When it comes to relationships, talking about money can seem a bit taboo. After all, queries about finances are hardly considered romantic questions. Nonetheless, knowing what practical money questions to ask your partner is important when you’re thinking of a future together.
Table of contents
- 20 questions to ask your partner about money
- How do you approach asking your partner questions about money?
- At what point in a relationship is it appropriate to discuss finances?
- How can you make the topic of finance more fun with your partner?
- Related posts about money questions for couples
- Communicate effectively with these important questions for couples about money!
With money being one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s important to talk about it before you say, “I do.” So if your relationship is headed toward marriage and you’re already looking at the average wedding cost, or you’re wondering about questions to ask before moving in together, finances are one thing you want to talk about for a long-term relationship.
Learning how to communicate with your partner about finances is an adventure and it’s also very important, so let’s get into the top financial questions couples should discuss.
20 questions to ask your partner about money
Money is worth discussing in any committed relationship. Finances are an essential part of each person’s life.
Not sure how to bring up the topic? Here are 20 financial questions to ask in your relationship.
1. How would you describe your spending habits?
Differences in spending habits can cause huge riffs with finances in marriage. Imagine being someone who saves every penny while your partner spends every cent they earn. It’s hard to get on the same page when you’re at two opposite ends of the spectrum.
It’s important to know how your partner spends their money when sharing finances. And it goes beyond whether they are a spender or a saver. You need to understand if they actually spend responsibly or on a whim—without regard to a budget.
Knowing how each of you spends money will allow you to determine how to manage your money together.
2. How do you feel about debt?
The unfortunate reality is that most people have some kind of debt. Debt includes student loan debt, car loans, credit card debt, mortgages, and more.
Having an excessive amount of debt can cause both financial and emotional strain on a relationship. Debt hinders your ability to save, invest, and simply enjoy life, which may create debt stress.
The purpose of asking this question is to learn how your partner feels about debt, not just to determine if your partner has debt and how much.
Does your partner believe in keeping debt, or do they believe in being debt-free?
Knowing the impact that debt can have, it’s important to know how your partner handles their debt. If you’re a person who doesn’t like having debt, being with someone who is ok with it may be an issue. That’s why it is one of the most important questions for couples to ask as a relationship gets serious.
3. What did you learn about money growing up?
A lot of what we do as adults stems from what we learn as children. The things that we see, hear, and are taught as children ultimately shape our adulthood. Which includes how we handle our money.
If you’ve never learned how to spend money wisely, it’s likely that you’ll also handle money irresponsibly—if you aren’t taught otherwise.
Asking your partner what they learned about money growing up will shed some light on why they handle their money a certain way. It will also allow you to give some grace when they may make some mistakes.
You might ask if they had a job or earned money from doing chores as a kid. Were they given spending money? Did they save any money or spend it all?
Any questions like this will give you an idea of where your partner stands with money today.
4. How did your parents handle money?
For many of us, our own money story came from watching our parents. You may have seen them paying bills, or maybe you had the kind of parent who was stressed by unexpected expenses. You may have also seen one parent handle the money while the other didn’t.
How your parents handled money informs how you may handle money within a relationship.
For instance, if your parents managed money together, it may be important for you to do the same with your partner.
If you grew up in a single-parent household, you probably learned to be financially independent at an early age.
One of the good questions to ask your partner is how their parents handled money and, in turn, how they would like to handle money within a serious relationship.
Do they have specific views on who should handle money in the relationship? Do they believe that both partners should make money? Not knowing about your partner’s expectations can lead to relationship communication problems.
5. How do you think couples should manage their finances?
Although our parents shape how we handle money, it’s important to know your partner’s perspective on how couples should handle finances. Their beliefs about how couples should manage their money may not be the same as their parent’s beliefs.
Do they believe that you should combine finances? Is the man responsible for managing the money? Should you have separate bank accounts, or do you want to consider opening a joint bank account?
These are all things that can help you understand how you will handle money together.
6. What tools do you use to manage your finances?
You should have a plan for managing your money if you’re going to be financially responsible. Whether it’s a written-down budget, an app that you use, or even one of the best budget templates, you should have something that allows you to plan where your money is going.
The actual financial tool that they use to manage their finances really isn’t important.
What you really want to gauge is if they are proactively planning their money. Are they being fiscally responsible or just leaving everything up to chance? Do they have at least an example of a financial plan they’d like to follow?
