The fact of the matter is that once a couple matures (before or after marriage), the question of money (meaning spending and savings) is going to be one of the most crucial questions in a long-term relationship. In fact, many relationships may fail simply because of money problems. According to many dating experts, the money question is actually the biggest reason why a mature relationship fails - so try to be smart about finances so that you can enjoy a more stable dating life.
You might be wondering what the "S" talk is when it comes to a relationship. The answer is not what you are thinking about. The "S" talk means spending and savings - something which is of paramount importance for any family and relationship. You simply cannot have a high functioning relationship without having a clear goal and boundaries with your partner. The fundamentals of any good relationship are that you need to be at a spending and saving level with your partner that makes you happy.
The easiest way to achieve this is to simply be open, honest and direct with your partner or spouse. If you feel that your partner may be lagging behind when it comes to saving money or decreasing debt, that may mean that you need to talk to them and teach them some of the fundamental lessons of financial literacy.
While many couples eventually arrive at a point where they want to expand their family and have a kid or two, you should know that having children is a major expense - it is actually much more costly than most people think. For example, one study found that a middle-income married family will spend almost $233,610 to raise one child from birth until the age of 17 - that cost doesn't even include the cost of college - something that is almost a given these days.
That is why it is important to start talking about your plan regarding children at an earlier date - preferably even a year before conceiving. You should be at an income level and savings amount that can afford you to properly raise and educate a child so that it can succeed in today's hyper-competitive and ever-changing world.
Once a couple marries, (or even before if someone is feeling adventurous), the conversation of whether to rent or buy arises. There are some complex math solutions to this question, as the answer depends on many different variables. For example, what is the expected worth of the unit in the future (meaning whether experts believe the given housing area is going to appreciate or depreciate over time), as well as whether you and your partner are planning on moving to a different place in the future (perhaps because of work).
To have this type of conversation properly, you need to be upfront and honest with your partner. You should also be able to listen to their worries and ideas so that whichever path you decide to go on, you can both be happy and secure about your future together.