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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?