Money is the root of all evil – or so the saying goes. Financial stress and -indifferences between partners can lead to the deterioration of an otherwise healthy relationship and cause unnecessary strain. It is important to get comfortable talking about money with your partner in an open and non-judgmental way. A good way to start is to discuss these common financial and money mistakes and decide on what you want to change. Finances are a very personal choice, so everything might not be suitable for every couple’s situation.
Can you say YES to any of these mistakes? If so, why not make it a priority to change those most important to you. You can thank us later!
#1. You Don’t Set Time Aside to Discuss Financial Matters
It might be awkward to talk about money and financial problems, but both partners must get on the same page. Set some ground rules when discussing these issues so it doesn’t turn into a money fight. Always be honest when having these conversations.
#2. You Don’t Know Your Partner’s Financial History
Be honest about all material information relating to your finances such as debt, insolvency, maintenance obligations, loans, etc. How money was handled in the past will often influence our spending personalities and how we handle money now.
#3. You Neglect to Set Common Financial Goals
Setting individual goals is easy. To agree on common goals each person may have to compromise some individual goals, but it is a sacrifice that will reap dividends in the long run. Make sure that both sets of goals are represented fairly.
#4. Your Budget Doesn’t Suit Both Partners
It is important to consider each other as equal partners with an equal say in money management. The person earning more should not have more control over where the money goes. You can use our budget templates to assist you with this process.
#5. You Don’t Have Your Own Money or Own Bank Account
It is always advisable that each partner has a bank account in their name and a set amount of “me money”. Having your own money to spend will alleviate the constant fighting about money while having your bank account will be important for your credit score. In the unfortunate case of your partner passing away, it may cause difficulty in accessing bank accounts if he/she was the only person having access to it.
#6. One Partner Has Control Over the Finances
This is one of the worst mistakes a couple can make as it leaves the partner not in control, vulnerable and financially exposed should tragedy strike. Both partners must be on board and review the finances jointly.
#7. Keeping Money Secrets
Financial infidelity or secrecy can include hiding money or bank accounts from your partner or spending or lending money without the other person’s knowledge. This can have devastating effects on a relationship and can severely hinder a couple’s future financial stability.
#8. Sharing Your Financial Situation with Family and Friends
A couple’s financial situation is a private matter and that should be respected by both partners. If you feel you need to speak to someone about your situation, rather employ an independent financial advisor to counsel you.
#9. You Are in A Financial Power Struggle
Power struggles are bound to arise when one partner earns significantly more than the other and money-making is the ultimate goal. Much of this stems from the financial value system of the couple. Money should rather be viewed as a means to create a better financial future for both by achieving common goals.
#10. You Don’t Have an Antenuptial Agreement in Place
Your marriage will automatically be considered to be in community of property without an antenuptial agreement. This means that all the assets and liabilities of each partner will be merged in a single joint estate, including all and any debt that your partner incurred before the marriage, and any debt that he/she incurs during the marriage. The problem with this is self-explanatory.
#11. You Don’t Talk About Your Aged Parents
Your elderly parents may need financial, emotional, and logistical help. It is important to discuss the assistance you can provide without compromising your retirement planning or your children’s financial needs.
#12. You Children’s Education Enjoys Priority Over Your Retirement Planning
Your children can always take loans to help fund their studies but borrowing to fund your retirement is not possible. Find a balance between saving for your retirement and putting money aside for your children’s education.
If you managed to answer NO to most of these money mistakes – well done! You are on the right track to a happy financial future and relationship with your partner. Should some issues require the help of a professional, feel free to contact us.