When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

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jeffh19
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When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by jeffh19 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:39 am

Just wondering if anyone has any insight on when to tell the SO you've been dating about how much money you make, how much money is in your retirement accounts, brokerage etc. I've done very well for myself, I have 2 full time jobs and I save like a mad man. My mom always preached to me don't *ever* let people know you/we have money, they will treat you differently. I didn't listen and sometimes would disclose things to 1 or 2 people I held closest to me, and I got burned every time. People just treat you differently when they know you come from or have money.

My GF is much younger than I am, before she met me she didn't know a damn thing about personal finance and her upbringing/family doesn't have/come from/make much money at all and she sees how some family members just piss away money and have nothing to show for it but problems throughout their entire life. She has a decent head on her shoulders and I've helped her get on track, SHE paid off her CC and I’ve got her to save over a grand for an emergency fund. She’s kind of following Dave Ramsey stuff I guess. Trying hard to get her on track for investing and saving for retirement early too.

She seems curious about my financial situation, more so than I am comfortable with-but I get it from her stand point too of wanting to know what I make and have working 2 full time jobs, living frugally, saving hardcore and being very financially savvy etc and sometimes asks me questions about how much I've saved, how much I have or make etc, she knows I at least have enough for a 20% downpayment on a house, and I have caught her kinda looking at/in my financial stuff and I usually just dance around the question as much as possible, make up a story about how what she saw wasn't mine or was some fake school thing I did or something, or sometimes just tell a little white lie, which I hate doing as 100% honest is crucially important to me, and its the only thing I've ever not been 100% honest about....but I just know how people can treat or think of you differently if you have money, and there's the stigma of girls want a guy with money and so on...and I just dont *ever* want to get the feeling a girl just wants me for my money, or stays with me for that and that I don't make her happy myself.

We've dated officially/lived together for 7 months and casually dated etc before that off and on. Part of me just wants to tell her and be honest and up front, but I've also never told anyone before other than my mom and always thought I would wait until marriage time to fully disclose it. I know its all up to our unique situation and all, just looking for thoughts and input. I'm sure I'll get lots of things like "if she's the one or when you know she won't care about the money etc etc"

I'm sure most of you guys are older and built wealth together or after you were already with your SO, but I'm curious if anyone has been in a similar situation and how you guys handled it. Any and all advice and input is appreciated. :)
Last edited by jeffh19 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sschoe2
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by sschoe2 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 am

I'd wait until you reach the stage where a marriage proposal is imminent to get specific. Then I would get a prenuptial agreement for sure especially when there may be a large wealth mismatch between you and her so you don't get taken to the cleaners later in family court.

fishmonger
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by fishmonger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:49 am

You've only dated for 7 months and she's fishing around for financial information? Wanting to know what you make is not that big of a deal to me, but getting caught looking into your financial affairs is a huge red flag in my opinion. Not something I would just dance around.

dbr
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:50 am

I can say that when we were married we were both fairly familiar with each other's financial situation, but that was no great trick as neither of us had much of anything and as things happened I wasn't even employed at the time. She supported us for the first while. What we did know is that we had a lot in common in our attitudes about work, money, spending, life priorities, etc.

I guess my inclination is that surprises should happen before people get married rather than after, but exactly when I couldn't say.

One thing that is true is that compatability in attitudes toward work and money is very important and you should be exploring those issues.

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dm200
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dm200 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:50 am

sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 am
I'd wait until you reach the stage where a marriage proposal is imminent to get specific. Then I would get a prenuptial agreement for sure especially when there may be a large wealth mismatch between you and her so you don't get taken to the cleaners later in family court.
I agree. Of course, chances are that, with the closeness of the relationship, she may see your pay statements, bank statements, etc.

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dm200
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dm200 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:53 am

fishmonger wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:49 am
You've only dated for 7 months and she's fishing around for financial information? Wanting to know what you make is not that big of a deal to me, but getting caught looking into your financial affairs is a huge red flag in my opinion. Not something I would just dance around.
From the OP -
We've dated officially/lived together for 7 months
To me, this indicates quite a "relationship".

