Depending on which study you read and what statistic you want to quote, money is somehow the cause of millions of break ups and divorces each year. The conversation is so often about who makes more and who spends or squanders more, that we rarely get to the root of the issue. I believe the reality is that money, in and of itself, is harmless. What couples need to begin discussing is the value they associate with money or lack thereof.
We shouldn’t be seeking to understand our significant others money values two years after the “I do” either. This is a talk we should have soon after deciding that the relationship might be something serious and worth pursuing for the long term. Financial wealth coach, Clyde Anderson, suggests having a “credit date” two or three months into the relationship so that everyone can “show the money” and credit reports and get real about what the individual values are and potential of the relationship really is.
So whether you end up having that credit conversation or debt date this Valentine’s season or hold off a little while, here are few questions to ask your boo.
1. “How did your parents handle money?”
We all have a financial blueprint; the way we specifically interact with our money. For most of us, our financial blueprint was handed down to us by our parents – not like DNA, but definitely through witnessing and experiencing their attitudes, habits, triumphs and failures. Talk to each other about what you heard about money and what types of behaviors you saw regarding money and financial matters. Once you can understand the environment a person grew up in or the way their parents or other influential people in their life handled money, it’s much less frustrating to understand a person’s money style.
2. “What does money really mean to you?”
When it comes to our relationships, money is NOT the issue that many seem to believe it is. The issue is again what the money represents to two different individuals because nothing has meaning except for the meaning we all assign to it.
Money represents different things to different people. Money and material items might equate to love and affection for some. For others, it could represent the difference between control and dependency or safety and stability.