When is the right time to discuss money with your partner?

A couple discussing their finances
A couple discussing their finances

Why is it that people are all too willing to discuss anything, even sex, before they talk about their finances? How come the discussion of money, especially with our partners, is so difficult to have?

Be as it may, relationship expert Paula Quinsee says the discussion must be had, especially if you are thinking of moving in together or getting married. She adds that even if the relationship is not that serious, money is still being spent on dates and you don’t want problems to arise from disagreeing on how much you should be spending on the relationship per month.

“The discussion is very important because the leading cause for couple arguments revolve around the unmet expectations involving money,” says Quinsee. That is the reason it's to your greatest advantage to begin having financial conversations with your partner as soon as possible.

One approach to raising the finances conversation is to discuss what you each value and what objectives you have. Objectives generally have a type of financial esteem joined to them, so it very well may be a simple method to segue into the more awkward point of money.

READ MORE: Why do relationships fail?

Quinsee suggests that whilst having the conversation, also keep in mind that transparency is key. “You must disclose your financial responsibilities, roles and what you can afford from a lifestyle perspective,” she adds. This means discussing your earnings relative to each other, because if one is earning considerable more than the other and expecting a 50-50 financial contribution, it could be strenuous on the one earning less as it would be impossible to sustain.

According to Quinsee, the lack of transparency and inability to keep to the expectations may result in resentment, mistrust, conflict and friction in the relationship.

“At the same time people must take care of their own financial needs first, whether single or in a relationship. Even when in a relationship situations can arise, such as retrenchment, illness and accidents. Therefore you should know that you’re capable of taking care of yourself and the household should something happen to one of you,” she says.

Remember that you’re there to support one another through thick and thin, and if you don’t have these conversations in case one of the situations mentioned before happens, you won’t know where you stand with each other or how to be there for each other so that you can trust and rely on each other, Quinsee adds.

READ MORE: Five reasons your budget isn’t working

Lastly, Quinsee gives the red flags to look out for when it comes to you partners spending:

·      Constant shopping beyond their means for clothes, gadgets or toys

·      Bills not paid coming in the mail

·      Phone calls from debt collectors

These all have severe implications, as an individual and as a couple, on account applications and when signing surety in each other’s names.

“So work together to live a lifestyle that you jointly can afford and will enjoy,” Quinsee says.


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