5 Reasons Why It's So Important To Be Financially Stable Before Starting A Serious Relationship (Or Getting Married!)

Photo: Ethan Robertson on Unsplash
5 Reasons Why It's So Important To Be Financially Stable Before Starting A Serious Relationship (Or Getting Married!)

Let’s be honest, controlling our finances on our own can be intimidating. There are moments that I’m afraid to look in my own bank account, to see a dash in front of one of my checking accounts (indicating it's in the negative). If you're not already in complete control of your finances, then not only will this lack of financial stability affect you, but your partner, too, if you're starting a serious relationship (or worse - thinking about getting married).

Being financially secure is a rewarding feeling — it will make you feel accomplished and ready to take on the world. But if you're not, it's relationship issues and marital problems just waiting to happen.

Welcome to adult life… here’s how you can conquer it.

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Time and patience is the key to total financial control. Dave Ramsey — a radio show host, author and businessman known for his common-sense ways of making and saving money — believes in what he calles "the snowball method". This is when someone meets their small debt goals first (AKA paying off your cheapest credit cards first) and then slowly takes on their larger ones.

If your debts seem abundant, then at least consider creating a solid long-term plan to get things under control before you bring another person into your money mess. Sit down, grab a paper and pen, a cup of hot coffee, and prepare to be humble.

Mortgage loans, car loans, credit history, medical bills, emergency funds, and more are all aspects of finance that anyone needs to be secure on. If you’re jumbled up in your finances from all of these, then the dating and marriage life could come crashing down.

Study different budget plans to find out what works best for you and your goals (and your future relationship goals, too). For example, the fifty-twenty-thirty rule — which allows anyone to save fifty percent of their monthly income towards bills, twenty percent goes to savings, and thirty goes towards your wants and desires.

While you're single, use that time by yourself to get your finances together — give yourself a chance to morph into a more independent and responsible individual. Here are five reasons why you need to control your money and become financially stable before entering a serious relationship or even thinking about getting married.

1. You'll be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

When it comes to finances, being surprised is one of the last things we want. Practicing being honest with your finances helps you become communicative with your future partner, and you'll be better prepared to handle things if something goes wrong and one of you needs to pay up (say your car breaks down, or your partner's dog has a vet emergency).

Whether we like it or not, relationships cost money — so when you're still single, get out a spreadsheet and determine how much you can spend daily. Then imagine if you were dating — how much money are you willing to put on the side, and how much would you use to spoil your soon-to-be partner (without putting you in a bad place)?

If you see the reality of your spending habits, then you can enjoy your future time with your partner without any worries of overspending once you get in a relationship.

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2. You'll be able to focus on your partner (and the great things you could do together!)

Do you already have romantic getaway idea in your head for when you find that special person? Cave hunting, discovering new cities, beach trips, memorable road trips ... all of these amazing adventures require one thing: MONEY. How wonderful it would be to pack your bags and simply go? SO romantic!

Wouldn’t you want to take on these trips with more security for you and your partner? Get in the habit of putting money on the side in a travel jar so that you can be a positive team player in your future relationship. Don’t let them be the only ones pulling the weight — it shows you care to be with them, and not just in the comfort of your home.

3. Sharing finances becomes a way-less scary conversation.

You are your own person, even if you’re in a relationship. Even if someone has a partner, they still need a community in their individual lives, as well as their own personal hobbies. A shared account defines trust in any relationship, but having an individual account doesn’t mean you lack trust either.

You might have a favorite coffee shop or pub you enjoying going to. Maybe there’s a festival you and your close friends enjoy, that your partner will not have an interest in participating in. These circumstances help define your personal happiness, so your life isn’t reclusive to just you and your partner.

Never take any risks with your finances by putting all of it in someone else’s hands alone. If you're already stable in your finances before you enter the relationship, your partner will be more understanding when you say you want to maintain your individual checking accounts when it's time to have the "money talk".

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4. You'll be in a better position to recognize your partner's financial red flags, too.

Once you’ve taken control of your own finances, you’ll be able to detect your partner’s bad habits (we all have them). Communication is a huge asset when meeting in the middle to make common decisions. If your partner isn’t willing to talk about finances in a healthy, fair way, then that you could be a sign in your relationship to take a step back — at least financially.

Split financial decisions involve paying for romantic dates, while the other pays for groceries, and so on. It’s fine if you and your future partner don’t see money level eye to eye, but if you notice they’re not willing to make big financial approaches, then it's time to have that talk with your partner about how you're going to stay financially stable while also keeping your relationship or your marriage in a stable place.

5. You'll be able to provide for your partner and let them depend on you more.

Putting your bills and other needs above your desires will prove to your future partner that you care. This type of discipline with money will keep you from splurging and not realizing you don't have enough money to pay utilities or other important bills and payments.

If you’re not making ends meet each month, then the dating life isn’t for you. Once you start dating, if your finances aren’t in a good place, then it's even more difficult to take care of someone else, too. Don’t wait until you find someone to figure out your money situation, because by then it'll be too late.

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Sofia Stewart is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology, and relationship topics.