When you and your significant other decide to take things to a more serious level, be it marriage or moving in together, there are important decisions you need to make in tandem. While outlining expectations and synching on goals are certainly on the list, there's one decision you absolutely have to make together—committing to openness about past spending and financial habits.
While finances can be an uncomfortable topic, it's a pertinent subject if you and your partner are serious about a future together. Business Insider recently examined this topic, asserting that when it comes to finances, clear communication is crucial. It notes that the details are less important than the act of openness. As long as there's an honest dialogue between you and your partner, how you actually manage your money is secondary. Agreeing to be candid about finances from the get-go will help to reduce problems down the road.
Katie Burke, a CFP at Wealth by Empowerment, tells Business Insider that even disagreement on the matter isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you both practice patience and hear each other out. The open dialogue will help to build trust as you continue down your path together. If financial issues do arise, you'll be less likely to point the finger at each other and more apt to work together as a team. When it comes to speaking about the past, any details that might impact your financial future together should be on the table. Put aside shame and judgment—allow past mistakes to help better your shared future.
Do you have certain strategies for discussing money with your significant other? What works for you?