Do You Need a Valentine’s Debt Date?Feb 13, 2018
For many Canadians, having the debt talk with their partner is more nerve-wracking than talking about commitment. But debt doesn’t take care of itself, and when left in the shadows of your relationship, it can multiply. This February, make a debt date with your partner to discuss your current debt and how to avoid it in the future.
Our most recent poll shows that 36 per cent of Canadians in relationships rarely or never talk about finances, and when it comes to dirty little debt secrets, hiding credit card debt is one of the most common financial secrets consumers keep from their partners.
The debt date
In some cases, couples don’t even talk about their personal debt until they’ve moved in together, or gotten married. However, let’s break this bad habit and start talking about finances with your partner now.
Start by dedicating some time and sitting down with your partner to talk about and go over your finances together. It’s a good way to connect over shared priorities, and to learn a little more about what makes each other tick (or cringe) when it comes to money.
What to cover
If you want to share a personal and financial life with another person, ripping off the bandaid and talking about the financial load you’re carrying can help. Open up about the debt you have, and talk honestly about how you could both come up with a plan together.
Once you’ve cleared the air, discuss what your debt priorities are. There are a lot of strategies for tackling debt, like starting with the largest debt, or highest interest rate debts first.
Discuss how you can save money together for future purchases to avoid debt. When it comes to consumer debt, it’s easily avoided with some patience and planning.
Don’t forget to discuss what you feel are “good debts”. Taking on debt to advance your education or career, or a mortgage, could be beneficial in the long run to your financial security. But you need to be on the same page about these commitments.
Check out the blog Money We Have for some more thoughts on common issues that arise with money and marriage to inspire your discussion.
Make it a regular date
Couples who separate or divorce often cite financial problems and disagreements as one of the reasons for the decay of their partnership.
Some people find it easy to talk money. For others, it takes some getting used to. If you’re a millennial, you’re most likely to discuss finances openly at the beginning of a relationship, but Boomers and GenXers are less likely to have those discussions.
One thing is for sure, the more you make money a regular part of your dialogue, the easier it will get, and with the topic fresh on your minds, you’re more likely to remember your commitments and motivations for reducing debt.
If you make a debt date on a regular basis, you may find your financial situation will improve along with the bond with your partner. Bust debt together this year.