couple talks money
photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Couples have lots of talks. The “Are we are exclusive?” talk. The “Is marriage for us?” talk. The “Do we want children?” talk.

With all that talking, you’d think every topic of conversation would be covered, but there’s discussion that many lovebirds avoid: money. Talking about the lovey-dovey life stuff is comparatively easy – when it comes to tough topics like finances, lifestyle, saving, and spending, things can get tense.  After all, it’s a lot easier to ask someone about their sign rather than their credit score. If you do think you’re ready for the next step in your relationship, you’re going to have to speak up.

Broke ≠  Broken Up

If you’re just starting out together in life, it’s important to get on the same page when it comes to finances. Talk about the decision to combine finances or keep them separate. There are pros and cons to both approaches and talking through them will help determine which works best for you as a couple. Working out a budget to live on is doable if you are on the same page. Decide, together, what your goals are and map out a plan that makes you both feel excited. Because there is nothing worse than telling someone how to spend - or save – his money when all he really wants to do is hit “submit order” for that pair of $350 sneakers.

If you’re already living together, then buying a house might be on the horizon. There’s a lot more to consider than how many bedrooms, though. You’ll need to talk about the financial aspects of homeownership that aren’t as romantic as what color to paint the breakfast nook. Do you want to live in a starter home in a modest neighborhood built for family, or in a fourth-floor walk-up that would never work with a toddler? Whatever you decide, make sure you’re protected by purchasing homeowners insurance. That way, you’ll have peace of mind that your property and home are protected from the unexpected.  Otherwise, there are a whole slew of new talks you’re going to have to have that won’t be nearly as exciting as paint colors.

Other topics to tackle: debt, including how much do you each have and how do you intend on paying it off? What’s your five-year financial plan? Are you saving for a rainy day?

Have you and your partner discussed finances together?

Allstate has even more tips for talking money with your significant other.