What’s love got to do with money?
We like to associate love with red roses, chocolates, and romantic strolls on the beach. When we think of love, what we don’t want to be agonising over is how we’ll organise our finances as a couple, afford a house and save for retirement.
But the fact is, money has a lot to do with love – whether you’re moving in with your partner, getting married, opening a bank account together, starting a joint investment portfolio, or expecting a child.
Communication is key
It’s important that money is a topic of conversation in any relationship. The more a couple discusses their money habits, savings goals, and any plans concerning money, the stronger the relationship will be.
Here are some tips to improve communication with your partner about money.
Be open It’s so important to be open about your current financial situation with your partner. This way you can work together from a set point, create realistic goals, and build a financially stable future. Get organised by creating a list of your current loans, assets, accounts, bills and insurance. Lay it all on the table to avoid surprises down the track.
Discuss your money stories Everyone possesses a different money story and consequently, different money behaviours. This is part of the reason why combining finances in a relationship can be so difficult. Couples will also have varying ideas about budgeting and spending based on personal contexts. Are you a chronic over-spender? Do you have a strict savings routine? It’s important that your partner is aware of this.
Discuss all money decisions with your partner I see a tendency among women to palm off the money matters to their partners. The common misconception remains; money is a man’s job. Men control the household, so it’s only natural they control the finances too. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. A lack of communication surrounding money can lead to financial abuse, debt and loss of control of finances. So, whilst the prospect of never having to think about money sounds appealing, it’s also unrealistic. After all, money plays into every element of your relationship. Simple decisions such as where you eat, to the more complex ones like deciding on what school your children will attend or where you’ll live, are all dictated by how much money you have, and how much you’re willing to spend.
The end of a relationship
It’s something we don’t like to consider, but something that occurs today in over 1 in 3 marriages in Australia.
There’s a very lengthy checklist of financial matters when it comes to divorce or separation from a long-term relationship. Hiring legal representation, compiling a list of personal assets, closing joint accounts, separating bills, and arranging living alternatives are just some of the money matters that require consideration when a relationship breakdown occurs.
If you’ve been turning a blind eye to financial matters within your relationship, you’ll find the transition to financial independence an extremely difficult one.
Money matters matter
Money branches into every area of our life. It’s something that dictates how we behave and the choices we make. No matter how much we may wish, it’s something we certainly can’t live without.
It’s time we all considered how we can improve our relationships with money matters, and how we can improve the money matters in our relationships.