How To Deal With Money Issues While In A Relationship

Updated November 19, 2019

Reviewer Tiffany Howard, LPC, LCADC


Money and relationships are two interesting subjects that intertwine with each other. One of the big reasons why marriages end is because of financial issues. Meanwhile, money can also be a reason why a relationship starts in the first place. In this post, we're going to talk all about financial issues and what you can do to deal with them.

Money And Dating

When you first get together with someone, you never know how much money they have. Some people dress humbly but have quite a bit of money. Others may spend their money on expensive clothes and goods, but are quite poor in the end. For many, financial stability can be a contributing factor in a relationship.

Some would say that you should love someone no matter how much money they have. There is truth to this. You should give someone a chance if their income isn't that great, especially if they are making an effort to try to improve their life.

However, it's understandable that not everyone would want to date someone with little income. Money problems can cause drama in the relationship, which can lead to it ending. The quality of life will go down if the two of you live in poverty, and not everyone wants that. And if the person doesn't want to improve, it can be difficult to live with them.

Here are some tips for dating when it comes to financial issues.

  • Tell the truth about how much money you make. Do not try to lie and act like you make more money than you do. First, they will find out, and it will be hard to justify that lie. You may attract some more people, but someone who loves you shouldn't make your income a deciding factor. On a dating site, it may be tempting to say you make $100,000 a year when you barely make a quarter of that, but don't lie.
  • Don't date someone just because they have a lot of money. You may feel like you'll have a more secure life, but you may be subjecting yourself to being under the person's control. If they are in control of all the finances and end up abusive, it can be a hard relationship to escape from.
  • Date according to budget. Sometimes, a date in a burger joint can be just as effective as a nice, sit-in restaurant.
  • Figure out who is going to pay for the date. Society seems to want the male to pay for the date when it comes to heterosexual dating, but there is no shame in letting the woman pay for the date if she has more income.


Discussing Financial Plans While Dating

When you are seeing someone, it's worth it to have discussions about your finances, and what the financial plans will be if the relationship gets serious. Here are some things to discuss.

Career Ambitions

This is one of those subjects that will be mentioned, but having a heart to heart about your career ambitions is important. One partner may be an aspiring artist. While they should work on their dreams, there is a point when they should not make it their focus if it's not financially feasible. Couples can help each other with their careers as well.

Saving Vs. Spending

Some people are big spenders. Once a week, they may spend some money on something that makes them feel good about themselves. Meanwhile, other people are big savers. They always take the cheapest option whenever they can, and put as much money in the savings account as possible. Then, there are those who are a bit of both. A saver dating someone who is a spender can spell disaster. However, it's possible to have a discussion and come to an agreement on both sides.


No one likes debt, but many of us have debts. From car payments to student loans, many of us have different levels of debt. Sometimes, our payments are a minor inconvenience. Other times, they are crippling. Be honest about your debts, as your partner may have debts too. It's possible for the two of you to figure out a way to help pay them off and make the debts as easy to manage as possible.


Everyone likes a good vacation, but different people have different visions. Some are content with going on a cheap trip to the beach, while others may want to see the world. Travel expenses and plans are a good thing to discuss. Again, the two of you may be able to come to an agreement and figure out a vacation that satisfies both your needs.

Credit Score

One day, the two of you may want to buy a house or a new car. However, if one person has a bad credit score, it may cause some drama in the relationship. Discuss your credit scores. Even if they are bad, there are ways to make them recover. However, if you ignore your bad score, it could come to bite you in the back.

House Buying


Speaking of houses, figure out if the two of you want to buy a house sometime. One person may be a traveler who likes the easiness of rent, while another person may want to buy a house at some point. There may be an agreement that can be reached here, where the two of you make plans to get home sometime in the future.

Living Expenses

When the two of you are living together, how will you pay the bills? There is a different answer for different people. Not every living situation is 50/50. Sometimes, the person making more may want to pay more or pay more if they are using the residence more often. Discuss how the two of you should split the bill.

Bank Account Joining

Joining bank accounts can be a good thing, but not everyone wants to do it. Some don't like having all their eggs in one basket, and may not be comfortable with one account. You shouldn't feel forced to put all your money in one bank account if it doesn't make you feel comfortable. Instead, you should talk with your partner and come up with an agreement.


Discussing whether or not you want children with your partner is important for many reasons. Some want to have children at some point, while others believe children aren't for them. Not only that, but a child isn't cheap, and is a financial issue that should be discussed.


Money And Marriage

What one of the many reasons marriages fail is because of finances. It's a bit ironic, as divorces are expensive, but many people in marriage feel like they will be more financially stable in the long run if they have a divorce.

Financial issues that can arise include:

  • One spouse spending money without consulting the other spouse first. Splurging on a new car can be great until the spouse finds out and the two of you are in a lot of debt as a result.
  • For example, if one person suffers from alcoholism, it can be a costly habit and one that can ruin the marriage in many different ways.
  • A disease. A married couple promises each other they will be there in sickness and in health, but when the hospital bills start accumulating, it can test the marriage.
  • The loss of a job can be a reason for a divorce. A couple may have a stable income, and then one person loses a job and doesn't get one that is better. Stress arises because of this, and before long, the couple has a divorce.

Discussing all your financial issues before your marriage, with the tips mentioned above, can help you prevent a messy divorce. If you do have a financial issue, it's best that you talk about it with a cool head and try to come up with an agreement.

However, there are sometimes when the financial issues arise later on in the marriage, leading to the divorce.

Seek Counseling!

If your marriage or relationship is having financial woes, it doesn't have to be the end. If the two of you love each other and are willing to work it out, it's still possible to recover. Talking to a relationship counselor can help the two of you sort out any financial issues.

If the two of you have different spending habits, the counselor can help you reach an agreement. If you have debts, the counselor can teach you how to refinance and make the debts more manageable. If you feel angry because your partner spent money on something without permission, the counselor can help you work things out.


In the perfect world, money wouldn't need to buy happiness, but a good relationship needs financial stability to help it succeed. It's not the end all be all, but it's still important. Discussing your finances can save a lot of heartache, and wallet-ache, in the future.

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