Money was a HUGE stressor on our relationship. Once we got on the same page about money, paying off debt made us a stronger couple! But how do you start the conversation? Should I pay off my partner’s debt too? We tackle all of those questions here!
Have you had money fights in your relationship?
Money fights in marriages tend to be one of the most common fights. And, according to a survey done by MagnifyMoney, almost a quarter of all divorces are because of money!
It’s safe to say that money issues in a relationship can tear a couple apart. If you’re like a good percentage of the married couples out there, this is you too.
Because of that, many couples either hold off on talking money or choose not to talk about it at all.
While that may sound comfortable at the moment, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your relationship.
As that survey pointed out, almost 25% of all divorces are because of money. So holding off on the discussion and letting the tension build in the relationship either sets you up for failure or explosive fights.
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But how can you make money discussions work in your favor as a couple?
Money discussions (that can lead to fights) will come up. Likely a lot.
The trick is to get on the same page about money before the fights come up.
How do you do that?
You sit down together when you’re both in good moods, and you talk about the things that are important to each of you.
That can be the sort of lifestyle you want to achieve. Whether or not you want to carry debt. What your retirement should look like. Whatever is important to you (or your “why”) is something that you should discuss with each other.
And once you do, you decide how to merge what is important to each of you and agree on it.
You also talk about the things that might drag you apart, financially, as a couple. Things like separating finances versus only having joint accounts (hint: do not have separate accounts or hide purchases from your partner!). Or how you should allocate your money each month in your budget.
Debt, the big stressor
In our marriage, and lots of others out there too, debt was a huge stressor.
Shelling out hundreds of dollars every month to student loans, car loans, and credit cards made us broke. And that stressed us both out, which led to big fights.
What did we do?
We sat down, when we were both in good moods, and talked about our debt. How it stressed us out and how we wished we had more money every month.
That initial conversation was a jumping-off point to coming up with a debt payoff plan together and ultimately paying off over $100,000 in debt.
Having that conversation, being on the same page about our finances, and conquering a huge hurdle like paying off that sum of debt was an incredible bonding experience!
We got on the same page about our finances and did something that felt impossible, all while being a team. If we had a disagreement (which we absolutely did), we had our big picture, our “why”, and could tackle it.
What paying off debt did for us
The biggest takeaway is that we worked together.
Handling finances on your own, and keeping your partner in the dark, is a surefire way to get into a big money fight.
Because again, money is such an emotional topic. And if someone in the relationship feels like they are in the dark about that, it can cause some serious issues.
Starting on our debt-free journey together got us talking about money. And that got us talking about our “why” for our family’s finances. And that got us looking for answers, and ultimately found a way to get out of debt!
Should i pay off my partner’s debt?
The answer to this is yes and no.
The answer is yes if you are married. When you’re married, it’s no longer “your” debt and “my” debt. It’s “our” debt.
The answer is no if you are not married. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a long-term, committed relationship. It doesn’t even matter if you already own a home together. Your finances should be separate until married (a topic for another post), which includes both assets and debts.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a joint “why” and have the difficult financial conversations together! In fact, if you’re in a committed relationship, I definitely encourage you to have those challenging conversations NOW.
You’re a team in this, even if you’re not using your own assets to pay off your partner’s debt. And it can still solidify your bond.
It’s sort of similar to college, as a minor example. You’re enrolled in a tough degree program, and you form bonds with some of your classmates to help each other get through it. From there, you’ve formed a bond for life.
That’s it for paying off debt made us a stronger couple!
Paying off debt is really hard work. It takes mental and emotional strength for a long period of time.
When you get on the same page about finances and tackle the problem together, you’re setting your relationship up to beat one of the biggest offenders to marriage: finances!
Have you had a conversation about finances in your relationship? Is there an area of finance that you haven’t discussed, but wish you would?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!