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:54 am

If you are already living together, you are late. Tell her. Her reaction will tell you what you need to know. Quit lying. If she can't handle who you are the time to find out is now.

wilshuer
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by wilshuer » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:55 am

In the end it's a personal choice based on your long term views of the relationship. Without sounding too generic, if you see yourself staying with her, then you're not being honest - same as hiding anything else in a relationship. If you disclose it to her and see a change or not in attitude, I think you'll know your answer in terms of the relationship - both good and bad. It seems you have had a good financial influence on her so far. If you take the route of keeping it secret until the night of the wedding and surprise her with 'I'm a billionaire', that will probably do more damage to the relationship. Wouldn't you rather know her true identity now instead of a point you're more vested?

I can't necessarily speak from personal experience on a large difference - my DW and I met just out of university, so both really starting out. Neither of our parents have much money, in fact both sets have had their financial challenges and mistakes we both learned from. As we dated more and more, we were both up front about debts - student and CC prior to getting married, and to some extent kept those separate until paid off. Even more or less split bills for the first 3-4 years of being married, until finally merged it all. Dated about a year and now married for almost 17, so I guess it worked for us.

sschoe2
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by sschoe2 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:56 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:50 am
sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:44 am
I'd wait until you reach the stage where a marriage proposal is imminent to get specific. Then I would get a prenuptial agreement for sure especially when there may be a large wealth mismatch between you and her so you don't get taken to the cleaners later in family court.
I agree. Of course, chances are that, with the closeness of the relationship, she may see your pay statements, bank statements, etc.
Which is why I would only get them electronically at an email address only you have access to. No paper statements lying around. They are a security risk anyways especially if you discard without shredding.

Jeep512
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Jeep512 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am

+1 - get a prenup if you ever think about marrying her

A huge red flag for me...YOU paid off her credit cards? Why isn't SHE working 2 jobs to pay off her credit cards?

Another red flag...You are fibbing or being less than honest, because you know that something is off. Your intuition is telling you something, and you should listen to it.

Marriage is tough. It's tougher when the two of you don't have the same ideas about money.

BTW, not every relationship needs to end in marriage.
Last edited by Jeep512 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Artsdoctor » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am

Seven months is a new relationship, although the same advice would apply (in general):

Since you've seen her looking at your financial information, you can take it as an opportunity to sit down and re-assure that you're comfortable and that there are no significant debts in your portfolio. I don't think you owe her a peek at your entire spreadsheet, but I think it's very healthy to re-assure her that she's not becoming attached to someone who's been irresponsible financially. You can also take it as an opportunity to find out a bit about HER financial situation; for all you know, she has $50,000 in credit card debt.

Addendum: I just re-read your post. You already paid off her credit card debt. It sounds as if you're trying very hard to teach her about responsible money management. I think the only thing you owe her is reassurance that you're solvent. And, I don't mean this in a negative way, you might well think about seeing an attorney about a pre-nup, if it's appropriate for your needs.
Last edited by Artsdoctor on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

egionesco
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by egionesco » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am

You're dating a much younger woman, of course some of the attractiveness is based on your ability to provide.

I understand wanting to be liked for other reasons, but the truth is that in love none of us will ever be loved exactly the way we want. Part of your hotness is your status, which unless you have some cool stuff going on is whether you have a house, money, good job, etc.

That being said, I would never tell her and I certainly would not marry her. There are some red flags here- she is definitely in it for the money. If you can handle that, go for it, but the better solution would be to not get married. There are plenty of girls you can attract, no reason to settle down with one especially one sniffing around your finances.

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onthecusp
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by onthecusp » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:01 am

I'm not sure that the poking around is such a red flag given the 7 months living together and the openness about her finances (sort of a one way street so far, don't you think?). It is great that you two can talk about finances in such a factual way.

Now do it.

fishmonger
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by fishmonger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:04 am

Jeep512 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am


Another red flag...You are fibbing or being less than honest, because you know that something is off. Your intuition is telling you something, and you should listen to it.
Agreed. I would simply answer it as "I have enough, and I'm financially stable." Or put it back on her as "Why are you so interested?" It's not like you are talking about marriage or buying a house where it would be natural for your partner to want to know what they are getting into, or what you both could afford.