7. Are you saving for retirement?
As you and your partner think about the future of your relationship, you should also be thinking about your financial future. In other words, are you preparing yourself for retirement?
Although retirement may seem far off, it’ll give you a good perspective on your partner’s forward-thinking and planning for tomorrow. Are they saving for retirement? If not, this may pose a problem later on if you choose to get married.
Not having retirement savings means that you and/or your partner will have to continue working in order to have the funds to live on in old age. Is this something that you’re ok with?
Even if they aren’t saving for retirement now, asking them questions may spur them to get started.
8. Is investing important to you?
Investing is a vehicle for building wealth. If you want to build generational wealth, you should be thinking about how you can invest your money so that it can grow.
If wealth accumulation is your goal, you’ll want to know if your partner is on the same page. Even if they aren’t investing at the moment, having a plan to at least invest in the future will show their commitment to building wealth.
In addition, what sort of investing do they prefer? People have different tastes and risk tolerances regarding investing. Some people prefer low-risk options like bonds, while others are more interested in investing in single stocks.
Although these are extreme examples, you can see why you’d want to know if your investment styles are similar.
9. Do you financially support anyone else?
If you’re planning on combining finances after marriage, you’ll need to know where your money will be going. So one of the most vital questions to ask your partner is if they are financially supporting anyone else. It could be a child, parent, or other family members.
Financially supporting someone outside of your household could become a financial strain. Being aware that this is a responsibility ahead of time will allow you to plan and budget accordingly.
It’s also the perfect time to decide if financially supporting family members outside of children is something that you agree with. You should seek to understand each other’s financial boundaries when it comes to supporting others and how that will affect your relationship.
10. What are your short-term financial goals?
It’s important to have goals when it comes to your finances. You should always have a plan for your money. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wondering where your money has gone.
Short-term savings goals and financial goals are things that you want to achieve within the next 2 years. It can be anything from saving for a vacation budget to starting an investment account. Knowing your partner’s goals shows you where they’re headed and, ultimately, what they are working towards.
Everyone’s goals are different, so it’s not about whether they have the “right” goals. It’s about understanding their aspirations and how you can support them.
11. What are your long-term financial goals?
In addition to understanding your partner’s short-term financial goals, you should also inquire about their long-term financial goals.
Goals that take a long time are things that you plan to accomplish with a 5-year plan or even longer. It can include things like deciding to pay off debt or save, purchasing a home, or even hitting a specific savings milestone.
Again, this question isn’t to judge what their goals are. Instead, use it as an opportunity to gauge if they have a plan of action. Also, consider how your relationship fits into these plans.
12. What do you tend to splurge on?
You may have a lot of curiosity about this question. We all have something that we tend to splurge on. Whether that’s food, clothes, or even the more expensive handbag brands, there’s something that we’re willing to spend more money on. Find out what that item is for your partner.
Although most splurges are harmless, some things can pose a financial risk.
For instance, if your partner has a shopping addiction or spends a lot of money gambling, it can have long-term consequences. So it’s important to understand what they splurge on and if it is something that you’re comfortable with.
13. How do you handle financial emergencies?
At some point, we’ll all experience a financial emergency. The important thing is how we handle them.
The best way to prepare for any financial emergency is to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a savings account dedicated to paying for emergency situations, like an unexpected car repair.
You’ll want to know if your partner is financially prepared for emergencies. Do they have money saved to cover these expenses, or do they rely on credit cards instead? It’s one of the important financial questions to ask your partner because you both need to be prepared for unexpected events!
14. Are you currently saving for anything?
Another great money question to ask your partner is if they are currently saving for anything. Saving for large purchases shows their commitment to working towards a goal. It also shows that they’re willing to have delayed gratification.
If they don’t currently have things to save up for, ask if they typically save up for large purchases. You may find that they are in a financial position to cash flow everything. Or, you could find that they leverage credit cards or loans to fund expenses that they can’t afford.
15. Is giving a part of your budget?
You can tell a lot about someone’s personal core values by how they spend their money. If someone values helping others, then giving will likely be an integral part of their spending. That’s not to say that money is the only way to give back; however, if you have the financial means, you’ll likely give.
Find out if your partner thinks beyond themselves financially. Do they give to charities and philanthropies? Is helping others at the forefront of their financial planning process?
Not only does this show a commitment to making the world a better place, but it also shows that your partner is able to think about and help others.
