s any “set” amount of time to wait. I think as a relationship becomes more serious, these conversations will come up whether you want them to or not! Money is something that should definitely be talked about before you move in together or consider getting engaged. You don’t want to find out about any skeletons in the closet after its too late!
3. Who Always Brings Up Money In Your Relationship?
We’re a pretty good team, I’d say it’s 50/50. I’m the one that always talks about investing and forces her to make her IRA contribution etc… each year. She’s the one that really keeps track of our budget and will subtly remind me that I don’t need to be eating out at Chipotle all the time. Although, now that I think about it, that may have nothing to do with money…
4. Is It Harder To Manage Your Money As A Couple Than It Was When You Were Single?
Only when I want to buy something ridiculous! Having someone around with a certain level of veto power makes that harder. Otherwise, we pretty much maintain our own finances and do a good job of it.
5. Would You Offer To Pay Off Your Spouse’s Debt?
Luckily she doesn’t have any debt, but in a hypothetical situation…hellllllll no! Unless it’s a situation where you’re getting married and combining finances I don’t think it’s a good idea to pay off someone else’s debt. Unless there’s a bookie threatening your spouse’s kneecaps over unpaid debts, it’s best to let them pay off their own debts before marriage is an inevitability.
6. Is Debt A Deal Breaker?
It depends on the amount and the cause of the debt, but generally I’d say probably not. Just about everyone has student loan debt these days so it’s pretty hard to avoid. Debt also isn’t a deal breaker if she’s working on paying it off. However, if she’s got a mountain of credit card debt and is still shopping like she’s a Hilton sister, then that’s a deal breaker.
7. Do You Think It’s Important To Have The Same Money Views?
Yes, to an extent. You’re never going to see eye to eye on everything, but you have to at least be able to be on the same page when it comes to money. Money issues & fights about money are the leading cause of divorce so sharing similar views on money has to be important to a certain degree.
8. Can You Really Change How Your Spouse Spends Money?
You can try to influence their spending habits, but I don’t think you can outright change someones habits unless they’re already looking to change. I don’t know how long I’d last in a relationship with someone who’s spending habits were so bad that I felt they had to change either. Chances are we’d have issues in a lot of other areas of life as well. It sort of relates to my answer to question 6. Debt or bad spending habits themselves aren’t a deal breaker on their own, but an unwillingness for her to change those habits probably is.
So there it is, a little insight to my views on money and relationships. How would you answer these questions? Give us your answers, or any other thoughts about money and relationships in the comments!