It sounds like you are already helping her quite a bit, but I would be careful that doesn't turn into a slippery slope. Paying the lion's share to say go on a vacation or something you do together is fine. I would be careful to continue helping her for past mistakes that are solely her responsibility. Otherwise you will become a faucet that doesn't turn off

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HueyLD
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by HueyLD » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:07 am

You said she is much younger. How much younger? Are you old enough to be her daddy?

flyingaway
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by flyingaway » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:09 am

If the amount of money could sweeten the deal, would that be better?

LarryAllen
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:10 am

If anything I would significantly under estimate what you have. Basically factor in the next market correction whenever you do tell her. However, no rush.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:11 am

fishmonger wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:04 am
Jeep512 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am


Another red flag...You are fibbing or being less than honest, because you know that something is off. Your intuition is telling you something, and you should listen to it.
Agreed. I would simply answer it as "I have enough, and I'm financially stable." Or put it back on her as "Why are you so interested?" It's not like you are talking about marriage or buying a house where it would be natural for your partner to want to know what they are getting into, or what you both could afford.

It sounds like you are already helping her quite a bit, but I would be careful that doesn't turn into a slippery slope. Paying the lion's share to say go on a vacation or something you do together is fine. I would be careful to continue helping her for past mistakes that are solely her responsibility. Otherwise you will become a faucet that doesn't turn off
+2

It sounds as if there are trust issues on both sides. The fact that you took the trouble to post this question to a group of strangers on the internet says a lot about how concerned you are. I would tread more than cautiously.

barnaclebob
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:14 am

I'd tell her at least what you make and how much of it you save. Telling her the totals is a toss up at this point but it could illustrate what a decade or more of good savings can accomplish. If she changes and wants more expensive things from you then it will be good to know that sooner rather than later. If she really is a good person then it wont matter because she will see that you have earned it through working a lot.

Also this forum is generally terrible about relashionship advice. "wife wants to buy a pair of $200 shoes when I think we should put that towards paying off our $1.2mil house"..."better divorce her because she is clearly on a downward spiral to welfare and dumpster diving"
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

dbr
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:16 am

I would certainly say that people should not be married without complete transparency regarding all financial matters. If that should include a pre-nup that both partners openly agree to that is fine. There can be good reasons for that. Being married and keeping/snooping for secrets wouldn't work in my book. That does not mean there are plenty of people out there that do such things. There are married people out there that have all sorts of arrangements that would not work for me.

It is possible that you two are serious enough about each other that it is time to share some basics. But here is a question: What is the source of your uneasiness about her knowing more about your financial condition? The fact that you are uneasy needs to be addressed. Also, I would not presume she is "snooping." Maybe she thinks the time is ripe for a more trusting and intimate stage in your relationship. Also, relationships with a lot of asymmetry are always going to be more difficult.

Mike Scott
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Mike Scott » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:18 am

This might be a good time to ask yourself why you are in this relationship. In my view, this is not a financial question.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by technovelist » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:20 am

egionesco wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am
You're dating a much younger woman, of course some of the attractiveness is based on your ability to provide.

I understand wanting to be liked for other reasons, but the truth is that in love none of us will ever be loved exactly the way we want. Part of your hotness is your status, which unless you have some cool stuff going on is whether you have a house, money, good job, etc.

That being said, I would never tell her and I certainly would not marry her. There are some red flags here- she is definitely in it for the money. If you can handle that, go for it, but the better solution would be to not get married. There are plenty of girls you can attract, no reason to settle down with one especially one sniffing around your finances.
While I'm also against being too open with finances early in a relationship, I think this is going way too far.

Of course if she sees you as a walking wallet, then I would run away as fast as possible.

But there is a middle ground. In my case, I enjoy providing for my wife, and she appreciates that I take care of her financially as well as in other ways.

So just because she wants to know whether you are capable of providing for her (and possible children), that wouldn't be a deal-killer for me.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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onthecusp
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by onthecusp » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:23 am

The "number" hardly matters. The key part of the conversation is your goals for the savings, the fact that it took a lot of work to get it there, and that it is (probably) not something to be spent directly, rather something that spins off more income, that currently you choose to reinvest, or maybe finance car purchases etc. when appropriate.

It sounds like the next step in her financial education whether or not you stay together in the long run.

