Do You Have Financial Secrets?

Most of us have heard the statistics; about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Equally unsurprising is that many of the divorces are a result of financial troubles. Financial troubles can hit any family at anytime; just like a natural disaster or an accident they creep into your life and wreak havoc. You can work together as a couple to learn how to overcome financial troubles, by being proactive and that means communicating about money in the “dating” stage.

Since money is the number one reason for fights in many relationships, why don't couples take more time to talk about it both before and after the wedding? The fact is money can be tough to talk about. Suppose you are the one in the relationship with mounting credit card debt and student loans?

Have “The Talk”

How do you tell your significant other about your money troubles without making them run for the hills? How can you start a life with someone with this big secret? Eventually they will find out and it could be a deal breaker. Take the time to discuss your finances, your current debt situation, as well as any future goals you may have. Here are some topics to get you started;

·         What is your current financial situation? Ideally this is something you should discuss prior to tying the knot. Understanding where your partner is financially will ensure their finances don't become an issue later on. If you haven't already assessed each others financial situation take the time to ask! This is one of those situations where honesty is the best policy and you should be completely candid about your situations. Make sure to disclose any debts, savings, and income. Finding the answer to this question will help you develop a plan for your finances together.

·         What are your financial goals? This is fun! You can certainly dream big about your future together just be realistic and make sure it fits with your earning potential and other goals. Decide together, and think about the big picture. Do you want to have children? Buy a house? Dabble in investments? Retire early? Pay off your current debt?

·         What do you know about handling finances? This is an important question! One or both of you will need to manage your finances. Being in charge of household finances is not always easy and is a big responsibility. Decide who will take the lead or agree to do this together. There are some of us who have never balanced a checkbook, paid a bill, had a credit card, or even thought about creating a budget. So if this is you take some time to get involved and understand the process. If your partner has some knowledge let them guide you. If you both are new to this ask for help! There are tons of resources available to make managing your finances easier.


Resources to Get You on Track

Here are just a few resources located on the CareOne site to help you learn about managing your finances, plan a budget, and various calculators to help you determine where you stand. Try out some of these resources and learn how to communicate about finances with your significant other, so you can live happily ever after!

·         The CareOne Spending Journal

·         The CareOne Budget Planning Guide

·         Various Calculators

The bottom-line is, communicate, communicate, communicate. If you are serious and thinking about sharing your life with someone, have the talk, develop a plan and commit to fixing the problem together with both parties in the loop.

Have you ever been blindsided by someone you were seriously dating when it came to money?


Suzanne Cramer

money problems, deft problems, relations and money




Suzanne is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Suzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and A Straight Talk on Debt. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneCramer1 and @AskCareOne where she shares her insights on divorce and managing your finances.


  1. Sherie

    February 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    This is a great post!!   Communication about money is so crucial in a relationship and having "the Talk" is a great step!  "have the talk, develop a plan and commit to fixing the problem together with both parties in the loop". Absolutely!! Thanks for sharing!

    • liz maness

      February 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      It really can cause stress and break up a marriage.. People really need to think about how money will be managed in a marriage before they get married and watch how the people they are involved in relationship manage their money.

  2. Anita

    February 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Lots of great financial information here. Thanks!

    • datingdiva61

      February 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      You’re welcome Anita thank you some much for visiting and commenting on my blog!

  3. Beau Henderson

    February 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Such great advice

    • datingdiva61

      February 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks Beau.. I know you know how money affects people’s lives!

  4. Rod

    February 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Liz, great information here. You provide many great ways to make the financial part of the relationship work, and it seems the underlying theme here is communication, but by following your tips above, that part takes care of itself. Great post!

    • datingdiva61

      February 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you Rod! Money causes so many problems in a marriage. I hope singles will think about it and start to talk about money and how to plan a budget in advance of the marriage!

  5. Karla Campos

    February 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Communication is key and many people are scared to have the talk because they are afraid of comfrontation or sounding like they are planning on divorcing. I think it is good to have the talk because if the person over reacts before the wedding then maybe this is a warning sign of how future financial conversations will go.

  6. Carol Giambri

    February 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Great financial wisdom. 

  7. Sloan

    February 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Love this blog! I'm having problems with my boyfriend because of financial stresses and this has definitely helped.  My big problem is that he wants to continue living like a 21 year old and not focus on the future.  It's not really the money….but the money he's lacking represents to me his inability to grow up.

