How to have the talk: 4 tips for couples discussing money

Bringing up the topic of money is rarely a fun conversation, especially when discussing finances with your partner. But having a healthy understanding of both of your financial situations is a great way to help build and enjoy more stability in your relationship.

The good news is that millennials are much more open to talking about money than their parents, so here are 4 helpful tips on how to open up and have ‘the talk’.

Are we ‘splitting the bill’?

It’s a tale as old as time—who should split the bill? Debates about unconscious sexism aside, it’s a good first step on the road to discussing finances with your partner. Is there an expectation for one of you to always pay the bill for date nights? Or is it an unspoken rule that you always split costs 50/50? This will likely form some of the other financial ‘rules’ in your relationship.

The key here is communication. Don’t leave it unspoken just because it’s an awkward topic. There’s nothing embarrassing about finances, especially as a couple. And the only way you’re going to get on the same path to financial wellness is if you both know how you want to manage your money.

Set aside a night to discuss your financial histories

Instead of spending Friday night out to dinner and then a movie, think about staying in and discussing your financial future with your partner. It won’t be as fun, sure, but in the long run, it could really solidify your relationship.

Just as you’ve shared tales of past loves, life experiences, and your dreams for the future, use this time to each share your financial history. Here are some good starter questions:

  • When did you open your first savings account?
  • How much student debt have you racked up?
  • Are you making any additional payments into your super?
  • When do you want to start saving for a home deposit?

These questions will undoubtedly lead to deeper conversations about your finances, and you’ll be able to share your thoughts for the future in a safe space where you’re both being honest about money.

Be honest and transparent about your incomes and any debt

Speaking of honesty, it’s always the number-one rule when you’re having ‘the talk’. And just like people commit to the ‘good and the bad’ on their wedding day, so too should you be transparent about every aspect of your finances.

Discussing how much you earn shouldn’t be a competition. Rather, it’s a good way to gauge your ability to save, and you can even apply a percentage rule to paying for bills. For example, if one of you earns $100,000 per annum while the other person makes $40,000, you can pay for things as a couple in proportion to your income.

Settle on how you’ll share costs before moving in together

If you’ve already moved in together and haven’t had ‘the talk’ yet, then you can still start the conversation. But ideally, you’ll do this before you’re living together and paying bills as a household.

No, it’s not sexy to talk about how you’ll share costs like gas and electricity, fuel for the car, and weekly grocery shops, but it will make your life easier over the long term. Plus, it could reduce any frustrations you might have about your partner not pulling their weight financially before you jump head-first into shared expenses.

Talk now and reap the benefits later!

Managing your finances in a relationship is about more than just your income and debts. It’s also about securing the life you’re building together. But even after you’ve had ‘the talk’, life can throw a curve ball at any time. If you think you might struggle to pay your bills and other living expenses if you suddenly got sick or injured and couldn’t work, then it may be time to look into income protection insurance.

Choosi can help you compare a range of income protection policies from trusted Australian brands today.

Posted: 21 Dec 2020

This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the relevant PDS available on this website prior to purchasing any product. Choosi offers insurance products from a range of brands but does not compare all products available in the market.

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