MoonOrb
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by MoonOrb » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:23 am

It's reasonable for her to want to know your financial situation: after all, you seem to know all about hers, even to the point of intervening in it to pay down her debt. If you're living together, how is this being paid for? If you're paying for all of it, it would understandably make her curious--is this sustainable? Do you actually have the money to do this? Why are you doing this? If you're not, she will have reasonable questions about the equitability--are you splitting this down the middle when actually you make much more income than she does? Are you each paying an appropriate share? She may wonder why you work two jobs, also.

In short, when you live with someone and you commingle your financial lives, you can expect questions from them. A relationship probably shouldn't be a one-sided thing where you hide all of the financial cards and she doesn't really know what's going on with you. That sounds very unhealthy to me. It also sounds incredibly unhealthy that you're lying to her about this. Whether you call them white lies or not, the lack of trust you show her and the lack of respect you have for her is something that she will feel and probably does feel right now. You are teaching her that it is not important to be honest, that you don't care enough for her to be honest with her, and that she is not deserving of your trust. She will end up treating you the same way. You may not mean to be teaching her these things, but you are. You're also teaching her that you have a lot more power in this relationship than she does because you control most of the money and the information about this money. Because human beings are often uncomfortable in situations where they feel out of control, it would be reasonable to expect that she tries to assert control over things in other areas of the relationship in ways that you don't particularly like.

You must be honest with her. Part of being honest can be a principled refusal to share information. You can tell her things like, "I work two jobs because it is important for me to be debt-free and to invest enough money that I can have a secure retirement and financial future. But I also am not going to share these account balances." You can explain to her your reasoning: that you fear being valued only for your money, that when you've told friends in the past that you have some money saved for retirement they have treated you differently, etc. She might not like that (I wouldn't, if I were her, it would be a dealbreaker for me to be shown that I was not able to be trusted with this information), but it is at least honest.

My overall feeling is that you are not ready to be sharing your financial lives with each other. And that's totally fine! You don't need to. Except the complication is that you've already deliberately woven your financial lives together by helping her pay her debt, living together, taking an active role in her savings, etc.

The time to tell people about your finances is the time at which you commit to a higher level of financial involvement. For some people who are not currently living together and not intervening in the other's finances, that time might be not long before marriage. For people who want to take an active role in their SO's finances and for people who want to live together, that is probably much, much earlier on.

dbr
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:25 am

It might be that we should recognize that this woman should seriously wonder what you have to hide. I make that comment as an offset to those who are suggesting she is the one who might be out of line here, especially given your involvement in her financial affairs (as pointed out by a poster above).

The real point has been mentioned by a couple of posters who see that this is an issue about a relationship and not one about finances.

The answer to when you share is when your level of mutual trust is high enough to do so, and when that is will be obvious when it happens. It can also happen that it becomes evident to one or another of you that it isn't going to happen, in which case you both move on.

ResearchMed
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:26 am

I'm sensing something else as an undertone.
I think this is unlikely, but not impossible, so bear with me for a moment...

To OP:

You work two jobs.
You dance around finance questions, and have told her that things she's seen are not "real" or aren't "yours". She's seen evidence that you are not telling the truth?

Is there ANY chance she is trying to figure this out because she is worried in the other direction?

Sure, you paid off her debts (or some of them).
That *probably* means you are solvent or better... but... maybe you are barely so, hence the double jobs?
Or maybe you are in fact in debt and showing off a bit by paying her debt?
People can be very generous while going down the tubes financially. In fact, it's a good time, if one foresees bankruptcy!
I'm not suggesting that's your situation.
But again, is there *any* chance that your dicey answers have instead made her suspicious about what SHE is "getting into"?

I'd run for the hills if I suspected, and then confirmed, someone was being dishonest with me.
And who knows... maybe I'd need to "snoop" to find out...?

It doesn't sound like mature behavior on either side.

RM
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onourway
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:26 am

Consider that from her perspective she feels like you know everything there is to know about her financials. Why shouldn't the opposite be true? The fact that you are getting antsy and making up obvious lies is probably a huge red flag for her.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by vested1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 am

It seems natural for her to want to know your financial situation since you apparently looked into hers and are giving her advice on saving and investing, while paying off her CC in the meantime. That being said, if you decide to share your net worth and income, look out for certain red-flag reactions.

