The Etiquette of Love and Money

Money Top of the List
By: Jacqui Denker Posted: 9:59 AM, Jul 27, 2022 Updated: 11:45 AM, Jul 28, 2022

One of the trickiest parts of a serious relationship is the finances. Is “my money” now “our money?” Why is “my job” financing your mother’s birthday present? Why aren’t “we” paying off our credit cards? Those are just a few of the questions that may come up so we asked relationship expert Susan Winter to help break down the etiquette that governs love and money.

The Courtship Phase

We learn a lot about what’s ahead by who picks up the check. People who believe strongly in traditional gender roles for heterosexual relationships believe in chivalry, and that means the man should always pay. Then, there are other couples who decide they’re in this together, and everything should be split. So have this convo early!

Relationship Phase

Once it’s official, things get more complicated. You have to have the preliminary discussions of who pays for what…especially if you’ve made the jump to move in together. Susan recommends writing up a contract — not like a lawyer thing, more like you’d divvy up chore responsibilities. Getting it straight early may be a bit awkward, but it can help eliminate future fights and resentment.


Uh oh — now it’s time to talk debt! Sure it’s uncomfortable, but marriage is a high echelon of adulting, so you have to ask your partner how much debt they’re carrying, and how have they been paying it off. Then — even if you need a little help from a marriage counselor — figure out how you as a team are going to handle it.

Keeping our wallets and hearts happy by tackling love and money etiquette.