Top tips for mixing money and romance
Whether you and your partner have been together for a few months of a few years, there comes a point when you have to have the talk – no, not that talk, the other one. The money talk. To help pave the way, we’ve asked our friends at totallymoney.com to come up with some top tips for mixing money and romance:
You might not think that talking about money is the most romantic way to pass the time with your other half, but with financial matters ranked as one of the leading causes of disharmony in UK relationships, it’s certainly something you shouldn’t avoid.
And while it isn’t going to be the most thrilling half an hour you’ve spent in each other’s company, it might be one of the most important. With more couples marrying later in life, the merging of assets is a much bigger deal when you’re talking property and investment portfolios, as opposed to your university boyfriend when the assets in question were his Guns’n’Roses CD collection and the crockery your mum gave you when you left home.
It’s better to tackle the issue as soon as possible. You might be looking at a lifetime worth of joint financial decisions with this person, so you want to get to grips with their money habits sooner rather than later. Here are a few top tips on how to approach it.
Where money is concerned, honesty really is the best policy. You should both lay your cards out on the table when it comes to merging your finances, so that you know exactly where you stand. If you are embarrassed or ashamed of your credit card debt or past poor financial decisions, it’s best to get it out in the open from the start – having your partner find out down the line that you have been hiding things is not going to go over well.
Do what works for you
Some couples have joint everything – all money paid into one account, with totally merged assets and finances. Others have a joint account for rent/mortgage and bills, with the rest of their finances kept separate to maintain a little more independence. It’s a completely personal (joint) decision, and it may take a little while to perfect your methods, but do whatever works for you as a couple.
Don’t hold grudges
OK, so last month he blew the budget on a plasma TV for the World Cup, or she splurged on some Prada pumps without consulting you first. The worst thing you can do is bring it up month after month for the next two years. If one of you makes a bad financial decision, you need to address it as a couple, work out a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again, draw a line under it, and move on. Most likely neither of you are perfect with money, so don’t let the small things build into real problems .
Talk about money often
The most important thing when it comes to money in any relationship is to talk about it often. Don’t ignore things until it blows up into an argument. Instead, set aside ten minutes every month or so to touch base about your finances. This is vital if one person takes responsibility for all the finances in the relationship – it’s important that you both know the full picture, rather than just trusting that everything is going fine. Just try to keep financial issues out of the bedroom – that’s a bit of a passion killer!
> To help make you the right financial decisions, visit totallymoney.com for financial comparison tools and advice
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