Conversations about money, especially among couples, can sometimes be very awkward to have. However, can you really avoid talking about money when it is at the core of almost everything you do?  Evading money talks with someone you’re seriously dating automatically puts that relationship at risk. Abi, how do you intend to plan for the future if you’re not aligned financially?

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So, if you have been dating casually and you’re starting to think long term, here are some conversations you need to start having.

  1. Source and Size of Income/Net worth
    First off, in this day and age, the last thing you want to do is to date/marry someone whose source of income is unclear to you. Except, of course you have plans to have EFCC at your door soon.Episode 5 Smiling GIF by The BachelorDon’t be afraid to ask about your partner’s source(s) of income and reciprocate by answering questions your spouse throws at you. Also, depending on what level of intimacy you’re at in the relationship, it’s important to discuss how much you both earn and how much you’re worth ( no matter how little…). This helps to put things in perspective particularly in terms of expectations.
  2. Views on Spending, Saving, and Investing
    Is your partner a penny pincher, an “any money wey I get, na enjoyment” kind of person, or does the person have a healthy relationship with money?
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    When a couple is not aligned in terms of spending or saving, it could cause a huge rift in their relationship. Asking questions about your partner’s saving, investing, and spending habits, helps in understanding where their head is at in terms of managing finances.
  3. Debt Situation
    As you get more involved in a relationship, it becomes important to be open about certain things and one of such things is debt. Why? It’s pretty simple: to some people, debt could be a deal-breaker. So, if you are in debt, your partner should know and if your partner is in debt, you equally deserve to know. What is the debt situation and how does he or she intend to repay?  How did they get into debt and what is their attitude towards repaying debt? Does he or she have a history of taking loans and not paying them back? If the answer to this is yes, it could be a red flag, so you should talk about it.
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  4. Money Expectations and Boundaries
    Because gender stereotypes exist, your partner may or may not have certain money-related expectations and you probably won’t know until you talk about it. Expectations like splitting or not splitting the bills, joint or separate accounts ought to be discussed.
  5. Financial Goals
    Who better to discuss your financial goals with than your partner? Discussing your financial goals with your partner is a good way to bond, build trust and see if your goals are aligned. More importantly, discussing your financial goals can help you become accountable to each other and make you more committed to fulfilling your goals.

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Again, money is quite a sensitive topic to discuss, so you want to be cautious and patient in your discussion approach. If you appear too evasive or questioning, your partner could become defensive and the purpose of having the conversation will be defeated. 

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