4 financial questions to ask your significant other

22 thoughts on “4 financial questions to ask your significant other”

  1. Thanks for sharing Paul. Awesome post about being in alignment with your significant other.

    “Surprise, surprise: those that were able to delay their gratification were able to “achieve” higher levels of “success” later on in life.” I’ve always believed that delayed gratification is the key to going from a meager salary to a millionaire.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Lance, thanks for checking it out! Who knew that freshman psych would one day prove useful… 😉

  2. This is sooooo important. Even if you think you’re a match with your boo in every conceivable way, if your money styles don’t mesh, you’re in for a world of pain. You can make it work, but it’s a toughie. For example, Mr. Picky Pincher is the spendier one in our relationship, but we still meet in the middle to achieve our money goals.

    1. New favorite word is “spendier”. I would have to say that my girlfriend is the spendier one, but that’s just because I’d be living off my couch and have a lawn chair for guests if it were up to me. Thanks for reading!

  3. The only other thing I would add to the mix that impacts financial independence is geographic location. Is your spouse going to want to move back near the folks? How about siblings? I somehow ended up in California to be near my wife’s family. They were not even living out here when we got married. If being near family is not important, then that allows for more geographic arbitrage or chasing that high paying job when you are young.

    Great post! My wife and I are not exact copies of each other but we are at least on the same page…well in the same chapter.

    1. Sometimes, the same chapter is enough to make it work. It’s funny that you brought up locale: my girlfriend and I go back and forth on where we want to end up. Some days, it’s closer to family. Then we call home and sometimes feel that even a house on Mars might be too close lol. Thanks for checking out the post!

  4. Nice post, Paul! This has been top of mind lately. I’m nervous to share “my number” but excited as well, because I think if framed right, it should lead to all sorts of fun conversations about what our ideal lifestyles look like.

    And, agree with DadsDollarsDebts above, geographic location expectations are key! For me, being geo-flexible is a high priority but I know that’s not true of everyone and could even be a dealbreaker for some!

    1. It’s definitely hard to share that number, but super important to make sure you’re not wasting time with someone who’s wildly off track regarding financial goals. I’m with you, though: the “what if” conversations can be lots of fun!

      Also, just because I noticed the flag in your pic, happy belated Canada Day! I’m a dual citizen, and my mom lives in Ottawa, so the lady and I spent a few days visiting up there. It was NUTS!

  5. Good stuff Paul. Sounds like some great questions when you are getting serious with the S.O. Agree with the others, Geographic location is a key one. It will impact the #s. This all sounds like the making a a great premarital course. 🙂

  6. Oh boy (drops to knees to express heartfelt gratitude, and to be just a tad dramatic) am I glad I didn’t have to navigate these shark infested waters. Mr. BITA and I were both extremely financially impaired when we got together, and lived our dating lives and our first few years of married life happily together in blissful financial ignorance. When I finally had my awakening, I strode over and gave him a (mostly metaphorical) bunk on the head, and lo and behold he was awakened too. I am aware that we got lucky. We didn’t check that we were financially compatible, but we did already know that we value most of the same things in life, and that we are able to talk and reason through things to get to a good place, so that compatibility served us in good stead once we decided to set ourselves on FIRE.

    1. I’m so glad things worked out for you! My girlfriend and I are super type a, so we sit and talk and talk and talk about money. I think she might get a little tired of it, but I never seem to… Lol thanks for commenting!

  7. Paul –

    Very interesting and do appreciate the post, no doubt. What about other questions – such as – what are non-changes to make to a house? haha, I feel like my girlfriend wants to take my house and completely flip it upside down… always a funny/not so funny conversation.

    All strong questions to ask though, no doubt. Even if one, though, wants to retire early and the other may want to work longer – do you think that’s doable? I jokingly but seriously mention being the stay at home blogging dad, that does accounting consulting work on the side if it means being home with the kids and on my own work schedule. Love to hear your thoughts on that.

    Thanks again and appreciate the stop by here!

    -Lanny

    1. Hi there Lanny! Big fan, been following you and Bert for quite some time now, I love following your dividend reports! It’s funny you mention houses! My girlfriend and I are a number of years away from buying a house, but we “screen shop” on trulia and zillow, and we both have an idea of what we’re looking for. She’s the one with all the class, so I’m probably just going to defer to her judgement for what to do to the house. 🙂

      It’s an interesting point you bring up. I can’t think of any reason why that sort of arrangement couldn’t work. But I guess it all comes down to making sure your communication is on point and expectations are clear. For example, my girlfriend knows that when I retire, I want to spend an obscene amount of time in France, because I’ve got lots of connections to the area. She knows that she can work till she’s 80, but I’m going to be sippin’ on champagne, wine, and coffee at a corner cafe in Paris at that point. I wouldn’t spring one’s retirement dreams on their S.O. only a year or two out from their hopeful retirement, if the other one plans on working for another decade.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. It’s a weird question. On the one hand marrying something to be your sugar daddy or momma or for what they can buy for you is a guarenteed of divorce. But on the other hand marital strife over finances is also a leading cause of divorce. So even ignoring how you life goes financially your long term stability as a couple somewhat depends on your financial alignment.

    1. It’s hard to find that balance when talking about finances and couples. I’ve found that communication really has been key. Thanks for checking out the article!

  9. Ugh! Martin (above) took rodent right out of my mouth! (that didn’t sound right.. eww!)

    So many couples fight about money yet refuse to sit down and have an actual adult conversation about their finances. I know love is blind and to be perfectly honest, I do believe in love at first sight and all that. But when money comes into play, only being on the same page could help a couple build a future together.

  10. Really interesting questions Paul. I actually jotted these down and will eventually pitch these at my girlfriend 😉 Asking these questions are very important since an incompatible spouse can hold back the other person from financial success.

    What really stood out to me was the non-negotiable question. This has made me realize that I need to be more aware of what I’m willing to tolerate to avoid potential setbacks.

  11. Great post, and friggin’ hilarious! I’ve been married 25 years and we one of those lucky couples who had these conversations over the years and still managed to bridge the gaps in our differences. If you don’t have the discussions you outline in your post before you get together, you will have them, probably one at a time, over the ensuing years. That is a much dicier proposition. This stuff should be part of High School curricula around the country. Well said.

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