Money as a Second Language
“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” — Rollo May
Does anyone remember The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock? Back in the late eighties, it was a New York Times bestseller and it was a book that posed intriguing questions to help people explore their fundamental values and beliefs and quite possibly deepen their relationships. This book spawned the “IF” series (Questions for the Game of Life) by James Saywell and Evelyn McFarlane in 1995. A decade later, I still see these books merchandized as an “impulse buy” at Barnes & Noble.
One review at Amazon describes the series as such, “It starts out as a game and ends as a revealing guide to character. A great way to break the ice at parties and boring business dinners. I love to present this book over a bottle of wine with someone I love, you would be amazed at what you don’t know about those closest to you… hours of innocent fun.”
This brings me to the topic of today’s post. When you’re dating someone, how do learn about each other’s philosophy with personal finances? Jeanine and I had the money conversation within the first few months of our dating. Most people learn these things as time passes but what if you could ask your prospective mate 20 questions about money… wouldn’t this help cut to the chase?
I found this list at a site for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL)… I know… there are quirky things to be found surfing the net. The list is quite comprehensive and gives a few ideas about how to get someone to reveal their money personality. After all, the experts say that financial compatibility is a key contributor to the success of a relationship.
About how much did you spend on presents last year?
About how much do you usually spend each day?
Are you a price conscious shopper?
Are you good at saving money?
Are you saving money to buy something?
If so, what are you planning to buy?
How much will it cost?
How much longer will you need to save before you can buy it?
Do banks pay a higher percent of interest here or in your country?
Do you compare prices at different stores when you shop?
Do you enjoy shopping?
Do you ever buy second-hand things? (“used things”)
Do you ever give money to charity?
How often do you give to charity?
How much do you give?
Do you gamble?
Do you give tips at a restaurant in your country? How about to taxi drivers?
Do you haggle when you shop ?
Do you have a credit card?
Do you have a credit card? If so, do you have more than one?
Do you have more than one bank account?
Do you have to pay a sales tax in your country?
Do you invest in the stock market?
Do you often put money in the bank?
Do you sometimes buy things that you don’t need?
If so, give some examples.
Do you sometimes give money to charities?
Do you think that money can buy love?
Did your parents give you an allowance?
What did you use it for?
How often did they give it to you?
Have you ever been in debt?
Have you ever owed money to people?
Have you ever bought a lottery ticket?
Have you ever found any money? If so, what did you do with it?
Have you ever given money to a beggar?
Have you ever given money to a homeless person?
Have you ever had any money stolen from you?
How important is money to you?
If you had no money, do you think you could be happy?
How much did you spend last week?
How much did you spend yesterday?
How much do you spend on food each week?
How much do you usually spend each month on entertainment?
How much do you usually spend each month on food?
How much do you usually spend each month on transportation?
How much money did you make on your first job?
How much money did you spend yesterday?
Where did you spend it?
What did you spend it on?
Do you often spend that amount in one day?
How much money did your parents give you for an allowance when you were ten years old?
How much time did you spend the last time you went shopping?
How often do you go shopping?
If someone gave you a lot of money, what would you do with it?
If someone gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Some people say that “money makes the world go around.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
What bank do you use?
What do you need to buy next?
What do you spend most of your money on?
What do you spend the most money on each month?
What do you want to buy next?
What is something that you have bought recently that cost a lot of money?
What is something that you have bought recently that was a good bargain?
What is something that you have bought recently?
What is something that you want to buy, but don’t have enough money to buy.
What is something that you want to buy, but think you never will.
What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
How much did it cost?
What is your opinion of discount stores?
What kind of things do you often shop for?
What kinds of things are you saving your money for?
What store did you like best and what store did you like least?
What was the last thing you bought for someone else?
What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
Where did you buy it?
why did you buy it?
What was the last thing you spent money on?
What’s the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
What’s the most money you have spend on one thing?
What’s the most money you have spent on something to eat?
What’s the most money you have spent on something to wear?
What did you buy?
What’s your favorite place to shop?
What’s your favorite shopping area or store?
Where did you buy ___? (your shoes / your watch / etc.)
How much did you pay?
When did you buy it/them?
Where do you keep your money?
Where do you usually buy food?
Where is your favorite shopping area?
Which do you prefer, large stores or small stores?
Which do you think is more important, love or money?
Which store do you go to the most often?
Where is it?
Why do you like to go there?
Who do you often go shopping with?
Who do you spend money on?
In a marriage, do you think one person should handle the finances, or both?
How do you think money helps make us happy?
Do you think money is more important than love?
How much money do you want to earn each month?
What qualities must a person have to make BIG money?
Should children get an allowance (pocket money) from their parents?
How do you usually spend your money? What do you usually buy?
How much should you give to your children?
How much do you give to your children?
Do you ever give money to beggars on the street? Why or why not?
Do you ever give money to charity? Why or why not?
If you found 100,000 won (or local currency) in a bag on the street, what would you do? Keep it?
What are you saving your money for?
Do you want to buy something special?
Who takes care of the money in your house?
When you buy something, do you “shop around” and go to many stores to compare prices?
When you buy something, what is most important to you: price, quality, fashion trend, status/image?
Explain these proverbs: What do they mean?
The best things in life are free.
Time is money.
Save your pennies for a rainy day.
You can’t take it with you when you go.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
Your rich uncle just died and gave you $5,000,000.
How would you spend it?
What would you buy?
Would you spend it on yourself, put it in the bank or buy something for your family?
Would you spend it all?
What is the most you have ever spent on a gift?
What was it?
Who did you give it to?
What was the occasion?
If you had to save money, what can you do without?
I would stop spending money on ___.
If you needed to earn some extra money, how would you do that?
If you had a large amount of money, what would you do with it?
Have you or your family ever won any money in a lottery?
How much money would you have to win to be happy?
Why do people often want more money, no matter how much they have got?
Why are poor people in many cases more generous than rich people?
What are some reasons for people being poor? Can poverty be avoided?
How do people become rich?
Do you think that riches can have a bad effect on a person? How?
What do you do if you can’t get the clerk’s attention at the store?
If you can’t find an item at the store, do you find a clerk and ask for help, or do you leave and go somewhere else?
If you don’t want help when the clerk asks if you need help, what do you say?
Is it OK to bring children to the market or the department store?
Probably more than you needed to know, right? Check out the Queercents archives for other tips on Money & Relationships.