From leaving dirty clothes on the floor to forgetting to unload the dishwasher, no one’s partner is perfect. But while these bad habits may only cause bickering, poor financial habits are a different ballgame.
According to research from the online dating website e-Harmony, 58% of Australian couples cited money as the biggest cause of conflict in their relationship. So while money imbalances in relationships are not uncommon, they need to be handled appropriately.
Discussing finances in a relationship, while not easy, isn’t impossible. All it takes is some honest and effective communication. In this blog post, we’ll share our tips on how to solve money issues in a relationship.
Does money matter in a relationship?
Fights about money are the number one predictor of divorce. So it’s important to get on the same team on how to handle finances in the relationship. As a bonus, working together on a joint vision for the future may strengthen your relationship and bring you closer together.
How to bring up finances in a relationship
If you and your partner regularly argue about each other’s money habits, it might be time to sit down and address these issues. Learning how to bring up finances in a relationship all comes down to respecting the other person, as money can be a highly emotional topic.
Make a plan to have an open conversation about where you both stand on the issue. Locking in a time and place stops the other person from feeling bombarded and gives you the chance to prepare what you want to say, rather than blowing up in the heat of the moment.
Discussing finances in a relationship
A good place to start the conversation is by sharing your money stories. This refers to your relationship with money and what it means to you. It gives a better insight into a person’s financial behaviour. Ask them, does money matter in a relationship? The answer might surprise you!
Take turns speaking and listening to the other person as they voice their views and concerns. Keeping in mind that both of your opinions are legitimate as this helps you to listen respectfully. If the conversation becomes heated, take a break and give each other some space.
If you’re stumped on how to continue the conversation, we’ve developed e-books for both men and women, called:
Both are packed with useful information — from ways to talk about money without fighting, to the psychology behind your partner’s actions.
How to manage money in a relationship
Everyone’s relationship is different, so how to handle finances in a relationship will look very different from one couple to another. For instance, if you both have different spending habits, you might want to keep separate bank accounts while sharing one account for joint expenses.
While splitting everything 50:50 keeps things simple, it might not be the fairest solution. If you or your partner make significantly less than the other, it could put a financial strain on that person’s cash flow. In this case, splitting things based on equity might be more appropriate.
Compromise and find a solution that works best for both of you. It’s the decisions you make during this conversation that can save your marriage!
Three tips to solving money issues in your relationship
Know where you both stand financially
While it may initially feel uncomfortable, laying everything out is a simple way to understand each other’s financial situation. This involves sharing your salary, assets and any debts you have.
Set goals together
Goal setting together is a great way to bond over your finances because they’re highly personal to your relationship. What is it you want to achieve together? Purchasing your first home? An annual overseas holiday? Retiring by 40?
Discuss your boundaries
Whether or not you both share finances, it’s important to respect your partner’s boundaries. They are allowed to allocate money for ‘fun’ and make contributions to your shared savings goals.
Consider outside help
No one said finances and relationships were easy. Although you might be on track for romantic bliss, you’ll still need to keep yourself financially secure. If you and your partner are planning to get married, a “pronup” may be worth considering. A pronup is our positive spin on prenups, aimed at keeping couples together.
Seeking specialised help, like financial advice, can also be a productive solution to the money imbalances in your relationship. At Financial Spectrum, our financial advice service gives you and your partner the confidence to navigate your finances and get working as a team towards a joint vision for the future.
As we get to know you and your partner, we’ll devise a comprehensive financial plan tailored to your financial and lifestyle goals. Our financial maintenance package provides ongoing support and regular adjustments to your plan, ensuring you stay on track as your life together evolves, like starting a family.
Get expert financial advice for you and your partner by booking a consultation with Financial Spectrum today!