  8. Single Much

    February 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Such a good point. Money really isn't fun to talk about. I was recently unemployed & I took a full break from dating because I couldn't deal with the financial burden. Good news though, I got a job! yay!

    • datingdiva61

      February 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      That’s awesome!!!Glad to hear you got a job in this tough economy..sheesh! If you read Sloan’s Blog post she talks about just how expensive dating can be for women! I get you!

    • Angie

      February 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Omg! I agree! I did the same thing. It’s shameful in a way. But I don’t care anymore. I’m open about it now. It’s very freeing!

  9. Kelly

    February 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    This is so on target! My parents never talked about money – which frustrated my mom to no end because she never new if there was money in the account to pay the mortgage.
    When I got married (my curent marriage – not my ex), we agreed that I would handle all of the money stuff when I asked for his receipts when he was a freelancer and he replied with, "What reeceipts?" (LOL!)  – But I learned form my parents marriage and I make sure he knows about and is a part of all financial decisions over a $100.

    • datingdiva61

      February 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      You have to get it together!!!! Someone has to be in charge of the money!

  10. Martha Giffen

    February 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Fantastic topic!  You can't know where you're going without a plan.  People who are in serious relationship simply have to talk about money.  Ignoring the topic will just make everything worse.  And,  nobody wants to find themself on the other side of a divorce table!

  11. Terrie

    February 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Great advice! I wish had read this BEFORE some of my own previous relationships. It might have saved me from some serious issues. Thanks for posting.

  12. Angie

    February 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Talking about money is so taboo. We have to choose to remove the stigma surrounding money talks. And finances are so important to our well being, mis managing them can hurt you whether you’re single or married. I love the idea of making financial goals together… Awesome post!

  13. Amanda

    February 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Hi I am visiting you from Martha Giffen. Your blog is great!

  14. The Sassy Divorcee

    February 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Great blog post! Such an important topic to discuss and something so many people avoid. It IS uncomfortable but I wish I had pushed the issue a lot more during my marriage. Every time I spoke to my ex about budgeting he accused me of being overly anxious. What I didn't know then and only learned during our divorce proceedings was that he had gone several thousand dollars into debt (on what, I still don't know) and had reason to avoid it. I will not make the same mistake again. Thanks for the reminder and for a great outline for what the conversation should include. 

    • datingdiva61

      February 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      You are so welcome Doll! The hard way the hard we.. we tend to learn all our lessons this way!

  15. Susan Preston

    February 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Great article, Liz! It's so important that a couple know each other's financial habits before they really start to get serious. If it is in one of the partner's nature to spend recklessly and the other partner is very practical and very wise with their money, it could be a deal breaker down the road if they decide to live together and/or get married. Thank you :)

    • datingdiva61

      February 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      It’s so true!! I never though about how we should have planned this out. Mostly I just need a keeper LOL

  16. Mona

    February 3, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Oh, I remember a REALLY bad breakup with a guy where he had a huge financial secret.  It was not pretty, and while he was a really nice guy – the only thing I can remember is that witholding information is pretty much lying.

    • datingdiva61

      February 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

      It causes all kinds of trouble in a relationship! Yes people like to hide money troubles and it’s not fair!

  17. James

    February 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    This is so true. The majority of marriages these days end more because of the finacial issues than anything else. This economy isn't helping either. As for myself when I lost my job 2 years ago I never thought it would be this hard to get by. Finanical communication is key these days.

  18. Nancy Olson, The Celiac Warrior

    February 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Great tip and resources!  Finances are important if they are not in place it can tear a family or relationship apart! Thanks

  19. Jennifer

    February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    This is an excellent article — I love "have the talk."  What a great description of how difficult this conversation is to have for many people.  MANY people I know either really struggle with money issues in their relationship, or end their relationship over these issues.  Your advice of getting it right before you head into "happily ever after" is right on! 

  20. Carl Mason-Liebenberg

    February 7, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Money realy is not fun to discuss but these tips are wonderful to help empower the conversation and assure like mindedness and unity!

    • datingdiva61

      February 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      thank you Carl I thought it was a great reminder of things we need to settle before it’s an issue!

  21. Ashaki Tippins

    February 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Great article, good insight..even while you are single, to start torwards a place where u can be an asset to someone, not a hinderance.

    • datingdiva61

      February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks sweetie!!! I think so too!


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