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Be honest about your personal financial situation when dating

Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon for people to lie about their financial situation to their significant other. These lies could range from how much debt one has accrued, to credit scores, to their income. This article will provide advice on how to share the state of your finances with your romantic partner while you’re dating and if you choose to begin a future together.


Do

Do share all past debt and credit history

When you are in a serious relationship, it’s important to share all past financial information with your romantic partner before considering any “next big steps”—whether that’s moving in together or getting married. It’s important for you both to know how much money and assets you have available, how much debt you have, how much you would need to pay off together, and how much you should be saving for your financial goals.

Do begin saving immediately

Once you decide you’re serious and fully committed to each other, it is never too early to start saving for your first house, first child, or retirement. Decide together what your future financial goals are and work towards making them a reality by having you each add money into your savings account, and considering long-term investments.

Do keep a line of open communication regarding all financial info

Transparency is the most important thing—for couples starting out and throughout an entire relationship. And with transparency comes trust, which is the most valuable asset you’ll have in a relationship. Without an open line of communication, both parties are in the dark and disconnected when it comes to their actual spending and debt.

Do decide on common goals

Make sure you both have a common goal for targets like retirement and monthly spending. Without synchronicity on these fronts, funds can get muddled especially when an emergency arises.

Do have some fun

While it is important to save and make sure you have enough money for daily life and pay bills, feel free to put a little money aside to do the things you enjoy as a couple. Enjoy the time you both have together and the memories you can make using the money you have worked hard to save.


Don't

Do not hide purchases from your significant other

Hiding purchases in a relationship can cause serious problems. Large purchases should be discussed together as a team to assess all options and whether you can afford the new purchase.

Do not lie to your partner about debt or financial circumstances

More than half of Americans believe that only debts over $5,000 are worth discussing. In the grand scheme of saving and debt, $5,000 is a significant chunk out of anyone’s personal finances. While having debt due to student loans or credit cards may be a hard topic to talk about, you are usually not alone. It’s important to let you partner know your real debts and challenges. Keep an open and honest conversation about your financial status, and your partner will thank you for it.

Do not assume anything about your current partner’s financial information

Not everyone is so willing to talk about their financial history and present circumstances in a dating relationship—no matter how long you’ve been together—so don’t assume, at any time, that you have the full story. Everyone knows what happens when people assume, and it is always better to err on the safe side than to find yourself in debt. Have an open, non-judgmental conversation as early as possible about your finances, and what you can do together to improve or continue your financial path.

Do not live financially unprotected

Many couples will open a joint account once they have reached a certain point in their relationship. Don’t allow that bank account to be your only form of financial security. Be sure to check accounts often to determine account balances, review purchases and to monitor for identity theft. Bad credit can impact both of you even if only one was directly targeted.

Do not be afraid

Personal finances is a very important conversation and is a large part of every couple’s life together. Don’t be afraid to discuss it. You will find that a candid discussion regarding your finances may strengthen your relationship.


Summary
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Hopefully, this article gave you a good understanding of how to talk about money and finances with your significant other, and how to handle your personal finances in a committed relationship. If there is one takeaway, it is to share, be transparent, and have an open line of communications with your partner about any and all financial situations. While there may be challenges, in the end you will overcome the obstacles together.


More expert advice about Finance for Couples

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John C. HeathDirecting Attorney

John Heath was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his BA from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University. Mr. Heath has worked as an attorney in both a private and public interest practices. He...

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