Mad Money

Is it okay to talk about finances while dating? Discussing finances early in relationships can diminish money problems in the future. This season highlights love and money from Valentine’s Day to Tax season; why not take the opportunity to open up dialogue about this tough subject? This article will discuss when the topic becomes vital, how to engage your love interest and how to align your financial goals and/or growth.

The general consensus is the money talk should occur well before a couple gets married, and for good reason. “Money is the number-one source of conflict among couples, particularly early in marriage,” says Orbuch, who has studied the same 373 couples for 30 years as part of a long-term National Institutes of Health study on marriage. Orbuch finds that 7 out of 10 couples report money is a significant source of tension in their relationships.Money issues have been labeled as a major conduit to divorce and stems from lack of discussion from both parties. That statistic and vicious cycle can change once people shed the fear of having difficult conversations. If commitment is on the table, financial questions should soon follow. Filipino couples who plan their finances together have a more positive outlook, highlighting the need to break traditional gender roles when it comes to money. According to Pru Life UK’s relationship index, 89 percent of couples who plan together expect their finances to improve in the next 5 years compared to 74 percent for those who don’t.

“The facts speak for themselves, couples who plan their finances together show much higher relationship scores with their partners than those who plan separately,” Pru Life UK Chief Marketing Officer Allan Tumbaga said.

The best way to talk about the subject is through real life experiences together. For instance, if the two of you are planning a vacation together than obviously the issue of money will come up. You will get an idea how well your money ideals work together by paying attention to how each of you plans and spend during the vacation. Or, if the two of you are thinking about going in together to buy a big-ticket item, then the money conversation should come up. If one partner wants to put the whole thing on credit at a high interest rate and you would rather pay cash – then it can be obvious that you are in two different places when it comes to money. Another way to bring up the conversation is to wait for a time when you both are relaxed and at ease. Don’t make a big deal about it or turn it into something dramatic. No one wants to be put on the spot or intentionally caught off guard. Ask about a potential purchase you’re thinking about or maybe share a financial goal you’re planning. Once your partner seems interested ease them into a more personal conversation.

The money talk is inevitable in any long-term relationship, especially when the couple has divergent attitudes about money. The lucky ones are able to reconcile their differences early and work out a compromise. But many couples avoid the conversation only to discover over time that one person wants to spend more than the other, which can breed mutual contempt. Studies show that couples who tackle financial issues early, often avoid the common arguments about money. Proverbs 22:7 states “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” This scripture reminds of how debt can bind us and prevent us from being financially free. Discussing monetary issues with our partner can reveal things such as debt and other issues that can cause problems in long-term relationships. Tackling these hard conversations can only help in the pursuit of love.

Kellye Johnson is a Kansas native but currently resides in Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Langston University where she obtained a BA in Sociology. Her MBA with emphasis in accounting was acquired from the University of Phoenix. Kellye Johnson is currently Director of Financial Aid for Southwestern Christian University, but has worked at three different schools over her the ten years that she has worked in Financial Aid. Her positions as Director has enabled her to learn a lot about the higher education process and what a student should do to make the transition an easy one. Miss Johnson has also started a small financial consulting business just this year, Kellye Johnson (KJ) Financial Consulting that focuses on auditing and bookkeeping for small businesses. KJ Financial will also continue to help students and parents be financially savvy when dealing with higher education costs. She is also the Founder of Kurvy Kitten Women’s Clothing Company. To view Kurvy Kitten designs go to: email address: