According to relationship support provider relate, financial issues are one of the main causes of arguments between couples. It’s important to have financial transparency with your partner, and there are steps you can take to manage your finances effectively together.
Failing to share responsibilities over finance can cause problems. It’s easy to see how such an arrangement can backfire, especially if the relationship breaks down. It can also cause problems if the partner in charge of the family finances dies.
If you’re the partner who’s left money matters to your other half, you may be in that position because you’ve simply never been interested in your financial affairs. But according to the Money Advice Service, situations where only one of you understands your finances should be avoided. Ideally, you should both know what you can and can’t afford, and you should make sure that if something were to happen to one of you, the other person would have an idea of your financial affairs.
If you’re in a relationship and your partner has taken full control of your finances, it could make you feel that your partner doesn’t trust you, which could lead to more serious relationship problems in the long run.
Financial transparency is one of the keys to a successful relationship. If you’re open with your partner about money, it can make you both less stressed.
Financial transparency means being open about your salary, any debt you may have, how you pay bills, your credit score, your spending habits, your assets, what plans you may have for your money in the years to come – and anything else that involves money.
How to share the load
Whether you’re about to enter into a relationship or have been with your partner for many years, there are lots of things you can do to make sure your approach to your finances is a healthy one:
Plan your budget
One helpful step to take is to draw up a family budget. Write down your income and your expenses. If there’s a shortfall, you can decide together how best to cut back on your expenses. You may be able to agree on an amount you could save each month.
For more tips on creating a budget plan, read Budgeting: a guide to managing your money.
Play to your strengths
We all have things we’re good at when it comes to managing money. Try to figure out which of the two of you would be the best person to carry out tasks such as paying bills on time, making financial investments, managing debts or making regular payments into a savings account.
Divide money related tasks as clearly and as equally as possible. This will mean you’ll both feel as if you have control over your finances. It also means you can share the burden should any problems arise.
Talk about it
Once you’ve had the initial discussion about your money matters, it’s important to keep talking. Try to make a date for regular conversations about your financial situation and how you both feel about any developments. Keeping track of things such as your spending, progress with paying off debts and how you’re moving towards any financial goals could help you learn how to manage money together more effectively.
Boost your money knowledge
If you’re the partner who previously had little to do with money matters you may feel overwhelmed at the task in hand when you agree to share your family’s financial responsibilities. Not having dealt with money matters in the past could leave you feeling left behind.
Start by simply checking your bank statements when they arrive to understand how your money is being spent. Then when you’re feeling more confident, consider downloading your bank’s app for easy access to your finances.
How CABA can help
Whatever your financial situation, we can help you explore the options that may be open to you and help you develop a plan to get your finances back on track.