DATE AT AN EXPERT LEVEL
Money is always a tricky subject in any relationship, asking the wrong way will lead to disaster. If you want to learn about a guy’s finances, there are ways that you can do that without looking nosy or like you have ill intentions.
You can ask about his money situation, inquire about his day-to-day lifestyle, or ask about his future goals to get your finger on the pulse of this answer. Don’t come right out and ask to see his account balance unless you never want to see him again. Do ask open-ended questions about his life if you see this relationship going the long haul.
Here are some ways you can ask a guy about his finances early on on if you don’t feel totally comfortable about asking outright:
So How Should You Ask a Guy About His Finances?
A good rule of thumb for money talks is to broach the situation the way that you would like it to be broached. Don’t be direct, but ask your guy about his finances by asking him lifestyle questions. What does he do with his life? Where he works and how he lives will answer this question for you.
What is Your Job?
Asking a guy what he does for a living is a normal relationship or dating question, and he shouldn’t feel awkward about this. He will want to know the same thing about you. You can get a feel for his standard of living from there.
You can also get an idea of how responsible he is by what he does. Don’t make assumptions if he tells you he is an Uber driver. He may do that in his spare time while he makes trades that he doesn’t want you to know about just yet.
What Was the Last Vacation You Took?
You will get an idea about his finances by his vacation style. Still, it’s difficult to draw inferences from someone that never vacations. They may be saving for a six-figure wedding one day. A guy that always vacations may be a spontaneous you only live once kind of guy.
Don’t draw inferences here. You are just looking to see if he has a financial lifestyle and get a snapshot of what that might be.
What Are Your Long-Term Life Goals?
This is a great way to get an idea about a guy’s finances because he is going to tell you if he is a planner, a saver, or a spender. You might also get some information like, “pay off my credit cards,” or, “work at McDonald’s until the student loan is paid,” or, “get my bankruptcy discharged.”
However, you might also get information like, “Spend my savings on a wedding.” It’s human nature to plan your life based on what you have or want to have. See what his realistic life goals are, and you’ll get a better idea of his finances.
Do You Rent or Own?
Again, this is a difficult one to make inferences from, particularly in an urban region. Some people don’t want to worry about calling a lawn guy every week and will be renters for that reason alone, or reasons like that. How he answers here will give you an idea of his financial picture.
Do You Keep a Budget?
This won’t tell you how much he makes but knowing whether he keeps a budget could help you gauge how responsible he is with money.
How Much Do You Spend on Groceries?
Again, this will help you gauge if he’s being intentional about his money or if he’s all willy-nilly.
How Often Do You Go Out to Eat?
See above, people who are good with finances typically don’t go out to eat multiples times per week. There are exceptions to this rule, but it’s good information to have.
Do You Do Any Trading or Investing?
The way he answers could indicate that he’s good or bad with money. If it sounds like he’s investing with a long-term purpose then that’s probably good! If it sounds like he’s into the latest and greatest “hot” money maker out there, then he may not be the best with finances.
Do You Prefer Credit Cards or Cash?
This is different for everyone, but if he prefers to use cash it could indicate that he’s more financially responsible than the typical person.
How Do You Ask a Guy How Much He Makes?
You probably don’t want to come right out and ask this question. It’s a question that will leave an impression that could be a buzz killer until the end. You probably don’t like that question, and he probably won’t either.
Instead, ask him what he does for a living and look up the salary ranges online. That is the closest you are getting to a real answer there before you are signing joint applications together.
You can also get ideas about his spending habits by asking for little things during your dating. Ask him to bring take out one night on the weekend, or to be in charge of the wine. Crunching numbers with him over the wine though isn’t sexy and might tick him off.
When Should You Talk About Finances in a Relationship?
The answer to this depends entirely on what you mean by “talk about finances.” Are you worried about getting a mortgage with him? Or going dutch at dinner?
If you need help paying the dinner bill, ask for it. If you are planning on buying a home with someone one day, don’t ask for that, yet. Watch his spending habits as you date and see if it fits in your lifestyle. Then talk about it.
You don’t have to ditch someone because they spend differently. You just have to have a conversation about expectations. That doesn’t need to happen over dinner on the first date. If by date 5 or 7 he is still waiting for you to get your wallet, you may want to say something. Or, stop calling him.
You don’t always have to have a conversation.
When life gets more serious, and you start thinking of life changes together, then these conversations will come naturally right after, “Can we afford it?”
However, once you decide that this person can possibly be a long-term prospect then it’s a good idea to be totally transparent as to set proper expectations for the future.
How Important Are Finances in a Relationship?
If we are using the word “relationship,” then finances are important. They are important to you as a single person. They will impact your life together as well. It will impact how you buy gifts for each other, what you do with each other when you spend time together, and what goals you can set together as a couple.
They are important. If a guy is telling you that they aren’t, that answers a question for you about his finances.
Can Finances Ruin a Relationship?
Yes, finances can always ruin a relationship. There are statistics out there about how money causes many divorces. That said, how you handle this topic will help you to keep the “relate” in a relationship.
Having a huge fight over a money matter will not bode well for you. Learn how to handle this topic well early, and you set an excellent foundation for yourself as a couple down the road.
You are already well on your way there if you are reading this, and trying to find the best way to handle this conversation. Handle it, and all related matters, with love. Go into the questions with the mindset that you are just collecting data, the answers are something you can work on together if you so desire.
Then you will have less to worry about when it comes to this question. When he asks you, give him the honesty and respect that you want from him, and this conversation will get easier with time.
Wrap Up – Lead With Love
When it comes to money talks, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable. Get the answers you need when you ask a guy about his finances by asking about his life. What is his home life, vacation life, weekend life, and work life. When you get those answers you will have a good snapshot of what he is working with and how smart he is with it.