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Ask Questions Before Merging Finances

Is there overlap between psychology and financial planning? Perhaps. While your Fee-only financial planner is not qualified to diagnose psychological issues and a psychologist will not be able to manage your finances, both experts may suggest that you have a talk with a romantic partner before you combine finances.

In “3 Questions to Ask Before Joining Finances with Your Partner,” Psychology Today outlines topics that couples can discuss before the merge their money, noting that your “financial philosophies don’t have to perfectly align”  but that you do need to reach “compassionate compromise.”

Talk about how you experienced money growing up. It helps to understand the role money played in a person’s upbringing and the money management style that person observed in their caregivers.

Talk about long-term financial goals. If you are going to go the distance with someone, you need to know what the finish line looks like for them. If you don’t have the same end in mind, that it okay. You can find ways to work on that and combine your visions. There are many couples how don’t discuss this until one or both of them retire and that is when their different ideas of post-career lifestyles surface.

Talk about the areas where you want to spend the most. Beyond the typical saver vs. spender split, you need to know just what your sweetheart is willing to spend money on. Even the most scrupulous savers spend a little money on something. And while someone may think a spending buys everything in sight, they may not be interested in spending much on certain things. Some people would rather travel and spend less money at home and on renting/buying a home. Someone else prefers to spend money on dining out while spending very little on local transportation, getting around in an inexpensive car or a scooter. 

When you both know what the other is willing to splurge on and invest in, you can work on finding harmony in your financial planning and in your relationship.