Producer, actress and comedian Regina Hall is used to negotiating deals in her professional life. But in her private life, two negotiations will never be an option: how she spends money in a marriage and forgoing the opportunity to work.
Hall was recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live promoting “Me Time,” a movie she is starring in with Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg. Hall shared with guest host Lamorne Morris details of an interesting first date. Hall’s date specifically shared that he wanted two children and a wife who did not work, and they’d need to get approval to spend more than $500 on a gift.
“I knew there was no future,” Hall said. “If I had to ask if I could spend more than $500, that would bother me.”
Hall, whose net worth is valued at $6 million, made her film debut in the romantic comedy “Best Man” in 1999. Since then, Hall has earned more than 50 acting credits. Most notably, as Brenda Meeks in the “Scary Movie” film franchise, Dawn Darcy on Showtime’s “Black Monday,” and in the Hulu miniseries “Nine Perfect Strangers” as Carmel Schneider. In addition, Hall produced the 2019 film “Little” and has produced episodes on “Black Monday.” In 2020, Hall’s production company, RH Negative, inked two deals–the first-look option with Showtime and a six-movie contract with ViacomCBS.
Shining A Light on Relationships and Money
Hall might be making light of her date, but it truly shed light on an important issue in many relationships: How money is earned and spent in relationships.
One of the biggest causes of financial conflicts existing in marriages is the concept of power plays. In this scenario discussed during Hall’s date, one spouse (the husband) would work, and the wife would not. As the breadwinner, the husband would be placed in a position of power because he has the ability to dictate how money is spent. As Hall shared the details of her first date conversation, it was evident that her potential suitor wanted to control how money was earned and spent in the home.
Financial adviser Brad Pistole, offers couples entering a relationship different advice — that places both people with a sense of control. Pistole argues that couples should plan their finances together because “By having a shared goal, both spouses should be eager to save as much as they can,” Pistole told Ozarks First.
Money Talk & The First Date
Money — and sex — are the top reasons couples fight, according to survey after survey. So should you discuss your money views up front before you get deep into a relationship?
Bankrate analyst Sarah Berger told CNN Money that one way to avoid money fights later on is to discuss your views on money on the first date.
“Women and men vary so significantly in talking about who should pick up the entire bill,” Berger says. “People are hesitant to talk about [money] in the early stages of dating, and then as they get more serious, you might have mismanaged expectations.”
How to Bring Up Money During the First-Date Meal
Experts say not to go all in at first. Start the money discussion with a few light questions.
“Maybe in the beginning there’s some lightness to it: ‘I’m really interested in how you grew up. ‘How did you grow up? What part of the country?'” money coach Denise Hughes suggested to CNN Money. “‘What was your dad like? What was your mom like?’ And then those conversations get to the professions of the parents, what people did and what the lifestyle was back then.”
Once you learn about how someone grew up, you can lead into how they want to live similar or different to their parents and what sort of financial future they see.
Maybe Hall’s date grew up in a traditional household with a stay-at-home mom. The decision to be a stay-at-home mom could be a mutual one, as some SAHMs choose to remain home full time and manage their households or due to rising childcare costs.
The rate of Black stay-at-home-moms with a working husband is at eight percent, lower than all other groups of women. In addition, the largest percentage of Black stay-at-home moms is single mothers, higher than all other racial groups. Still the majority of Black households have working moms. According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of Black women are working while raising children. That’s more than other women of color and only one percent less than their white counterparts.
Credit Score Conversation
Millennials have changed the dating scene for sure. According to a 2019 Bankrate survey, millennials want a peek into your financials before going on a second date. And Gen Yers (aka millennials) have no problem in revealing their salaries, student loans, and credit card debt. Some 35 percent said that they’re open about these topics on the first date, and 21 percent of women said that knowing their date’s credit score will affect the outcome of their interest in a date.
But financial expert Stefanie O’Connell said that numbers don’t provide the entire picture of someone’s relationship with money and that men and women should discuss the big money picture with their potential partners. There could be a number of factors that led to a poor credit score, such as a medical emergency.
“It’s not just about how they got there, but what they’re doing to combat it,” O’Connell told HerMoney. “The assumption is that the debt is caused by spending it on something they didn’t need but it’s really important to get the full story behind the number.”