Most of the general tips for a talk with one’s spouse also apply here: 1. When Michael Lockwood was a single divorced dad, he'd often write down dating advice that he planned to give to his daughters when they grew up.If nothing else has triggered a money talk, an engagement ring should. Don’t hesitate to ask a question if you’re seeing something that doesn’t add up. Afterwards, do something together that’s very separate from the topic as a way to heal.If you’ve committed to marriage, one of the first things you should work out about your future lives together is how the money should work. Just spend some good, quality time together and don’t let any hard feelings that came up during this talk fester into something worse.Let’s face it, we all want bags, jewelry, and clothing. Maybe a house out on the beach somewhere for that perfect, tranquil beach vacation.It’s not a bad thing to be money hungry and look for a man with some wealth. Life is too short to live on a shoe string budget and accept the reality that most people just meet and deal with.Get the balances on every account that you hold – both debts and savings – and make a list of all of them.
We made the mistake of not talking these issues out and figuring out a way to make things work for us and, as a result, we created our own fallow earth where only seeds of financial disaster could take root. There is no simple rule to determine the exact moment to have that first financial heart to heart.At some point, as a relationship grows and becomes more serious between two people, questions begin to arise about long-term plans, particularly as it begins to become clear that at least a significant portion of two lives are going to overlap and become one.For my wife and I, these discussions started about a year before our wedding.This is a sure sign that something’s out of whack and it’s time for both of you to get on the same financial page. Yes, even that credit card debt you haven’t mentioned to your partner yet. Soon, you’ll be in a situation where a windfall can lift you both and a debt can sink you both – be open about all of it. Those questions will lead your discussion in healthy directions – follow where they lead you.If your relationship is serious and you’re about to be met with a major crisis, like an impending pink slip, a huge financial settlement, or a job offer in a faraway place, now is the time to have a serious talk with your partner about your shared future. The key to a good relationship is good communication, and if you can’t ask questions about things you don’t understand, you’re revealing another potential problem. There are a lot of ties between money and emotions, and you’re probably going to get your hackles raised more than a time or two during this talk.