We know money can be a feisty topic for couples, so we’ve laid out a list of financial questions to ask your partner. We’ve split it out by relationship stage (newly dating, seriously dating, engaged, or married) but these aren’t hard-and-fast categories, they’re just guidelines. Pull from any category if it would do your relationship good!
Financial Questions to Ask Your Partner
Now let’s set you up for success before you enter the minefield. A few ground rules before asking these questions to your partner:
- You must be fed (or in the process of feeding).
- You must be rested.
- You must be in a happy place. Maybe you go for a coffee date, brew some at home, have something to sip or nibble on.
Here we go!
17 Money Questions to Ask if You’re Newly Dating
The sparks are flying, you’re up until 2 am, and you could talk for hours. Ahh, early dating. Money is a little awkward to interject in this phase, so we recommend you sprinkle these little ditties throughout your conversation and start weaving together some answers about spending habits and financial goals. You might not consider all of these to be personal finance-related questions, but if you listen carefully you’ll start to put together a picture of their money story.
- Where did you grow up?
- What do you do for work?
- Have you taken any fun vacations recently?
- Do you have any vacations planned or any dream vacations?
- What do you want to do with your career? What’s your dream job?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- If someone gave you $100,000, what would you do with it?
- What’s a normal weekend like for you?
- Are you a spender or a saver?
- Do you think I am a spender or saver?
- What was the last big thing you bought? Was it worth it?
- What do your parents do?
- Are you working towards anything now? A certain job, a skill, a thing, a house?
- How much would you say you go out to eat?
- What do you like to spend money on?
- Would you rather spend money on experiences or things?
- Did you get an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it?
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23 Money Questions to Ask If You’re Seriously Dating
Time to crank it up a notch! At this point, things are starting to qualify as long term; you’ve worn sweatpants in front of them, they’ve told you when there’s broccoli in your teeth, and they’ve gained a seal of approval from your bestie. Time for some fun and tough money conversations! This is when you start getting into the good stuff—disclosing debt, held beliefs, money scaries. You might not be comfortable yet with all these questions, and that’s ok. Pick and choose which ones fit your relationship at this stage. We cover it ALL here.
- Did your family talk about money growing up?
- Do you think your parents were good with money?
- Did you know how much your family made growing up?
- What kind of an area did you grow up in? Was it fancy pantsy or salt of the earth?
- What scares you about money?
- What are you comfortable telling me about your money?
- How do you manage your money? Do you have a budget?
- Do you carry a credit card balance?
- What is your opinion on debt?
- If you wanted to buy something expensive, how would you pay for it?
- Do you usually have money left over at the end of the month?
- How far ahead do you like to plan financially?
- When you get an unplanned inflow of cash, do you usually spend it or do you like to save money?
- Are you comfortable telling me how much you make?
- Do you have any student loans?
- Do you have any other debt or financial obligations?
- If you have debt, how do you feel about it?
- If you have debt, how are you handling it?
- Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
- Do you support anyone else financially?
- Do you want to own a house someday?
- Do you want to have kids someday?
- What’s the next vacation you want to take and how much do you think it’ll cost?
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23 Money Questions to Ask if You’re Engaged
There’s a ring on it! Wedding bells faintly ringing in the distant (or not so distant) future! You’re planning life together. And as such, there’s a whole new slew of important financial questions for your future spouse. Here we go!
- How much do we want to spend on a wedding?
- How do we plan on paying for our wedding?
- Where do you want to go on a honeymoon?
- How much do you think we should spend on our honeymoon?
- Do you think there is “good debt” and “bad debt”? Why or why not?
- If you have debt, do you have a plan for it?
- If one of us has debt and the other doesn’t, will it be “our debt” or “your/my” debt?
- Do you have any money saved right now?
- Will we combine our money or keep it separate?
- If we keep it separate, why?
- How much could we spend without consulting each other?
- Who will manage the day-to-day finances?
- Who will manage the big picture finances?
- Do you think you’ll ever go back to school?
- Would you help a relative financially if they needed it? Would you want to be paid back?
- Do you know anything about investing?
- What do you want our financial life to look like?
- Would we ever borrow money from our families?
- Would we accept financial support from our families (such as for a downpayment)? Would there be strings attached?
- Do you think we should get a prenup?
- What is our risk tolerance financially?
- Do you want to have kids, if so, how many?
- Will we give money away? To what? How much?
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- Why We Keep Our Accounts Separate
21 Money Questions to Ask if You’re Married
Oh, you’re in the thick of it now! And hats off to you for keeping the love alive—there’s hardly anything better than feeling in sync with your partner on all your life goals. You’ve been doing the money thing together for a while now and it’s always good to check in and see if your course needs adjustment. And remember: financial discussions can be fun (just see the fed, rested, happy note from above to set yourself up for success):
- What do you appreciate about the way we’ve spent money so far?
- What is one thing you would change about the way we handle our money?
- What are your dreams or goals in life?
- Do you feel like we’re on track for those goals financially?
- Is there anything about my spending you want to talk about?
- Is there anything about your spending I want to talk about?
- Is there anything that scares you about our financial situation?
- Do you have any accounts or spending I don’t know about? If so, why do you keep them secret?
- (If you’re paying off debt): What do you think about our progress so far?
- (If you’re paying off debt): Should we change anything about our debt repayment plan?
- (If you have kids or plan to): Do you want to send them to private or public school?
- (If you have kids or plan to): Will we pay for their college?
- Are there any financial considerations for us as our parents age?
- Do you think we’ll support our parents financially?
- Do you think our parents will ever live with us?
- Do you think you might get an inheritance? Do you factor that into our current financial plans?
- Do you plan on leaving any money behind when we die?
- Is there a will or a beneficiary we need to set up to make that happen?
- What would you say if someone wanted to borrow money?
- Do you think our next car will be new or used?
- What do you want our money to do for us that it hasn’t done yet?
Although broaching the subject of money can be tricky, figuring out the right financial questions to ask your partner can help make sure you’re both on the same path.
You know what’s cheaper than couples’ counseling? This free one-page guide and email series for a money date night, you’ll be able to have a peaceful, guided conversation to get you and your partner on the same page with your goals and finances.