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Couples Money: How To Handle Finances In A Relationship

  • October 6, 2018

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Couples Money: How To Handle Finances In A Relationship

Get real:

Couples money is an important topic in any relationship.

After all, it is often stated that financial worries are one of the leading causes of divorce.

The vast majority of couples will almost certainly argue about money at some point over the course of their relationship.

When two people combine their lives, discrepancies in attitudes to finance can become dominant, creating rifts and problems that can take years to resolve.

Given the stress that finances can place on a relationship, it is helpful to put this issue front and center right from the start of a relationship.

Sure, couples may not want to discuss money. But, if the relationship is getting serious, it can be beneficial to sit down and discuss some financial topics in an effort to prevent problems in the future.

Below, we’ve put together a few pertinent questions that couples should be willing to ask one another, as well as ideas for solutions for any problems that may be identified.

Question #1: “Are you in debt?”

This is the biggest question of all, and one that both parties need to be entirely honest about. This is particularly true if you intend to combine your finances in some way in future; for example, purchasing a house with both of your names on the deeds.

It’s helpful to ensure both of you feel you can be honest about your debt by making it clear it’s not a make-or-break deal. Debt is an issue that can be resolved, either with careful financial management or, in more severe cases, consulting bankruptcy attorneys for their advice on the right course of action.

The critical point is that you are both aware of the debt, so there are no secrets that could cause complications in the future.


Question #2: “Are you a spender or a saver?”

Admittedly, insisting that people fit into one of two categories is always difficult  - few opinions on anything ever fit into a strict binary, and people’s thoughts can change depending on circumstance  - but the answer to this question can provide a useful guide on the best way of managing your future finances.

If you and your significant other share your answer, then you should find it easier to manage any combined finances in future, as you share similar outlooks.

The major problem is when one of you is a “saver” and the other is a “spender”; in this scenario, entirely separate finances may be the best way to prevent any arguments in future.


Question #3: “What things must you spend money on?”

It is incredibly useful for both couples to identify one area that they want to be able to spend on without reproach from their partner. It may be that you want to be free to indulge your love of designer watches, or your partner wants to be able to invest in their love of cars; whatever suits your individual preferences.

When you have each identified an area, then it becomes a kind of red line, an area of expenditure that cannot be discussed or modified. It should remain the responsibility of each person to fund that hobby, but if they can do so, they are free to spend without having to obtain permission or limit themselves.

If they have the cash, then they can spend it on their chosen pursuit, and you can do the same. This helps to ensure that even if your finances become entwined in the future, you both still have something that is “yours”.


You need to ask each other these couples money questions

The questions above can help you and your partner embrace the necessity of financial honesty from early on in your relationship.

This should help to reduce the likelihood of your financial concerns impacting your relationship in future.

Time to live you happy (financially) ever after!