When it comes to romantic relationships, discussing money might appear somewhat taboo. After all, financial matters are rarely seen as romantic topics. Nevertheless, it’s important to know what practical financial questions to ask your partner when considering a future together.
Since money ranks as one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s crucial to address it before saying “I do.” So, if your relationship is heading towards marriage and you’re already looking at the average cost of a wedding, or if you’re wondering about the questions to ask before moving in together, finances are a subject that needs to be broached for a long-term relationship.
Mastering the art of discussing financial matters with your partner is an exciting journey, and it holds significant importance as well.
So, let’s discuss the key financial questions that couples should address.
20 Money-Related Questions to Ask Your Partner
Money is a topic that deserves to be discussed in any serious relationship. Finances are a crucial aspect of everyone’s life.
Not sure how to broach the subject? Here are 20 financial inquiries to consider within your relationship.
1.How would you describe your spending habits?
Differences in spending habits can lead to significant financial problems in a marriage. Imagine if you’re diligently saving every penny while your partner spends every cent they earn. It’s hard to be on the same page when you’re at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Understanding how your partner spends money is crucial when you’re sharing finances. It’s not just about whether they’re a spender or a saver. You need to know if they spend responsibly or on impulse without considering a budget.
By knowing how each of you spends money, you can determine how to manage your finances together.
2.What are your thoughts on debt?
The unfortunate reality is that most people have debt. This can include student loans, car loans, credit cards, mortgages, and more.
Having excessive debt can strain a relationship both financially and emotionally. Debt hampers your ability to save, invest, and simply enjoy life, leading to stress related to indebtedness.
The aim of this question is to learn your partner’s stance on debt, not just to find out if they have debts and how much.
Do they believe in carrying debt or paying it off?
Given the impact of debts, it’s important to understand how your partner handles debt. If you’re uncomfortable with debt, being with someone who is comfortable with it might pose issues. This is why it’s one of the most important questions for couples to address as their relationship gets serious.
3.What did you learn about money growing up?
A significant portion of our adult actions stem from what we learned as children. The things we see, hear, and are taught during childhood ultimately shape our adult lives. How we manage money is part of this.
If an individual never acquired the skill of prudent spending, they are likely to handle money irresponsibly unless guided differently.
By asking your partner what they learned about money during their childhood, you can understand why they handle money a certain way. It also lets you be more understanding when they make mistakes.
You can inquire if they had a job or earned money doing chores as a child. Did they receive an allowance? Did they save or spend it all?
All these questions give insight into your partner’s current attitude towards money.
4.How did your parents manage money?
For many of us, our own money story arises from observing our parents. You might have seen them paying bills or perhaps one parent stressed about unexpected expenses. Maybe one handled money while the other didn’t.
How your parents managed money influences how you might handle it in a relationship.
For instance, if your parents managed money together, it might be important for you to do the same with your partner.
If you grew up in a single-parent household, you probably learned to be financially independent early on.
A good question to ask your partner is how their parents managed money and how they’d like to manage money in a serious relationship.
Do they have specific ideas about who should handle money in the relationship? Do they believe both partners should contribute financially? Not knowing each other’s expectations can lead to communication problems in the relationship.
5.In your opinion, how should couples manage their finances?
While our parents influence how we handle money, it’s important to know your partner’s view on how couples should manage their finances. Their beliefs about how couples should handle money might not be the same as those of their parents.
Do they think you should combine finances? Is one partner responsible for money management? Should you have separate bank accounts, or should you consider opening a joint account?
All these aspects help you understand how you’ll manage money together.
6.Which financial instruments do you utilize to oversee your monetary matters?
If you want to be financially responsible, you need a plan for managing your money. Whether it’s a written budget, an app you use, or even one of the best budget templates, you need something to help you plan how to use your money.
The specific financial tool they use to manage their finances isn’t the most important aspect.
What you’re really trying to gauge is whether they proactively plan their money. Are they fiscally responsible or do they leave things to chance? Do they have at least a rough financial plan they’d like to follow?
7.Are you saving for retirement?
As you and your partner contemplate the future of your relationship, you should also think about your financial future. In other words, are you preparing for retirement?
Even though retirement might seem far off, it gives you insight into how your partner envisions the future and plans for tomorrow. Are they saving for retirement? If not, it could become an issue later on if you decide to get married.
