Feel the Love – Nine Ways to Stop Arguing About Money with Your Partner
Love is in the air as we celebrate Valentine’s Day once again. Romantic gestures are being seen throughout the land and we’re busy spending on those most special to us. The latest data show that men spend an average of £35 on their partner and women just £10. But love isn’t about money – it’s about so much more.
A recent survey shows that money is now the second biggest cause of arguments between couples – coming just behind tidiness/cleanliness. So how can we improve our relationships and stop arguing about money? Let’s look at nine simple ways to stop the arguing and start the loving when it comes to your money
1. It’s good to talk
You need to make time to talk about your money. Communication is key. If you can do this early in your relationship, this can help and it certainly pays to talk about any major expenditure coming up. Never hide debts or excess spending from your partner as you will just be storing up problems for later on.
2. Open the post
Really simple – open your financial post. Read what you are sent and action things quickly. Don’t leave bills or other financial matters to fester. If you can do this together with your partner every evening, this can help you stay in sync and agree issues as you go.
3. Joined-up thinking
When you start thinking about your joint finances, you need to decide how joined-up they should be. Separate accounts and finances, fully joined-up or somewhere between? Many couples have a joint bank account to pay bills and other shared expenses but it can pay to also keep your own bank account. Decide how you split things up and what counts as ‘joint spending’. Keep it under review to makes sure it is equitable.
If one of you is more disciplined financially than the other, this can lead to tension. Whether it’s paying bills, transferring funds or paying off a credit card, by automating these things, you take this issue away to a large extent. Think about setting up automatic payments, direct debits and standing orders. These things can also save you a lot of time and effort going forward.
5. Share information
Even if you have fairly separate finances, it pays to fully disclose your financial setup to your partner. The names and details of your accounts and a broad overview should suffice. This can help get you on the same page and also give your partner the heads-up if anything happens to you or you have some sort of emergency.
6. Don’t be shy and retiring
Retirement might be the biggest financial and lifestyle change you ever make. Make sure you both think along the same lines. When do you want to retire; how do you want to live in retirement; what’s your plan to save up; where will you be living? These are all big questions and not easy ones, but find time to talk about these occasionally and put steps in place to get you nearer to your retirement dream.
7. Get on the same page
Talk to your partner about your key financial goals or go to a financial planner together to help you work through what you want out of life and how you might get there. If you are both aiming for different things and have different priorities, you could come unstuck.
8. Don’t ignore the debt elephant in the room
Debts (and how to manage them) are often the major cause of arguments. Managing debt can be stressful and difficult. Always talk to your partner about your debts and never hide things. Whatever you do, communication is key. Don’t let debts erode your relationship and come between you.
9. Be prepared
Like a good boy scout (or girl guide), it always pays to be prepared. Possibly the greatest financial gift you can give your partner this Valentine’s Day is the feeling of security. If anything should happen to you (or your partner) you would be devastated, but don’t let this derail your finances and push your life more off-track. You can take simple steps with life insurance, critical illness cover and making sure you have a will in place; ensuring you are protected should the worst happen.
Hopefully, this article has given you a few useful tips that you can implement this Valentine’s Day. Money is central to all our lives and is often a major cause of arguments and strife between couples. Don’t let it get in the way of your relationship. Take a few of these simple steps and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day.
If you would like to talk about any of the issues in this article or need more general help with your finances, please get in touch with is.