Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Healthy Finances in Your Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a relationship, especially if you were married or living together, I bet that you’ve had a disagreement about money at least once. It’s one of the biggest causes of problems in relationships and differences in values and goals and habits when it comes to money can be a difficult thing to talk about. Money can’t buy you love but being open about it can be a good thing.

I can’t claim that my finances and relationship are perfect but I would like to think my partner and I share the same goals and are fairly open with each other. I think a solid relationship means that you can talk about money and financial goals. Now I don’t mean you need to know how exactly how much your partner earns or how much student loan they owe but knowing that neither person in a relationship is struggling to make ends meet is a pretty good start. I already share a home with my partner but I would like to buy a house. I know this is a goal I'm going to have to save for on my own due to my partners circumsances and I've recently changed jobs to make this happen.



At the start of your relationship talking about money might just involve saving for a weekend away together but as the relationship develops you’re likely to have to plan for buying a house together, a wedding, kids (just a dog for me), holidays and pensions and much more.


Managing your finances and your relationship can be tough but here are some of my tips to avoid arguments:

  1. Talk about money with your partner. It might not be the most romantic of subjects, but talking about things will help you plan for the future, and avoid any unpleasant surprises that could hold you back as a couple.

  2. Understand how to manage credit and debt, both individually and as a couple. This will help support any credit applications you may need to make together in the future, such as applying for a mortgage. You can check your rating if you click here. Your credit reports can become linked through a joint credit application, for a loan or mortgage – even shared utility bills. If you are linked through a ‘financial association’ and one of you has a poor history of managing credit and debt, it can have a negative effect on both of your chances of getting approved for credit in the future and at the best rates.

  3. We have all made mistakes or taken an opportunity that didn’t work out for us so try not to judge a loved one for any debts they may have outstanding.

  4. If you find yourself struggling and stressed about debt, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from StepChange, the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice Bureau. You don’t have to struggle alone.

  5. Come up with a plan to meet your goals. Once you’re able to come up with common financial goal (a huge step - congratulations!), you need a plan to get you there. Take into account your joint income, your debt, your savings, how much you can put towards debt and/or saving each month, whether you want to cut back on certain things in order to meet your savings goals, how long you want to give yourself to meet financial goals etc
I think it is all about getting some balance. Be honest about your past and set goals together but don't spend all your time talking about something as dull as money. 

Do you have any tips for me on how to save for my first home deposit? Do you like to talk about this type of ting with your partner or do you prefer to keep it all separate? 

Gemma
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2 comments:

  1. This post is so important. I've been with my husband for 7 years and it's really crazy to me how taboo society still acts talking about money is, I still get nervous trying to talk to him about money. I agree with everything you said!

    <3Rachel

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  2. Yes, I think that it is wise to put your finances in order and aim to keep it that way. A strong financial partnership should be able to withstand setbacks (such as a partner losing their job), so your joint budget should be designed to have a little give. And, as you say, it's not all about money. If one partner isn't able to contribute as much as the other (perhaps because they work part time) then that's not a problem if they use the spare time to do more around the home IMHO. If it works for you then that's all that matters. :-)

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