I think most of us were raised to not talk about money, how much we earn, how much debt we’re in, how much we pay per month for rent, etc, and I honestly think is the most unhelpful thing we were ever taught. Thankfully I have friends who are super open about finances and we’re able to talk about our financial well-being in a totally non-judgmental environment which is super helpful for 1) staying accountable to your financial goals, and 2) knowing you’re not alone in the debt repayment struggle.
A huge no-no when you’re dating is talking about money. Maybe sometimes it’s ok to talk about with your friends and family, but never with prospective partners. And maybe you don’t need to talk about everything right away, but if the end goal of dating is marriage then I’d argue that finances play a major role in your future. Definitely budgets should at least factor into dates and how often/how much you’re spending on dates.
I recently broke up with a guy I had been seeing for a few months because I didn’t think we had the same goals when it came to a financial future. We were on vastly different career paths and mine was definitely the more lucrative path. And when I tried to dig into his 5 year plan, I didn’t see any major changes happening for him to get to the place I would need my partner to be in to raise kids the way I want someday. I know this seems like an extreme reason to breakup with someone, but I don’t want to waste my time dating the wrong person when I could be putting that time/money to more useful things for my future (like taking on another freelance client).
Obviously there were more reasons for the breakup than just his job (like that fact that he lied about having a dog which was a whole other issue), but a major reason for me was that I just couldn’t see a future. Which he told me made me seem shallow and that I value money more than living a fulfilling life. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting to live paycheck to paycheck the rest of my life, and I think that my job is incredibly fulfilling and fulfills my need for things like paying rent, food, occasional nights out, investments, a savings account, etc. If talking about money wasn’t so taboo, I think we probably wouldn’t have even lasted as long as we did if we could have just been up front about even our monthly budgets, because I was definitely overspending each month on dates. Not that he wouldn’t pay for things but I felt weird about letting him pay all the time just knowing there was a big income disparity between us. And I also didn’t want to tell him that I couldn’t do things because it would put me over my monthly budget for restaurants/entertainment, because I felt like it was perceived that I had plenty of money and that if he could afford to go out three/four times a week, then I definitely should be able to. Again I didn’t know his financial situation so maybe he was putting all of these dates on credit cards or something but for me, even letting him pay for half or more than half the dates, I was still blowing my budgets and I wasn’t about to begin charging dates to my credit cards.
All of this just ended up building a lot resentment which seemed to seep into other areas of our relationship. Like I started to get irritated that he would text me all day while I was at work and that he would come over multiple nights a week when I really needed to work on stuff for my freelance clients. I felt like he didn’t respect me or my goals or even my time. Eventually the tension grew so much that I dreaded even having to kiss him goodbye when we met up for dinner and I would make up reasons why he couldn’t come over or spend the night. It was obvious that we just weren’t compatible in the long run, and we needed to end things before anyone got more attached.
So, what are your thoughts? Should you at least talk about your monthly budgets when you start dating someone, or do you use other methods to make sure you’re not going over budget on dates? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.