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Jason Tartick Would've Told Himself to 'Wake the Hell Up' Before Moving in with Ex Kaitlyn Bristowe (Exclusive)

In a PEOPLE exclusive excerpt from his book 'Talk Money to Me,' the 'Bachelorette' vet reveals what he wishes he asked his ex-fiancée before they lived together

<p>Andrew H. Walker/AWNewYork/Shutterstock; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty</p> Jason Tartick; Kaitlyn Bristowe

Andrew H. Walker/AWNewYork/Shutterstock; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Jason Tartick; Kaitlyn Bristowe

Love might just cost a thing according to Jason Tartick.

In his upcoming book Talk Money to Me: The 8 Essential Financial Questions to Discuss With Your Partner, The Bachelorette alum, 35, encourages readers to have important conversations about money with their significant others.

“Through my research, I found that money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, right behind marital infidelity,” Tartick tells PEOPLE. “Statistically, we have learned that just the act of not talking about money is creating separation within our relationships. Talk Money to Me is another step in my desire to push financial transparency and teach money management skills to people of all ages.”

Related: Jason Tartick Says 'Of Course' He'd 'Consider' Being the Bachelor After Kaitlyn Bristowe Split

Tartick worked in the banking industry for nearly a decade before appearing on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette and now hosts the business podcast Trading Secrets, runs Rewired Talent Management agency and invests in multiple companies. The Buffalo, N.Y. native credits his grandfather with sparking an interest in financial literacy.

“When I was 16, he opened up his entire portfolio and taught me the basics of investing,” Tartick recalls. “During our lessons he said something that has stuck with me ever since: ‘When it comes to money management with yourself and loved ones, you must understand the importance of financial transparency.’ From that moment on, financial transparency has always been a big part of my life.”

<p>HarperCollins Leadership</p> 'Talk Money to Me' cover

HarperCollins Leadership

'Talk Money to Me' cover

The reality star knows that discussing topics like credit scores, annual expenses and retirement plans can be intimidating, but “we don’t have to be professional financial managers, business analysts, or mathematician, to get comfortable with the idea of understanding and talking about money,” he says. “By getting more comfortable talking about money, we can not only improve our financial health, but we can increase the strength of our relationships. That’s what Talk Money to Me is about: finding financial happiness within ourselves, and with the people that we love.”

Talk Money to Me marks the follow-up to Tartick’s 2022 release, The Restart Roadmap, and comes months after he and former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe ended their engagement following four years together.

In a PEOPLE exclusive expert below from Talk Money to Me, Tartick reveals some mistakes he made early on in his relationship with Bristowe, 38. PEOPLE also has an exclusive look at which back cover Tartick selected for the book after polling his Instagram followers about their favorite option in December.

<p>HarperCollins Leadership</p> 'Talk Money to Me' back cover

HarperCollins Leadership

'Talk Money to Me' back cover

With the chaotic year of learning how to navigate the Wild West of reality TV and social media just behind me, the excitement of my new romance, and the gut punch of the unexpected loss of my job, I neglected to look at life’s balance sheet. Prior to June 2019, before we moved in together, my ex and I never had a candid conversation about money. I never told her the important numbers that defined my financial health, and she didn’t tell me hers. Hell, I didn’t even ask. I did everything I criticize and teach not to do now — I made financial assumptions and avoided talking money! At move-in time, we didn’t have transparency on each other’s financial status, and we didn’t have a plan for our financial future together. We were caught up in love and life, which is easy to do, especially when you’re going full steam ahead at 200 miles per hour!

Now this changed throughout the years of our relationship, but to paint you a picture of how uninformed we were, here is a detailed list of all the numbers we didn’t know before moving in together:

• Credit score: I didn’t know hers; she didn’t know mine.

• Total income: A guessing game for both of us.

• Total debt: A real his-and-her mystery.

• Annual spending habits: We never discussed it and of course didn’t put together a budget.

• How bills would be split: Zero plan in place.

• Joint account: Wasn’t a conversation and wasn’t implemented until years after the move.

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• Purchased a joint living asset without a contract: Hello, Ramen!

• Four months later, purchased another living asset without a contract: Love you, Pinot.

• Investment portfolio: I didn’t know hers, she didn’t know mine and we didn’t discuss if we’d open an account together, or if we would use a financial adviser.

• Net worth: Although wildly incorrect information, Google has more info on us than conversations we had with each other about it.

• Retirement goals: I had no clue when she wanted to retire and vice versa.

Related: Jason Tartick Recalls His Surprising First Interaction with Kaitlyn Bristowe After Their Broken Engagement

Holy s---, right? I’m 30 years old and for the first time in my adult life I’m unemployed, essentially homeless, moving into my new girlfriend’s house across the country — 2,389 miles away from my current residence to a city I know next to nothing about. And the cherry on top: I’m moving into the house that she rented with her ex and later purchased herself. All the while, we still haven’t had these basic conversations about money. If I could go back in time, I would shake myself by the shoulders and yell, “Wake the hell up from the love clouds, Jason! These conversations are mandatory!”

Copyright © 2024 by Jason Tartick. Used by permission of HarperCollins Leadership, an imprint of HarperCollins Focus, LLC. www.harpercollinsfocus.com/

Talk Money to Me: The 8 Essential Financial Questions to Discuss With Your Partner is out April 2.

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