Money is one of the most common causes of stress in relationships. In fact, some research names it as the number one cause of stress in marriage. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s some money advice for couples to help deal with this thorny subject.
- Talk to your partner about your money history as that can illuminate how you feel about money, how much you understand about financial products, and how engaged (or not) you are with the state of your finances.
- Talk openly about each other’s past and present financial worries – share all your income and expenditure details (and expectations).
- Know each other’s assets and liabilities. Hiding a debt, or a secret stash, is just storing up trouble for the future. Thinking of everything as ‘our money’ can prevent the wealthier partner equating money with power and control in the relationship.
- Develop a financial plan together, perhaps with the help of a Certified Financial Planner. Include each other’s goals, and not just financial goals (like a budget) but also lifestyle goals (like when you’d both like to retire). This will help prioritise what’s important to you as a couple – which may need some compromise on both sides.
- Work out clear lines around money and be comfortable about that. Don’t be afraid to clarify what’s ‘your money’ or ‘my money’ or ‘our money’. If it’s ‘our money’ then you should agree rules, or at least a general approach, as to how the money is saved and how the money is spent. The latter is particularly important in creating a mutually respected judgement-free space.
- Both of you should stay engaged with your money. Keep talking about your money. Don’t let any part of your finances become taboo. Again, a good independent financial planner who schedules regular reviews with both partners is a great way of facilitating everything I’ve said here.
Please call us on 01 276 0006 to talk about your finances and if you like this article, try this one: Planning for Life