According to Money Advice Service money is one of the most emotional and powerful topics in all types of relationships. Financial issues are one of the main reasons for arguments. You may never have had to discuss money before or maybe you have experienced a money clash in a past relationship and as a result are now wary.
As your relationship develops your finances will combine with each other and it is important to establish how you will both handle your money going forward to reduce any nasty surprises along the way. We all have different attitudes when it comes to money, what value you place on it, and how you feel, think and behave when it comes to cash can be very different to your partner.
If you aren’t sure how to talk to your partner about money and you are engaged our FOCCUS Marriage Preparation sessions which are guided by a Facilitator can help you discuss your finances amongst other areas.
Here are some helpful tips to use when talking about money
- Listen to each other it may sound obvious but allow time for you both to speak get your views on money out in the open and then you can respond to each other, and if you need further clarification you can ask.
- Pick a time when you are both calm and happy and avoid the blame game. This conversation isn’t about stating who is good or bad with money and how one way is better than the other. If one of your feels judged you are likely to become defensive. Explain to your partner it is a chance for you to both work out your attitudes and work together to provide a solution about how you will manage your finances going forward.
- Decide if a joint account might be better to manage your joint expenses or if you will keep separate accounts and work out your finances that way. You can find out more about joint bank accounts here.
- If you think it would be helpful agree to use a budget that records all of your income and outgoings We have an example spreadsheet which you can download.
Issues can come up at any point in a relationship the more common issues are as follow;
- When you want to have kids, what if one partner will experience a drop in income?
- When you buy a house together.
- When you want to retire, can you afford for a one or both of you to retire?
- Lending money to friends/families can create a strain if one partner keeps giving money away and it doesn’t get repaid.
It is important to always keep talking and checking in with each other regarding your finances so you can respond well to any big changes.