Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Womens Money Week: Relationships & Money

The second post in the 7 Days, 7 Topics personal finance blogger event is about relationships and money. Obviously, money plays a huge role in many relationships,


From the first date to the joint checking account, issues about money can plague or stabilize your significant romantic relationship.
* Who pays on the first date? What about the second?
* How do you share living costs when living together but unmarried?
* What if one of you makes a lot more than the other? What if one of you has a lot more debt than the other?
* How much transparency do you need whether or not you join finances?
* How do you discuss finances without fighting?


Most people learn their financial philosophies from their families of origin. You might try to emulate the model that your parents demonstrated, or you might handle your finances as a reaction to the choices that they made. Financial issues with family can include:
* If you go out to eat with your parents as an adult, who pays?
* How much of your parents' financial lives is your business, and when is it time for you to step in to help them manage their money?
* How much should you save for your kids college funds?
* Do you give your kids an allowance? Pay them for chores?
* Will you require your kids to save a percentage of their money? Will you buy them a car?
* If you have siblings, are you in similar financial circumstances? If not, how do you handle gift-giving and travel?


Money issues and friendship can be very squirrely. Most people don't want to bring money into friendships, but sometimes it can't be helped. For example,
* What about that friend who's always a few bucks short?
* What if you can't afford the restaurant they want to eat at?
* How do you split costs if you go on vacation together?
* How much of your financial situation do you want to share?
* Do you exchange gifts?


You might think that money wouldn't come up at work, but it does - surprisingly often.
* How do you split the bill at lunch - by the number of people or by the actual orders, even though someone got wine and dessert and someone else drank water?
* Do you discuss how much you earn? What if it's wildly uneven?
* Will you participate in every girl scout cookie/baby shower/fantasy football league/charity walk that comes up asking for donations?


I think possibly the most important financial relationship is one that you have with yourself. Ideas about money are all tied up with ideas of worth, and this is where things can get tricky in this relationship.
* Do you find yourself buying whatever you want because "you're worth it"?
* Or do you have to convince yourself that you're worth spending money on at all?
* Can you help protect your future self by saving for a rainy day?
* Do you trust yourself that you are smart enough to handle your finances? Or do you throw receipts and bills in a box under the bed and tell yourself that you "just aren't good with money"?
* Do you rank your value as a person by your financial net worth?

How would you answer any of these questions about your relationships?


  1. I think the hardest one is with colleagues. Because when I'm with colleagues I feel like there's such a fine balance with professionalism and I struggle with how to graciously split the bill.

  2. I don't rank my value with my net worth. Net worth can be gone tomorrow, where would my value be. Value comes from within, networth is on the outside.

  3. I am pretty sure I lost a friend yesterday over money. She's upset with me b/c she has decided I make more money and have nicer stuff, though I've never told her what I make and am fairly frugal. (Maybe it is that I don't complain about being broke?). Her dream honeymoon location is having a sale and I told her about it. Apparently that meant I was flaunting the fact that I could afford to go there b/c I was looking at the resorts website. Umm, no, I like looking at travel deals and was keeping an eye out b/c she was interested. Can't win!

  4. Romance:I can definitely relate to feeling uneasy b/c I have more debt than my husband. However, he's been really supportive and I'm learning that I can talk to him about my (or as he says it, our) financial situation. Friends: It's usually just general comments of "having bills...being broke..." but no specifics. Self: This is the area I'm devoting the majority of my time to since it is "self" that is responsible for the majority of my financial situation. I'm learning to not beat myself up or consider myself a failure in terms of being responsible with money.


Thanks for commenting!