Arguments about money are the number one predictor of divorce. But generally it’s not the lack of finances that’s the problem, rather it’s a lack of compatibility in the financial arena. Here we share five ways to improve your financial EQ so you and your partner can prevent money from coming between you.
1. Lay the financial foundations
Financial compatibility doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build trust, rapport and respect around each other’s outlook on money, so laying quality foundations is key. Start by talking openly and honestly about your views on money, assessing where each of you stands on the spectrum. Ask questions, explore and learn how you identify with money individually.
Men and women think differently about money. It’s not sexist to acknowledge the difference – it’s smart. If you find you’re having frequent arguments about money, it may be helpful to download our his and hers guides to money and relationships. It will get you having the right conversations so you’re on the same team and working towards a joint vision for the future.
2. Create a roadmap
Once you have a deeper understanding of how you both relate to money, it’s time to set some mutual financial goals. Look at your monthly income, expenses and savings and assess how you can both contribute to your plan. Then create a roadmap to bring your dreams to life.
This should feel exciting and empowering and will improve the health of your relationship as well as your finances. But if you find you’re having arguments about money or you’re not sure where to start, a financial planner can be hugely beneficial in guiding you through this process.
3. Set the structure
Once your roadmap is in place, it’s time to look at your accounts. We recommend each of you have your own individual accounts for personal spending and a joint account that you place a designated amount of savings into each month. This way you can see how you’re working together to achieve your financial goals, while also having the independence to spend as you wish.
4. Hold each other accountable
Budgeting is a simple way to see where your money is going and track how you’re achieving your financial goals. It’s also a good way to hold each other accountable. When common financial goals are set in place, it’s easier to work as a team towards a mutual end-point. Plus having someone hold your hand and support you through that process makes it more enjoyable.
Remember though that an accountability buddy isn’t there to criticise or condemn, rather guide you towards success and keep you on track!
5. Tackle debt as a team
Paying down debts as a team is the fastest, most effective way to create financial freedom. Viewing your partner’s previous debt as their problem, or overspending rather than paying off your mortgage, is bound to create resentment within your relationship in the long-term. Sacrifices need to be made by both parties, it’s just a reality of life. So support each other through this and take time to be grateful for the free things in life.