Your Partner's Money Habits Matter Way Before You're Serious

Domestic bliss (or lack thereof) leans pretty heavily on being smart with your money. Whether it's shopping for groceries or paying off debt, committed couples need to be as transparent about finances as they are with emotions. That might be as expected for married folks, but how you handle your funds can play a big role in whether your relationship even gets that far.

Researchers at the University of Arizona have just released a study looking into financial socialization, or, as lead author Melissa Curran put it in a press release, "how do individuals — in this case, young adults — learn about finances? How do they learn how to save, how to budget, how to responsibly borrow, basically anything about finances." She was especially interested in how couples influence each other and react to each other, because most young adults in relationships are neither married nor living together.

How young people in a relationship relate financially to their partners matters a lot more than how they relate to their parents. That's a good thing, according to Curran: "We're not seeing financial overparenting." Study participants who rated their partners' financial behavior as sound were also far more likely to self-report better wellbeing and life outcomes.

If you find yourself stressing out about money, both yours and someone else's, take the time to discuss what's troubling you. It's a sensitive subject, but it's also a skillset that anyone can learn. Whatever happens from there is good information for you both.