1. If she starts talking about quitting her job.
2. If she starts talking about having a baby, even before you get married.
3. If she starts going on about how certain members of her family need a loan.
4. If she volunteers that she doesn't believe in pre-nups.
5. If she gets noticeably more amorous after you tell her your net worth.

My ex-wife perfected 3 of these, and the consequences of ignoring them cost me dearly.

dbr
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:27 am

onourway wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:26 am
Consider that from her perspective she feels like you know everything there is to know about her financials. Why shouldn't the opposite be true? The fact that you are getting antsy and making up obvious lies is probably a huge red flag for her.
And so the worm turns.

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djpeteski
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by djpeteski » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:28 am

I dated a girl who, just about the time when we got together, lost her full time job. She continued to do the work part time, but it brought in no where near the income that she had when she did it full time.

When she found out about my income, she expected me to fully support her, including making her mortgage payment. She was just not going to work.

There should be some period of time before you get married or engaged where she gets a sense of your financial condition. Better to have it blow up then, rather then after. For me, it was very unpleasant at the time, but it got her out of my life and that is a very good thing. A few weeks later I started dating my now wife, who shared my financial goals.

This may sound a bit harsh, and I apologize for that. However, I get the feeling that this is not the girl for you. You are on the extreme end of weird, financially, and she (and her family) is very normal. It seems like she is somewhat willing to change, but how deep does that really run? I would work on investigating that. Also what will she share with her family? Will they be coming to you, looking for handouts, because you are so "lucky". This will certainly put a strain on a newly budding marriage if she somewhat supports their asking for money.

A few red flags from your post, but I could be reading too much into it and allowing my poor past relationships prejudice me.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:32 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:18 am
This might be a good time to ask yourself why you are in this relationship. In my view, this is not a financial question.
+1000.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:34 am

+1 with the question are you old enough to be her daddy? I see red flags a plenty, specifically her looking into your personal things. 7 months is no time at all in a relationship. Proceed VERY carefully OP......................

sschoe2
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by sschoe2 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:35 am

The OP has a lot to lose. If he puts a ring on her finger at any point she can bolt and use the family court to take half his net worth plus legal fees. The divorce rate is statistically >50% and statistically >80% of all divorces are started by the female. Protecting your assets is every bit as important as earning them in the first place.

If anyone came to this forum asking for advice on investing in something that had a >50% of wiping out half their net worth we'd tell them in no uncertain terms they are insane.

Get a prenup and if she says she doesn't believe in pre-nups tell her you don't believe in marriage.

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Ethelred
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Ethelred » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:40 am

I don't honestly think that her glancing at your financial statements is a red flag. If I was in a serious relationship where I was completely open about my finances, I would expect my partner to be open too. She may even be having the opposite conversation with her friends - "This relationship is weird! Why won't he talk about his finances with me, when he loves instructing me about mine?"

And I am not sure from your post if you paid off her credit card debt, or she did. If you did it, it sends the exact opposite message to what you're trying to give. Maybe do that once you're married and have completely co-mingled your finances, and once you have agreement as to how you will run your joint finances, but not before.

Even if she is changing her financial behavior, it sounds very unlikely that she will be as careful with money as you are - working two jobs, and being extremely frugal, despite having plenty of money already. If you want to stay in this relationship long-term, you need to be able to accept that, and perhaps also accept that she will spend some of what you think of as "your" money. Marriages (and any long-term relationship) require compromise. If you can't make that compromise, don't do it. But then you may struggle to find someone who is as frugal as you, and is still right for you otherwise.

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Pajamas
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:47 am

It does seem like you have become fairly knowledgable in great detail and very involved about her finances, so could it feel one-sided from her viewpoint? That might be the real issue.

You don't need to provide full, detailed information about your finances in a single conversation. It should be gradual and natural in synch with the progress of your relationship and your level of comfort. Plenty of married couples have not even a rough idea of what the balances of each others' bank accounts are and it isn't an issue.

What you would want to avoid are any big surprises that could change or distress your relationship. What if you knew nothing about her finances and then accidentally discovered on your honeymoon that she was in deep debt, was spending out of control, had a history of bankruptcies, etc. because her credit card was declined at a restaurant?