A lack of retirement savings means you and/or your partner will have to keep working to have enough funds for your old age. Are you comfortable with this scenario?
Even if they’re not currently saving for retirement, asking these questions might motivate them to start.
8.Is investing important to you?
Investing is a way to build wealth. If you aim to create generational wealth, you’ll need to think about how you can invest your money to grow it.
If wealth-building is your goal, you’ll want to know if your partner shares that goal. Even if they’re not currently investing, having a plan to invest in the future at least shows a commitment to building wealth.
Moreover, what type of investments do they prefer? Investment preferences and risk tolerance vary from person to person. Some prefer low-risk options like bonds, while others might be more interested in individual stock investments.
While these are extreme examples, you can see why knowing whether your investment styles align is important.
9.Are you financially supporting anyone else?
If you’re considering merging finances after marriage, you need to know where your money will go. So, one of the most important questions to ask your partner is whether they’re financially supporting anyone else. It could be a child, a parent, or other family members.
Financially supporting someone outside of your household can become a financial strain. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to plan and budget accordingly.
This is also the time to decide if you’re both on board with financially supporting family members beyond children. You should understand each other’s financial limits when it comes to supporting others and how it will impact your relationship.
10.What are your short-term financial goals?
Having financial goals is important. You should always have a plan for your money. Otherwise, you’ll wonder where your money went.
Savings goals and short-term financial goals are things you want to achieve within the next two years. This could range from saving for a vacation to establishing an investment account. Knowing your partner’s goals helps you understand where they’re headed and ultimately what they’re trying to achieve.
Everyone’s goals are different, so it’s not about whether they have the “right” goals. It’s about understanding their aspirations and figuring out how you can support them.
11.What are your long-term financial goals?
In addition to understanding your partner’s short-term financial goals, you should also inquire about their long-term financial goals.
Long-term goals are things you plan to achieve over a five-year period or more. It could be things like deciding to pay off debt or save, buying a home, or even hitting a specific savings milestone.
Again, this question isn’t about judging their goals. Use it as an opportunity to assess whether they have an action plan. Also, think about how your relationship fits into these plans.
12.What are some expenses you tend to splurge on?
This question can spark curiosity. We all have something we’re willing to splurge on. It could be food, clothing, or even luxury brands – there’s always something we’re willing to spend extra money on.Discover the purpose of that item for your partner.
While most splurges are harmless, some might pose a financial risk.
For example, if your partner has a shopping addiction or spends a lot on gambling, it could have long-term consequences. So, it’s important to understand what they’re doing and decide if you’re comfortable with those expenditures.
13.How do you handle financial emergencies?
At some point, each of us encounters a financial crisis. What truly counts is our approach in handling it.
Establishing an emergency fund is the most effective method to ready yourself for unforeseen financial crises. An emergency fund is a savings account set aside to cover unexpected expenses, like an unforeseen car repair.
You’ll want to know if your partner is financially prepared to handle emergencies. Do they have money saved for such expenses, or do they resort to using credit cards? This is one of the most important financial questions to ask your partner, as both of you need to be prepared for unexpected events!
14.Are you currently saving for something specific?
Another important financial question to ask your partner is whether they’re currently saving for something specific. Saving for big purchases shows commitment to working towards a goal. It also shows a willingness to delay gratification.
If they don’t have anything specific they’re saving for right now, ask if they have a history of saving for significant purchases. You might find they’re in a financial situation that allows them to fully fund whatever they want. Conversely, you might find they’re using credit cards or loans to finance expenses they can’t afford.
15.Is charitable giving part of your budget?
How someone spends money speaks volumes about their core values. If someone values helping others, charitable giving is likely to be part of their expenses. It doesn’t mean money is the only way to give back; however, if they’re financially able, they’ll likely give.
Find out if your partner goes above and beyond financially. Do they donate to charitable organizations? Is helping others a central part of their financial planning process?
This not only demonstrates a commitment to making the world better but also shows your partner’s ability to think of and help others.
16.If you had unlimited money, what would you do?
This question is one of the most enjoyable to ask your partner about money. It’s a chance to discover, without pressure, their financial goals and hopes for the future.
