In my mom’s time, men (the “keepers,” that is) handled the three Ds: dates, decisions, and destiny. In my own time, I live by one D word: Dutch. My significant other and I “go Dutch” on everything from dinners to vacations to rent. When, on occasion, he surprises me with flowers, I’ll return the favor with video games. If he treats out for dinner, I’ll catch brunch the next day. And we lived happily ever after.
Despite a Dutch philosophy that works well for both of us, we still have our fair share of money fights, like how to fairly split grocery bills with someone who eats twice as me (though I do more than make up for it in ice cream consumption). Petty money fights can easily become the everyday fights.
According to a poll by the University of Denver, the number one relationship argument is over money, and an American Express survey reports that the top source of anxiety among couples is finances. So if you aren’t already fighting about money, chances are it’ll come up some time during your happily ever after.
“Honey, what’s your number?” When dating, it’s encouraged practice to inquire about your partner’s sexual health and the last time he or she has been tested. Similarly, ask them the last time they’ve checked… their credit score.
“Baby, are you picking up the check?” In my relationship, going Dutch was a conscious decision we made together, but it isn’t for everyone. The conversation starts with figuring out what each person is comfortable paying and what each of you think is fair. But the important takeaway of this conversation is a better understanding of what each person is willing and able to spend, and how your shared spending can incorporate both of your financial circumstances.
the interesting news is that we’re saving for completely different reasons. I’m saving up so I can travel to another country each and every year and he’s saving for a down payment for a house in a few years. Consequently, we both opened additional savings accounts: he’s saving up to join my globetrotting, and I’m saving up to contribute to a home one day.
Americans should talk more about finance at home, because finance at home adds up to national finance and crisis! This is essentially what my accumulated choices theory is about!