16. If you had unlimited money, what would you do?
One of the more fun questions to ask your partner about money is this one. It’s a low-pressure opportunity to find out what their financial goals and hopes for the future are.
You will also get a good sense of how realistic and achievable their money dreams are, as well as how you might be able to work towards those things together with financial goal setting.
Asking your partner what they would do in this situation can show you how they plan with money, what their dreams are, what they spend money on, and what they value most.
17. How do you want to handle shared expenses in the future?
It may seem like one of the more intense questions for couples to ask about money, but if you’re considering living together, you need to know what expenses each person will pay.
Will you consider opening a joint bank account or keeping everything separate? Who will be responsible for what bills? It can stop a lot of confusion to know these things in advance.
18. Do you make budgets often or never?
Asking about budgets will tell you a lot about where your partner stands with money. Your significant other may say that they never make a budget, that they are budgeting weekly, or even just once in a while.
Since budgets help you organize your finances and decide what to do with your money, it’s best to make them a regular practice. If you start to pay expenses together, a budget that both of you agree to will help keep you on track.
19. What amount of income do you think is needed for your ideal life?
It’s a fun question, and it will allow you and your significant other to dream about what the future holds. Asking them how much money is needed for their ideal life will help you both to consider what you want in the next ten or twenty years, as well as the type of career or income necessary to live richer.
Think beyond expenses to also include things like investing, owning real estate, and other important financial milestones.
20. Do you have credit cards?
Credit cards can often be related to debt, but not always. Some people have credit cards that they use and pay off every month, which shows they are using credit cards responsibly. Others use credit cards without a plan and may build up debt over time.
Asking about credit cards can help you to know where your partner stands with money and how responsible they are when using credit.
Furthermore, do they use credit cards or take out loans to fund their lifestyle? Would they spend more than they can afford on a favorite holiday to get the best gift for everyone? Using debt could mean living beyond your means if you decide to combine finances.
Find out if your partner has credit cards and how they use them to decide if you are okay with that type of lifestyle for your money in the future.
Expert tipAny time you and your partner can communicate about money is a good opportunity to learn something new about them. You may find over time that you have similar views about finances or very different ones.
Regardless of your previous thoughts about money, as you plan a future together, consider how money can work for both of you and make your relationship stronger.
How do you approach asking your partner questions about money?
As you think about questions to ask your partner, carefully consider how you’ll bring up the subject of finances in your relationship. Try to pick a time when both of you are unhurried and in a good mood.
In addition, you can bring up money while you have a date night at your favorite place. Or try these at-home date night ideas!
Sometimes being in a relaxed atmosphere and not feeling pressured to have all the answers can be a great way to have meaningful conversations.
Remember, being kind and open-minded is important, even if your partner thinks differently than you do about money. Using words of affirmation to let the other person know you care, even if you have a different view, may go a long way toward resolving differences.
At what point in a relationship is it appropriate to discuss finances?
Rather than asking these questions on the first date or in a new relationship, you should wait until you know for sure that you are both committed. Since money tends to be a sensitive topic, you don’t want to bring this up with someone you aren’t serious about.
An appropriate time to bring up money is if you have been dating for a long period of time or are considering marriage, engagement, or moving in together. Wait until a later time if you’re just casually dating.
How can you make the topic of finance more fun with your partner?
Think of it this way: asking your significant other money questions is an opportunity for quality time, as well as a way to ask deep questions that reveal more about the other person.
To make finances less intimidating, you can also ask fun questions about other topics.
Discuss unrelated but interesting subjects like favorite books or a summer reading list, favorite movies, a favorite family tradition, a hidden talent you each have, or your dream vacation. Ask about a more casual topic like this if you find that the conversation about money is too much.
Also, allow the conversation to flow naturally rather than asking one question after another. And be willing to share your own thoughts and money practices, as well.
Related posts about money questions for couples
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Communicate effectively with these important questions for couples about money!
These questions to ask your partner are intended to provide insight into their views of money. It’s important to know how they think and feel so that you can determine if it aligns with your own beliefs. Knowing the answers can also bring more security to a relationship.
Just because you don’t agree with everything that your partner reveals doesn’t mean that your relationship won’t work. It simply means that you’ll have to find common ground so that money issues don’t divide your relationship.
You may find that you’re financially incompatible if either of you is unwilling to compromise on money habits. Either way, knowing allows you to make an informed decision about how you’ll proceed in your relationship. Learn how to build a solid financial future together with our completely free financial roadmap.