You’ll also get a sense of how realistic and feasible their financial dreams are, as well as how you might work together to set financial goals.
Asking your partner what they would do in this scenario helps you understand how they plan their money, what dreams they have, where they allocate funds, and what matters most to them.
17.How do you envision handling shared expenses in the future?
It might seem like one of the more intense money questions for couples, but if you’re thinking of living together, you need to know how shared expenses will be managed.
Are you open to the idea of opening a shared bank account, or do you prefer to keep your finances separate? Who will be responsible for which bills? Knowing these things in advance can prevent a lot of confusion.
18.Do you regularly or rarely budget?
Asking questions about budgets reveals a lot about your partner’s stance on money. Your partner might say they never budget, do it weekly, or only occasionally.
Given that budgets help you organize your finances and decide what you’re doing with your money, it’s best to make budgeting a regular practice. If you’re starting to pay expenses together, a budget you both agree on will help you stay on track.
19.What, in your opinion, is the income amount needed for your ideal life?
This is a fun question that lets both you and your partner dream about what the future holds. Asking how much money is needed for their ideal life helps both of you think about what you want in the next ten or twenty years, as well as what kind of career or income is necessary for a richer life.
Think beyond just expenses, but also consider factors like investing, acquiring real estate, and other significant financial milestones.
20.Do you have credit cards?
Credit cards are often associated with debt, but not always. Some people have credit cards that they use and pay off every month, showing responsible credit card use. Others use credit cards without a plan and may accumulate debt over time.
Asking about credit cards can help you understand your partner’s financial position and whether they use credit cards responsibly.
Additionally, do they use credit cards or take out loans to finance their lifestyle? Would they overspend occasionally on a favorite occasion to give the best gift to everyone? Relying on debt could mean living beyond your means if you decide to merge finances.
Check if your partner has credit cards and how they use them to decide if you’re comfortable with this lifestyle for your money in the future.
How to Approach the Question of Money with Your Partner?
When considering the questions to ask your partner, carefully think about how you will approach the topic of finances in your relationship. Try to choose a moment when you’re not rushed and when you’re in a good mood.
Furthermore, you can bring up the topic of money during a romantic evening in your favorite spot.
Sometimes, being in a relaxed atmosphere and not feeling obligated to have all the answers can be an excellent way to have engaging conversations.
Remember that it’s important to be kind and open-minded, even if your partner has a different opinion about money. Using words of affirmation to let the other person know you care about them, even if you have a different point of view, can greatly contribute to resolving differences.
When in the relationship is it appropriate to talk about finances?
Instead of bringing up these questions on a first date or in a new relationship, you should wait until you’re certain that you’re both committed. Money being a sensitive topic, you don’t want to address it with someone who isn’t serious.
The timing is right to discuss the topic of money if you’ve been together for a long time or if you’re considering marriage, engagement, or moving in together.
How to make the topic of finances more fun with your partner?
Think of it this way: asking money-related questions to your significant other is an opportunity for quality time and a way to ask deep questions that reveal more about the other person.
To make finances less intimidating, you can also ask fun questions about other subjects.
Bring up unrelated but interesting topics like favorite books or a summer reading list, favorite movies, a beloved family tradition, a hidden talent you both have, or your dream vacations. Pose questions about a more relaxed topic like this if you find the conversation about money getting too heavy.
Let the conversation flow naturally instead of bombarding with one question after another. Also, don’t hesitate to share your own thoughts and practices regarding money.
Effectively communicate through these important money questions for couples!
The purpose of these questions to ask your partner is to gain insight into their views on money. It’s important to know what they think and feel to determine if it aligns with your own beliefs. Knowing the answers can also bring more security to a relationship.
Disagreeing with everything your partner reveals doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship won’t work. It simply means you’ll need to find common ground so that money matters don’t divide your relationship.
You might discover financial incompatibility if one of you isn’t willing to compromise on financial habits. Regardless, being informed empowers you to make decisions about how to proceed in your relationship.
Discussing money matters might not be the most romantic aspect of a relationship, but it’s an essential one. By addressing the 20 money questions mentioned in this article, you’ll be better equipped to navigate financial challenges together, foster open communication, and build a strong financial partnership. Remember that each relationship is unique, so adapt these questions to suit your circumstances and ensure a prosperous and harmonious financial journey together.