Talking about money with your partner can be really tricky.
People often have very different attitudes when it comes to finances. You might be very careful with your cash while your partner may be a bit of a spendthrift. And then there are all the decisions to be made about setting up joint accounts. It’s no surprise money is one of the main causes of rows in relationships.
If you’re finding it difficult to talk about this with your partner, I have the following list of practical tips to help get things off to a smooth start.
1. Set yourselves some financial goals
We’re all better at doing things when we have something to aim for, so why not aim for something together? Whether it’s balancing your budget, using spare cash to start an emergency fund or saving for a holiday or a deposit on a house, decide with your partner what your goals are.
2. Make sure you are equal partners
There are lots of different ways to consider managing your money with your partner – should you get a joint account, share some responsibilities but not others, or keep your money completely separate? Whatever your decision is, you should make sure you both have a clear idea of your financial situation. No matter how disinterested one of you is in finances, having one person have sole responsibility for the money matters in a relationship is bad for both of you – and your relationship.
3. Remember that two people rarely see eye to eye about money
If you don’t have the same views about money, it’s not a disaster! Some people are spenders and some are savers. Just because you have completely different attitudes to money doesn’t mean you can’t work to find some middle ground.
However, if you are worried about debt, it is important you are honest about it – and there are lots of free, confidential places you can go to get help.
4. Set aside some time to talk about money
Weekly, fortnightly, monthly… it’s up to you. The important thing is to do it when you’re both in the right headspace to discuss – so not over breakfast, when you’re rushing out to work, or late at night when you’re both tired. Make sure both of you have a general idea of your finances. Are there any big expenses coming up?
5. Be aware joint finances could affect your credit rating
Having joint finances with someone who has a history of bad debt may affect your credit rating.
Just living with someone, or being married to them, will not affect your credit score but as soon as you open a joint bank account or take out a mortgage together, for example, you should be aware you will be ‘co-scored’ if you apply for credit. It’s a good idea for both of you to check your credit rating before combining your finances.