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by technovelist » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:48 am

sschoe2 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:35 am
The OP has a lot to lose. If he puts a ring on her finger at any point she can bolt and use the family court to take half his net worth plus legal fees. The divorce rate is statistically >50% and statistically >80% of all divorces are started by the female. Protecting your assets is every bit as important as earning them in the first place.

If anyone came to this forum asking for advice on investing in something that had a >50% of wiping out half their net worth we'd tell them in no uncertain terms they are insane.

Get a prenup and if she says she doesn't believe in pre-nups tell her you don't believe in marriage.
Pre-nups have no value in child-support cases, which can be much worse than divorces.

If I were a young man, I would emigrate rather than getting married in this culture and legal environment.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by goingup » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 am

jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:39 am
...money you make...how much money... have money...much money ...piss away money.. if you have money,... guy with money... girl just wants me for my money...about the money etc etc.
I took the liberty of condensing the essence of your post. :shock:

It probably will be important for you to have a mate who shares your passion about money--earning and saving it, that is! Hiding information about yourself, especially something that is central to the core of your self-identity, can be problematic.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by onthecusp » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:56 am

goingup wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 am
jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:39 am
...money you make...how much money... have money...much money ...piss away money.. if you have money,... guy with money... girl just wants me for my money...about the money etc etc.
I took the liberty of condensing the essence of your post. :shock:

It probably will be important for you to have a mate who shares your passion about money--earning and saving it, that is! Hiding information about yourself, especially something that is central to the core of your self-identity, can be problematic.
Money money. Well this is Bogleheads! :D

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by JW-Retired » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:57 am

Rule 1: The only reliable way to keep all your friends & relatives from knowing all about your financial situation is not to tell anybody about it.

If you are married you have to tell your wife and hope she will get on board with Rule 1. IMO, very risky to tell your SO until you are married, or at least it's certain you will be very soon.
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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by bottlecap » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:03 am

I don't recall my wife ever asking how much money I made or had saved before we got married. I know she knew before we got married, but I'm sure she never asked.

She knew me and I knew her. We may or may not have been wildly successful, but we each knew the other would work hard and not be satisfied with a meager existence. That was evidence from our backgrounds and what we saw of each other every day, and it was enough.

It's strange to me that your girlfriend would have these questions. She sees you work hard and save money, that should be enough.

In addition, if she knows what you do, she must have some idea of what you make. At least a ball park.

It's also strange to me that this would be a concern you focus on? Is how "rich" you are something you want to tell her before even speaking about marriage? If so, why? If not, why worry about telling her until the conversation turns toward marriage?

JT

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by gasdoc » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:07 am

JW-Retired wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:57 am
Rule 1: The only reliable way to keep all your friends & relatives from knowing all about your financial situation is not to tell anybody about it.

If you are married you have to tell your wife and hope she will get on board with Rule 1. IMO, very risky to tell your SO until you are married, or at least it's certain you will be very soon.
JW
I kind of think this is how I think about it. I would not want anyone that I decide not to marry to know the details of my financial situation. I think I would be honest with her by telling her in general terms what your financial situation is, and that you are not going to discuss specific amounts until further in the relationship.

gasdoc

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by jeffh19 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am

Jeep512 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am
+1 - get a prenup if you ever think about marrying her

A huge red flag for me...YOU paid off her credit cards? Why isn't SHE working 2 jobs to pay off her credit cards?

Another red flag...You are fibbing or being less than honest, because you know that something is off. Your intuition is telling you something, and you should listen to it.

Marriage is tough. It's tougher when the two of you don't have the same ideas about money.

BTW, not every relationship needs to end in marriage.
Oh gosh no. I meant to go back and reword that. She has two jobs and works 7 days a week like i do, she paid every single dime of her credit card debt (wasn’t much at all) and saved for her EF herself and I don’t really buy her anything, I make sure she pays her half of rent and she pays for the luxuries she wants to make sure she understand appreciates money and having to work for it rather than just getting handed things because she’s a girl and convince someone to pay for it for her

I’m 100% getting a prenup, she knows that. We have similar ideas about money, she’s just very new and inexperienced to all of it

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by miamivice » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:10 am

jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:39 am
My GF is much younger than I am, before she met me she didn't know a damn thing about personal finance and her upbringing/family doesn't have/come from/make much money at all and she sees how some family members just piss away money and have nothing to show for it but problems throughout their entire life.
It's probably worth noting that the apple usually doesn't far from the tree.

That expression is one of the truest expressions that I have ever known.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by aristotelian » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:12 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:54 am
If you are already living together, you are late. Tell her. Her reaction will tell you what you need to know. Quit lying. If she can't handle who you are the time to find out is now.
+1. If I were you I would be curious about her situation. If marriage is on the table, you should know if she has any major debts in her closet. Beyond that, you should start discussing the general parameters of your financial future to be sure you have compatible expectations. Even if you keep some kind of split finances or even pre-nup, there is no such thing as completely separate finances in marriage. If she is in debt up to her ears, that is going to affect you one way or another. I can almost guarantee this will cause a fight and some tears to be shed. But you will learn a lot about her and yourself in the process.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Leemiller » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:12 am

If she was my friend, I’d tell her that she should wonder why she’s dating someone who lies and values money over her. And also that she’d be better off with someone closer to her age. You’re living together, duh of course she’s looked at your stuff. And you lied, and she knows it - don’t delude yourself on that point. Being much older with a younger women means part of the upside is your financial situation.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by technovelist » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:13 am

jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am
Jeep512 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am
+1 - get a prenup if you ever think about marrying her

A huge red flag for me...YOU paid off her credit cards? Why isn't SHE working 2 jobs to pay off her credit cards?

Another red flag...You are fibbing or being less than honest, because you know that something is off. Your intuition is telling you something, and you should listen to it.

Marriage is tough. It's tougher when the two of you don't have the same ideas about money.

BTW, not every relationship needs to end in marriage.
Oh gosh no. I meant to go back and reword that. She has two jobs and works 7 days a week like i do, she paid every single dime of her credit card debt (wasn’t much at all) and saved for her EF herself and I don’t really buy her anything, I make sure she pays her half of rent and she pays for the luxuries she wants to make sure she understand appreciates money and having to work for it rather than just getting handed things because she’s a girl and convince someone to pay for it for her

I’m 100% getting a prenup, she knows that. We have similar ideas about money, she’s just very new and inexperienced to all of it
That sounds a lot better than the picture we got from the original post.

I don't see any red flags in this picture now.

Other than your lying to her, even "white lies". You need to come clean at this point.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Ethelred » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:14 am

jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am
Oh gosh no. I meant to go back and reword that. She has two jobs and works 7 days a week like i do, she paid every single dime of her credit card debt (wasn’t much at all) and saved for her EF herself and I don’t really buy her anything, I make sure she pays her half of rent and she pays for the luxuries she wants to make sure she understand appreciates money and having to work for it rather than just getting handed things because she’s a girl and convince someone to pay for it for her

I’m 100% getting a prenup, she knows that. We have similar ideas about money, she’s just very new and inexperienced to all of it
That comes across very differently to your opening post.

If you cannot tell this woman about even the basics of your financial situation, then I doubt that you will ever marry anyone.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by MoonOrb » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:16 am

jeffh19 wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:08 am
I make sure she pays her half of rent and she pays for the luxuries she wants to make sure she understand appreciates money and having to work for it rather than just getting handed things because she’s a girl and convince someone to pay for it for her
This is probably something you could really do some serious introspection about. Your sentence could easily have ended with "rather than getting handed things." The fact that you think "getting handed things because she's a girl" is such a pervasive cultural trope suggests there's a lot of work to be done about seeing women as equals and not potential scammers/golddiggers. You shouldn't feel bad about believing this, by the way--our attitudes and understandings about things are the product of a lifetime of receiving messages from our families and friends and the media and other places. But there's something about this that jumps out at me as a red flag here.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by investingdad » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:21 am

My wife and I had the financial sharing chat gradually, as we moved to the point where we knew we were going to get engaged. Probably at the one year mark of dating.

But we met while doing our MBAs, so being on the same page was pretty easy.

She made more than me then, and still does fifteen years later. She had more saved as well because she was living at home up until we got married and I had an apartment. She also still has the Vanguard funds I persuaded her to invest in while we were dating.

So for us, it was around the time we got engaged when we shared all info with each other.

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Re: When to tell the SO about my financial situation?

Post by Lynette » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:22 am

From a previous post, it seems that the OP is 32 years old: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=222487&p=3434373#p3434373

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